“…and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5
God, I want to love you more. God, help me to love you more.
So often I find myself praying these words, confronted with the fickleness of my heart and my inability to offer my affections to God my Beloved as often or thoroughly as I think I should. I had a conversation with someone today regarding how this is really the wrong prayer to be praying. These words, though well-intended, are essentially about me, about my ability to love, my ability to offer something to God.
When Paul writes about the love of God filling the hearts of believers, he is not asking that believers learn to love God better within their own hearts, but that God’s perfect, powerful love would come to more fully dwell within His people. Paul is asking, hoping, praying, that God manifests His love so strongly, so fully to His people that we would not miss one drop—that if we do miss a drop it is because our shallow human hearts cannot find the capacity for the massive expanse of the love of God as it flows over the sides of our souls rather than because we did not ask to be filled.
My love for God will never transform my life. But God’s love for me—dwelling inside of me, flowing outward, saturating every cell of my body until it seeps out the pores—that is what will transform my heart. We love because He first loved us. My love for God will then increase as a by-product of His love, but it will be an added gift rather than an elusive desire attempted by my own strength or will.
The love of God is not a cheap phrase, a make-you-feel-better Christian cliché. The love of God is the most powerful force a human soul can or ever will encounter. I don’t understand that yet as much as I should. But I do understand that the degree to which I comprehend and acknowledge this truth, is the degree to which my life will be transformed from glory to glory.
What I want to pray is Father bring a fresh revelation of your love to the heart of your bride. I want to join with Paul as he prays for the church, “So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breath and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19