“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

(2 Timothy 1:7)

Yes, this is God’s invitation to us all … to taste of the power of His love. Once we have tasted it, we will never be the same. Our entire being, our one overriding desire, our single purpose for living will be to open the way for the power of God’s love to flow out into His creation – for His Glory.

God’s love is already present everywhere throughout His creation. As adopted sons and daughters of God, in Christ Jesus, we are fully equipped to be channels of God’s love, but in order to see it flow through us, we are called to believe and to appropriate those things we have been given in Christ.

The subject of God’s love is as infinite as God Himself is. There are many scriptures relating to God’s love in the Bible, but it was only when I experienced the overwhelming power of God’s love, that these scriptures came alive to me.

For years, I had been familiar with verses such as, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12) and “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16).  But however much I recalled these verses with my mind, they remained at the level of theory; they often seemed dry and lifeless.

The difference came when I began to see how I was blocking the flow of God in my life by trying to do everything in my own strength.  While I certainly believed in God, I saw that, nevertheless, I was not fully trusting Him.  My own life was firmly in the driving seat – and the journey was becoming increasingly frustrating and lacking peace.

Detail of rain droplets with reflected daisy flower

I began to see that the very second I thought I possessed any good in myself, or that I had any innate ability to create, to perform or to speak in a way that pleases God … I was hindering the power of God’s love in my own life, as well as its outflow to others.

This caused me to look to the One who is truly all in all to each one of us – without exception. The Risen Jesus Christ is already our all in all (Col. 3:11), but He waits for us to assent willingly to believe this awesome Truth and to choose to follow Him.

Jesus Christ has already paved the way for us to enter fully into the flow of His life, and He urges us (through Scripture) to become His disciples and believe Him.

He asks us to believe that when He died, we died (2 Cor. 5:14).  He asks us to believe that when He was raised to life from the tomb, we rose with Him as part of His Resurrected Body (Col. 2:12; Col. 3:1); that we are now a precious members of His Body and partakers of the nature of God Himself (2 Pet. 1:4).

He asks us to believe that we are now a new creation in Him because whoever is in Christ is indeed a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).

We are called to be believers (John 6:29). That is the fundamental work that the Father has given us to do – to believe in His Beloved Son as He has been revealed in the Word of God. Everything else flows from there.

Then!  As we look away from our own selves and stop hoping “to be better”, “to do better” or ”to have fewer faults” (which I found I could NEVER achieve in my own strength!) … and as we look towards the One who is our very life … we will indeed begin to see the power of God’s love pouring through in a way that is utterly beyond imagining!

Ann Shakespeare

Welcome to the Ann Shakespeare blog. Ann, a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Time magazine, BBC World Service and The Daily Journal, is currently involved in editing and writing on Christian themes. She also ministers in a local ecumenical centre which provides prayer and pastoral support.

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