“13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” AKA. Love is not about you.
Often times, I think it is quite frequent for twenty somethings to be continually finding themselves feeling incomplete if they do not have a significant other, a good core group of whatever it is that they “can depend on”. I mean I know I often feel this way and it is something I hear my friends battle with constantly. This isn’t some phase or season, this is a legitimate desire to love and be loved by another. In fact, this is a God given desire to have fellowship, companionship and friendship with people whom deeply know you (not always a romantic relationship for all).
Tim Keller once said…
What a profound statement. Sadly, I feel these days people who hold out for this person or people who deeply know them as this have come to be few, far and between.
As I had been meditating on this passage in Galatians, in the midst of the deep battle constantly making me feel that I am lacking because I don’t have this certain relationship that deeply knows me as this, I was convicted on how wrong I had been reading the scripture. For the past three days I had been praying and meditating over this passage in Galatians. As I kept reading that verse above I kept thinking Paul was simply stating that it is in your best interest to serve each other- that, that is what leads to true joy but as I delved deeper into the context I discovered I was terribly wrong. Paul was correcting the Jews of Galatia here to remind them that their job is to love and not call the shots on whom God loves and whom he will grant salvation to. Boy were the Jews probably terribly convicted after proclaiming that works was true circumcision and the key to God’s love and care. You see, after that Paul explained the battle of the sinful nature against the spirit and how they have two different goals. The sinful nature’s being for oneself gain and the spirit being of…. well you would probably think for other’s because if we are saying the sinful nature is opposite of the spirit and if the sinful nature is for itself than in this case the spirit would be for other’s. In actuality though, the spirit strives to glorify the middle man, who weirdly enough put himself there in the middle on our behalf.
To love God, is to serve one another. All of Galatians 5 and 6 is to come to the point that if you are really striving and seeking the Lord, you are constantly in step with the spirit, humbling yourself of anything that would bring you gain and that your calling and service would be to God’s gain.
As I sit here and reflect on these battles, that happen every couple days (if I’m being completely honest) I would see that this desire for another and to be known by another in this way is selfish, at least right now. I am not striving to serve somebody I am striving to serve myself.
It hurts to be convicted, it hurts to be reminded how broken I am sometimes. It hurts to know the situation I’m in, what I hoped I could fix or hoped a miracle would magically take away is not in actuality meant to be fixed. That my situation is not the problem, the problem is me. Sometimes that seems like a bigger problem than I even imagined in the first place but thank Lord oh my soul that my God is bigger than that and that He loves me dearly.
This is where I went terribly wrong in the first place, if I opened my eyes and if the Jews had opened their eyes, we would see that God didn’t want to withhold from them or make them feel worse,
God just knew something better.
He knew that they could learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses. That ultimately “loving your neighbor as yourself” sums up the entire law because He took care of everything in between, now it’s just our job to give back to Him what was originally His- our life, our minds (perspective) and our hearts.
As for me and I am sure like any of your deep desires that are currently causing you strife, we need to hold tight to our faith in the midst of the desert and know that He knows us. That in unanswerable seasons we need to tune our hearts to His love and His deep knowledge of us. That as hard it is to accept sometimes that means His timing is perfect and His gifts are good, therefore I only want gifts that are from Him not from my own efforts because my efforts alone are selfish.
If your in the same battlefield as me right now, I want to encourage you that even though you may complain and find yourselves in times of self destructive mindsets and selfishness as me, that God doesn’t call you to not be human and not want. He just calls you to go to Him and ask Him to show you His plan, what He has in mind for the situation your in. And if your in maybe a different yet similar battle- take heart that where it’s friends, ministry work, family, etc. that you are human, your desire to be known and and fully loved is what was put in us to lead us to God. The middle man is our bridge to one another, that is where we can truly find one another; truly knowing and deeply loving one another is loving him and accepting His love first.
In the middle of my mess, I am always missing the point, if I didn’t this blog would not exist. I’m a mess in the need of constant grace. I just think of this picture I took down in Morro Bay a few weekends ago- yes, the ocean is gorgeous and I find myself lost just staring at it. Just like life it is so easy to get lost in all the pretty things and think it’s the point. But it wasn’t until I looked at it a few times that I realized how beautiful it was that there was a random picnic table in the middle of this big blue sea. That somehow in this moment, I found myself secluded with this scenic view, that is to die for and what draws me in is this table, I just want to sit there.
I envision God right there in the midst of the picture perfect view saying “look right here, here is a spot just for you” and suddenly the picnic table is the prettiest piece of the whole view.