God longs to fill our hearts with a deeper, richer love.
If I can easily discuss the shortcomings and the sins of any; if I can speak in a casual way even of a child's misdoings, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I am perturbed by the reproach and misunderstanding that may follow action taken for the good of souls for whom I must give account; if I cannot commit the matter and go on in peace and in silence, remembering Gethsemane and the Cross, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If my attitude be one of fear, not faith, about one who has disappointed me; if I say, "Just what I expected," if a fall occurs, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I say, "Yes, I forgive, but I cannot forget," as though the God who twice a day washes all the sands on all the shores of the world could not wash such memories from my mind, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If by doing some work which the undiscerning consider "not spiritual work" I can best help others, and I inwardly rebel, thinking it is the spiritual for which I crave, when in truth it is the interesting and exciting, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I cast up a confessed, repented, and forsaken sin against another, and allow that sin to color my thinking and feed my suspicions, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I am afraid to speak the truth, lest I lose affection, or lest the one concerned should say, "You do not understand," or because I fear to lose my reputation for kindness; if I put my own good name before the other's highest good, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I fear to hold another to the highest because it is so much easier to avoid doing so, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I myself dominate myself, if my thoughts revolve round myself, if I am so occupied with myself I rarely have "a heart at leisure from itself," then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I cannot in honest happiness take the second place (or the twentieth); if I cannot take the first without making a fuss about my unworthiness, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If monotony tries me, and I cannot stand drudgery; if stupid people fret me and little ruffles set me on edge; if I make much of the trifles of life, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I want to be known as the doer of something that has proved the right thing, or as the one who suggested that it should be done, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If in the fellowship of service I seek to attach a friend to myself, so that others are caused to feel unwanted; if my friendships do not draw others deeper in, but are ungenerous (to myself, for myself), then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I slip into the place that can be filled by Christ alone, making myself the first necessity of a soul instead of leading it to fasten upon Him, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I refuse to allow one who is dear to me to suffer for the sake of Christ; if I do not see such suffering as the greatest honor that can be offered to any follower of the Crucified, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If, when an answer I did not expect comes to a prayer which I believed I truly meant, I shrink back from it; if the burden my Lord asks me to bear be not the burden of my heart's choice, and I fret inwardly and do not welcome His will, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
I have felt these words scorching to write, but it is borne upon me, that in spite of all our hymns and prayers (so many of them for love), it is possible to be content with the shallows of love, if indeed such shallows should be called love at all.
Love Longs to Fill Us
The more we ponder our Lord's words about love, and the burning words the Spirit gave to His followers to write, the more acutely do we feel our deadly lack. The Searchlight of the Spirit discovers us to ourselves, and such a discovery leaves us appalled. How can even He who is the God of all patience have patience with us?
But the light is not turned upon us to rob us of our hope. There is a lifting up. If only we desire to be purged from self with its entangling nets, its subtleties, its disguises (falsehoods truly), its facile showing of brass for gold... if, hating unlove from the ground of the heart, we cry to be delivered, then our God will be to us a God of deliverances [Ps. 68:20, NASB].
No word can declare with what longings Divine Love waits till the heart, all weary and sick of itself, turns to its Lord and says, "Take full possession." There is no need to plead that the love of God shall fill our heart as though He were unwilling to fill us: He is willing as light is willing to flood a room that is opened to its brightness; willing as water is willing to flow into an emptied channel. Love is pressing round us on all sides like air. Cease to resist, and instantly love takes possession.
— Discipleship Journal.
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