Grounded in Love

“My own sheep will hear my voice and I know each one, and they will follow me.” John 10:27 TPT
   
Just think about this verse with me for a moment. Jesus is speaking to the Jewish people who had just told Him, “If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” And Jesus responded in a way the people would understand. A people who knew what it meant to take care of sheep, and how important it is for sheep to know the shepherd’s voice.  Jesus didn’t try to convince the people of anything or confuse them with things they wouldn’t understand. He spoke to them in language they knew.

Jesus spoke to the people in a way that revealed the love and affection He had for them. And I think He still does that for us today—He speaks to us in ways unique to each of us, revealing the love and affection He has for us.
 
Ephesians 3:16-19 says:  “That according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith— that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

There is a love that surpasses knowledge and we have access to it through the Holy Spirit. He strengthens us from the inside out by rooting us and grounding us in His love. We have the Spirit inside of us so we can comprehend the fullest extents of Christ’s love AND so we can be filled with the fullness of God after that. Love is the starting point.

How. Wild.
 
“My own sheep will hear my voice and I know each one, and they will follow me.”

 But how do we know the love of Christ or when we are being strengthened? How do we know the fullness of God? How do we know that something is happening on our insides when we are being rooted and grounded in love?
 
Well. We know because He still speaks to us. He desires for us to be in relationship with Him so badly that we can talk to Him, or pray, and He will respond to us in ways we understand. And it’s in His kindness that He speaks to us individually and uniquely. He doesn’t have to meet us where we’re at, or in the midst of our struggles and triumphs. But He chooses to. He chooses to speak to us and to respond to our prayers and worship. He chooses to give us His Spirit to strengthen us when we are weak and exhausted. He chooses to fill us with the fullness of God. Why? Because He loves us, and He wants us to receive and feel the affection He has for us.

I know this because every time He speaks to me, I experience His love and affection. This past week I was sitting with the Lord in our staff meeting on Wednesday morning. One of our directors was taking us through a guided prayer, which basically means he was just prompting us on a journey with Jesus. He said, “Ask Jesus to take you to a safe place and then ask Him what He thinks about you.” So I’m laying on the floor and I get this image in my head of Jesus and I walking through the woods like we’re going on a hike, and He’s looking at me with so much love in His eyes saying, “I weep over you with joy and I celebrate you with joy.” And then I got this image of my heart and it had scars and open wounds all over it, but the open wounds were just stuffed with gauze to stop the bleeding. By the end of this time spent with Jesus in the woods, I got a new image of my heart—I saw stitches where open wounds once were, along with the scars that had already healed.
 
Jesus spoke to me in ways only I would understand. It’s significant that joy can exist in weeping and in celebration because I don’t like feeling negative things. It’s significant that He started a healing process inside of my heart because I had been harboring some bitterness, anger, and pain for things I no longer had control over. I had grown content with changing out the gauze instead of hoping that healing would happen.

Why did He show me these things? Because He wants me to know how much He loves me. He strengthened me through His Spirit and rooted me deeper in love by speaking these things to me.
He wants us to experience the depths of His love on a regular basis. Romans 8:39 says the Lord lavishes us with His passionate love. He’s constantly pouring His love out like a waterfall running over, and He waits patiently for us to receive it. I think the Lord would speak something to us 100 times because He knows we would finally understand it on the 100th time. He’s better than we think He is—His unconditional love reveals that, and He will tenderly speak to us until we receive the love and affection He has for us.

Yahweh, I pray we would let you root us and ground us in your love. Help us to listen to you and to receive what you so freely give. I pray we would know the breadth, length, height and depth of your unconditional love Father. Holy Spirit strengthen us from the inside out and help us to lean into the love that surpasses knowledge. Lord, thank you for speaking to us and for loving us. I pray our hearts would be open to your love and affection. Amen.

Author | Elizabeth Sprinkle

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