Without love

I love books. In junior high I think I averaged 10 books a week- and that’s not even an exaggeration- my local library didn’t hold much for me after that so my reading slowed down a bit once I got into high school. Now that I’m in college most books I read are Christian books about God and God things, which is good, but sometimes after reading them I finish more confused about my relationship with God than I did going in to it. Recently I read a book called “Anything” by Jennie Allen. It was well written, moving, and definitely worth reading. The only thing that bothered me was that she kept talking about how we need to be willing to do anything for God- including leaving our cute homes with pretty curtains behind to step out in faith and do something outside of our comfort zone. 

You’re probably wondering, “well what’s wrong with that? We DO need to step out of our comfort zones!” 

Which is totally and COMPLETELY true. Except, for someone like me, stepping into those cute houses with pretty curtains would be out of my comfort zone, and completely out of my desires. I want nothing to do with homemaking and having five children, and I especially don’t want to stay in America. I long to live overseas; learning about other cultures and languages, giving whatever gifts I have to those communities and receiving so much more from the gift of serving and loving those people. So the problem I’ve come across in books such as “Anything” is that I question if I’m stepping out in faith in anything in my life, because those things are already ingrained in my heart. The phrase “stepping out in faith” conveys so much. Faith is the hope in the unseen, that God is who he says he is and is mighty to save his people. So stepping out, believing that God is fully who he says he is and he will provide for you where you are. It’s good. It’s so good. 

Except. 

Recently I have been crushed, because God has revealed to me that nothing I have ever done “for him” has been “for him”. What I mean is that I go to church, I join community groups and college Christian fellowships. I have gone overseas “stepping out in faith” and I have returned to the states stepping back in faith. But what I lacked was love. 

What I lack is pure, unadulterated, love for my God and my Savior. What I lacked was stepping out in LOVE for my Lord. 

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

 

If I step out of America without love for God I am just a clanging symbol. If I step into an orphanage without love for God I am nothing. If I am willing to die for what I believe is right, but I don’t have love for God, I gain nothing. 

Faith moves mountains, but love is the force of change; it is your love of God that is the key to unlocking the beautiful soul God intended you to be. I don’t just want to do something because it is the Christian thing to do, or because it’s the next step in my walk of faith, I want to do reckless, normal, crazy, mundane, God-ordained things, because I love God enough to give it all. Then I am free to do anything.