Lavish your love

See what great love the Father has lavished on us. (1 John 3:1)

Because we have received ‘the riches of God’s grace that He has lavished on us’, as Paul puts it in Ephesians 1:8, may we find ingenious ways to pour this love out on others too.

Often without knowing it, it is the tiny things we do for people that the Lord uses the most powerfully.

In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good. (Ecclesiastes 11:6)

Just by being there, our life is a witness and a resource the Lord delights to use. Small acts of kindness can go a very long way. And when the opportunity comes to speak for Him – may we not hold back.

Years ago a man was knocked down by a car in the Nevada desert and lay dying. In his intense agony he remembered how, back in the Sunday school he had attended more than forty years earlier, he was taught that he could be saved by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus. In that most precarious moment of his life, he called on the name of Jesus, was healed and has now become an active preacher. Truly, we never know what we are sowing.

Many years ago I witnessed to a hitchhiker I had picked up. A quarter of a century later Mike and Sue Harris met him, a mature believer, and discovered just how significant that journey I had forgotten all about had been. We never know what we are sowing – but our job is to keep lavishing the love God gives us.

Listening

‘L’ is also for ‘Listening.’ One word from God is worth any number of our own bright ideas. Always keep your antennae up for the Lord to be able to show you who you should get in touch with, reach out to encourage, or pray for. There is no limit to what He can do when we follow up His nudges. That is why it is so important that we each learn to recognise the particular call signs He uses to alert us. These vary from person to person but the one sure thing is that He will be calling . . .

Check and balance your priorities with Him: more of this, less of that – even though this is all but guaranteed to bring you up against certain other people’s expectations for you. Keep your antennae up and your courage strong. God may have ways of helping you to do those things from a sharper, even if not necessarily more convenient, perspective.

Sense the mode the Lord is in – for you, and for others. When the anointing is running out for doing one thing, don’t plough on regardless: head in the direction He is showing, whether that be for high praise, intimate worship, or to share the Lord’s grief and lamentation over something hurtful. And don’t hold back when He is saying ‘Launch out’ into something new!

Lamenting

Concerning that reference to God lamenting, the Lord does not despair – but He does grieve, and it is right for us to do so too. All of us suffer losses in life, but we don’t always fully recognise or acknowledge them. It’s right to grieve losses, and we need to know how to do so properly. For instance, there’s a huge difference between grief and trauma. Grief is a natural process, however long it takes to work its way through, whereas trauma is an imposition on the soul which needs spiritual authority to remove.

If you are carrying burdens for people and situations which began in the spirit, but which have gradually become so entwined up with your own hurts and experiences that they bring more confusion than objective faith, seek out someone to pray with you. Ask the Lord to readjust the weight of these burdens so that they flow through you by His Spirit to the cross, instead of getting stuck in your soul. This ability to bear burdens well is so important for our spiritual development and freedom.

You might well find it helpful to spend time exploring the wealth of material I have made available on this subject in Vale of Tears. You can find an illustrated version on line at Vale of tears. It is also available from us as a hard back book. See  our Resources page

God bless your listening, lavishing and even your lamenting!