“And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1
A most remarkable thing occurred one day that only could have transpired at the hand of the Lord. I was praying, praising, worshiping, and seeking the Lord as I walked through a beautiful park when I crossed paths with a fellow walker. We said a brief hello at most and kept on. A while afterward, in this enormous park, we crossed paths again. This time she was jogging, but she called out something to me after she had passed by. I turned, went up to her, and we entered into conversation. It turned out she had been praying and praising the Lord during her walk and jog, and she shared how she had prayed to Him she would feel His love. That very morning, I had prayed the very same thing! We had both prayed to Him we would feel His love! Oh, to feel His love! How delighted we were He would bring together two sisters in the Lord who had never met and who had been praying to Him and praising Him and prayed on the very same day to feel His love! Oh, yes, to feel His love! How could we not SEE His love in all this? How could we not BELIEVE His love in all this? But could we FEEL it? Could we EXPERIENCE His love?
I have followed the Lord for a while now, and if there’s anything I have learned about His love, it’s this. He is love, His love is forever, and His love can be believed, seen, felt, and experienced. BUT there can be obstacles to experiencing His love, and just because we believe it doesn’t mean we see it, or feel it, and just because we see it doesn’t mean we believe it and feel it, and just because we feel it doesn’t mean we believe and see it. But oh, when we get to the point we BELIEVE His love, SEE His love, FEEL His love, and EXPERIENCE His love, and praise and worship Him, loving Him in return, and love others with the love He pours into us, oh, how splendorous it is to know the Lord like this, to know His love like this, to be a vessel of His love, to have His love poured into us, and through us, and to BELIEVE, SEE, FEEL, EXPERIENCE, and be a conduit of His love, ever thanking Him and living to glorify His holy most precious beloved loving name!
One day I found myself walking around the hotel where I was staying in the rather large parking lot, not the most beautiful of locations compared with a gorgeous park, but in the lovely sunshine-y day I was singing joyfully aloud to the Lord my little made-up love and praise songs to Him, and praying, and I found myself happily aloud, declaring in song, “I can feel your love, Lord!” Oh, how I can feel His love! How miraculous, how awesome, considering for so very long I didn’t believe His love, I was blinded from seeing His love, and I couldn’t feel His love. Oh, sure I would get glimpses, but never for very long at all. Mostly, I just wasn’t able to experience it. Not anymore! Oh, how I can feel His love now!
For so long, I didn’t believe His love for me because I looked at how others who should have loved me hurt me, because I looked at my sin and couldn’t see how the Lord could love me, and because I looked at my life’s circumstances some of which were tough because of others’ sins, some of which were tough because of my own sin, and some of which were tough simply because life can be tough. I needed to shift my focus from myself, and others, and life, to the Lord and what His Word says about His love, forgiveness, grace, hope, mercy, etc. And I needed to open my heart and eyes to His endless blessings most importantly having a forever relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. I came to believe His love for me, and to see it, but I longed to feel it and experience it. How then did I get to this point?
The answer is simple, and so beautiful and precious. I learned how to go into the “secret place,” mentioned in Psalm 91, into the refuge, fortress, hiding place, stronghold, etc., referred to in the Bible, which I believe is Christ. I started daily to spend awesome time with the Lord, in His Word, absolutely, seeking and praying to Him, yes, and listening for His voice, hearing His voice, choosing to obey His voice, and praising Him and worshiping Him and enjoying His company and crying out to Him and getting ever closer to Him. I started to develop an absolutely wonderful and ever more intimate relationship with Christ as Lord. Every single day. No matter what. And most importantly, I learned of the gift of His Holy Spirit, not just being sealed with His Spirit by being born again which happens when we repent and place our faith in Christ as Lord, truly devoting ourselves to God and His Word, but receiving the gift of His Spirit and being filled with His Spirit and learning to seek God’s voice and be led by His Spirit, to be helped and taught and comforted and changed by and blessed with the ever presence of His Holy Spirit. And I learned to continually, daily, purify myself, repenting as needed and yielding myself to God’s Spirit through His Word refining and transforming me, so I can be a pure vessel for the Lord, His love, and all He desires to do in and through me.
Oh, how I could go on and on! But I shall not! I can only encourage you, my friend, to devote yourself utterly to the Lord and His ways, to give yourself wholly and forever to Him, to live and breathe for Him, to hunger for Him and His ways, to cry out to Him, to learn to listen to Him, to ever dig deeply into His Word, feasting on Him and His ways, to praise and worship Him, to not confine the Lord to a church building or service, but to yield to Christ as Lord, to let Him be your all and all, and to come to know and rejoice in the love that is Christ’s forevermore! Oh, feel His love, my friend! Be His forever!