The Following Musings are inspired by the work of Ed Stetzer and Philip Nation in the first chapter of their book “Compelled by Love”
I think most Evangelicals, conservative and progressive alike, would agree with me in saying that the love of Christ ought to compel me towards some end, convince me of some thing, and change me in some manner. I do not think this is a far stretch of agreement. The question that plagues my inquisitive mind is whether or not I have actually come to grasp, or understand the end which I am compelled toward, the things which I am being convinced of, and the manner in which I am being changed.
Stetzer and Nation make an astute observation in the statement that “Love is an activity of God” following their statement I would propose the following to be true as well, that God has loved, is loving, and will love. The first and last portions of this three part explanation of God’s love are not difficult for me to believe. What I struggle with is the one in the middle, specifically that God is loving me, and others. I know He will love, and has loved, but I struggle to trust that He is loving me. I know intellectually that he does, but there is some part of me that doesn’t want to believe that God is actively loving me.
Is it really me who does not want to believe that God is actively loving me? Does it not make more sense for Satan, or my Flesh, or the World to tell me and convince me that God is not actively loving me? If God is not loving me currently, who then can I depend on? If God is not here for me, who could be? Why would any part of me who is in Christ cling to such dark beliefs?
I think that perhaps it is truly some other influence in me, that compels me to resist the believing that God is loving me. Most likely it is my flesh, clinging to whatever it can to avoid its slow death at the foot of the Cross. Intellectually being aware of such a thing seems to do little for the troubles of my emotional and mental state regarding this lack of active believe in God’s currently loving me.
If I am compelled, it is toward the end of being like Christ, in all but divine nature and status. I may one day partake of some element of divinity (2 Peter 1:1-3), but I shall never become Christ. If I am convinced, it is of God’s promise and of the Hope that I have because of the death and resurrection of Christ. If I am changed, it is in a manner that changes the very core of who I express myself to be, toward the end of being like Christ.
More of this will likely follow as I continue to read and reflect on the book.