By Kathi Pelton
A precious memory came up on my FB today that ushered me into an encounter with his love that took my breath away. It was a video clip of when my youngest daughter and two other friends did a 3 am worship set (for a thirty hour continuous worship time) in West Palm, Florida. My daughter was singing, “Oh, How He Loves Us” (see the clip on my FB page) and the moment I clicked on the short video clip the love and presence of the Lord just filled my room– it was like being transported back to that precious and deep moment in time. Then, once again I suddenly realized that “how he loves us” is not merely a memory of a single moment but it is a constant and never-ending reality that we can enter into at any given moment.
Immediately, I had an overwhelming sense that more than anything else in this hour, the Lord wants his people to know the depths, heights, width and length of his love for us. That is why he came, why he died and why we are the focus of his adoration. When his people begin to understand how much he loves us– not merely in moments but every moment of every day– then we will be so undone by this experiential truth that we will begin to exude his love to a world that is longing to be loved right where they are.
Sometimes, as the people of God, we can get so task oriented that we forget what this life is really about. We were created to “walk with God”– to walk hand in hand in deep intimacy with our Beloved.
“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine; he browses among the lilies.” Song of Solomon 6:3
I want to be “overflow” oriented rather than task oriented. When you are in love (truly and completely in love), you don’t have to be asked to do something for the one you love or asked to talk about the one you love– it just pours out from the overflow of being overwhelmed by love.
I have had the honor of walking with a global family for the past twenty years and we have experienced some of the deepest moments with God and one another as we gathered in different nations together to worship him and to pour out our love to him. Yet, since 2020 we can only meet through ZOOM calls but something powerful and life changing has happened in our physical separation. Our spirits and souls have connected on a level that is so deep and so intimate that we are left undone by the love that we are experiencing. His love has been demonstrated in such tangible and healing ways that we are watching people groups and nations healed. The love of God is changing us and transforming us each day.
We are not just saying the words, “I love you.” to one another but we are being brought into a holy hunger, an unquenchable longing and a desire that spans past pains. This love that has come upon us is causing us to forgive the unforgivable grievances of history and of sin. Painful divisions and cultural separations are being mended and fences are being torn down. It is not merely unity that we are experiencing but true ONENESS. We did not do anything to cause this to happen (beyond showing up) and yet, it is happening in ways that are causing us to break through every past barrier to give ourselves fully to him and to one another. We are weeping with those who weep and rejoicing with those who are rejoicing.
This is how nations, people groups and families are forever changed! It is the revelation and experience of how much he loves us. It transforms us and it revives us. I believe the revival has begun and it is a love revival that will mark every person with the words, “Oh, how he loves us.” It will heal, it will restore, it will bring reconciliation and it will make us ONE. The hurting ones and confused ones, who have yet to come to know and experience his love, will be drawn like a moth to a flame to the love that exudes from his people. It will answer the prayer of Jesus when he prayed for believers in John 17:20-23,
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
Complete unity! This is oneness with God and his people. Then the world will know how much he loves them. God is lovesick for us and we are about to become so lovesick for him that nothing will stop us from running through the streets and telling anyone who will listen as we tell them about how much he loves us.
I sense that we have been in a time, such as in the Book of the Song of Solomon, when the Shulamite is in her bed at night and she begins to long so deeply for the one she loves that she rises and begins to run through the city streets, “seeking the one she loves.” When she finds him, she holds him and does not let him go. We are like those who are running through the streets, searching for the one we love. Our longing is being heightened to the point that we will cast off all restraints. We are about to find him and hold him (and never let him go). Those in the streets will watch and long for this love.
Restraints are falling off because we are getting love sick! The pain of the past two years is producing a tenderness and a longing that cannot be filled with anything but his love. We are becoming one bride, running together to find the one our hearts love. The divisions are falling away, the restraints are falling away and the separation is getting more and more narrow so that soon we will stand as one bride holding our Beloved…and never letting him go.
Oh, how he loves us!
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