Ep.316: A Tour of God’s Love.
Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray With Me”.
Psalm 48 takes a tour of Jerusalem, saying:
Walk about Zion, go round her,
count her towers,
consider well her ramparts,
view her citadels . . . (vv. 12-13).
The Message Bible uses a tourist image to translate Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:
I ask God that . . . with all followers of Jesus you will take in
the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love.
Reach out and experience the breadth!
Test its length!
Plumb the depths!
Rise to the heights!
Live full lives, full in the fullness of God (Eph 3:17-19).
Yes. Take a tour of God’s love.
The Oceania cruise company fills my mailbox with flyers. I can cure my problems with a warm-weather cruise to the Caribbean or Mediterranean. How about Around the World in 180 Days, for a bargain price of only $120,000 per couple. I went to the Oceania website to see if I could stop the flood of mail. They they don’t make it easy.
Meanwhile, I’m still on God’s mailing list. But I’m not sure how to sign up for a tour of his love. I follow the usual prescriptions–read the Bible, pray every day, meditate, attend church, fellowship with believers. But I don’t feel immersed in God’s love. I feel more like a camper, dipping my toes in a glacier-fresh lake, shivering against the plunge that would immerse me.
Is this God’s problem or mine? How can I, as Paul says, test the length and plumb the depths of Christ’s extravagant love? Is the experience of God’s love a gift he gives, or withholds? Sometimes, he takes me on amazing tours; sometimes he lets me sit under a vine and lament.
God teaches me what I’m willing to learn. He’s patient with things I need to unlearn. He’s making a way for me to go deeper.
Pray with me.
Our father, you journey with us, not to reward us for being good, but to be our friend in bad times and good.
You hear our prayers, but you give us what we need, not what we want. You sympathize with us when we feel forsaken. You rejoice with us when we feel loved. We sense your presence with us in a place beneath our flow of thoughts and feelings, beneath our pains and pleasures.
Guide us by your Spirit. Make us true to your presence. Reveal to us the Christ who dwells in our hearts by faith (Eph 3:17).
Now to you who can do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine, to you be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus, now and forever (Eph 3:20-21).
I’m Daniel, on the channel “Pray with Me”.
YouTube channel: Pray with Me – YouTube