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Filled by the Father?

Filled by the Father?

 
By:  Mission Team November 15, 2020
#AmazingNation, #Faith, #God, #Jesus, #love

In our faith we will go through many challenges and many trials, for to live a true Christian life is to follow the example of Christ, to live as He did. Christ went through adversity, He went through hardships, and so will we, there is no way around it. How was Jesus able to overcome these challenges, and how will we be able to stay strong in our faith? How will we find true Joy in this life, true Happiness? The answer to these questions is that we need to be filled by Our Father. To live an authentic Christian life this must happen. Christ was constantly filled by His Father, He constantly remembered how much His Father loved Him, understanding that love in a perfect way. Our Lord was madly in love, and that love drove Him in every action. We too must understand our Fathers' love better as Christ did. We too must fall in love and do all things out of love.

We must Understand the love of God more Perfectly and accept it in Truth
Before we can truly be filled by the Father we must better come to understand what our Father’s love is. To be filled by the Father is to be filled by love. A reckless love that drives out all fear and despair. It drives us to give of ourselves to the Beloved for that is what love does, it gives of itself, all of itself. If we can comprehend the love of God in a more perfect way, even in the smallest way, we will bear much fruit and truly be filled by Him who is Love itself.


If we look to the cross we see a man, in pain, tortured, beaten, and mocked. But there is so much more, because If we look beyond the surface we see His love itself.

“For God is love” (1 John 4:8).

Oh, how often we glance at the cross with no thought of what lies behind it. For the pain of this Man, although physical, is so much more than that, it is a pain of love. In a way, God's love language is suffering. He suffers for us with an unquenchable fire. A fire that consumes all, forgetting even itself. A love that hunts like no other for its beloved. It does anything for the one it loves, even if that be laying down Its life. God’s love is zealous, it is passionate, but it is also peaceful. It does not force itself. It is a Love that even if forgotten loves all the more. Oh what a love this is! And oh how we are loved! Why does His Love burn for us? What have we done to merit such a Lover?

“When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?”(Psalm 8:3-4).


Many times while I am walking in the woods, looking over a beautiful overlook, or just gazing at a tree or leaf, I am struck with the beauty of Psalm 8. Who are we that such a God should care for us. That immortal should care for a mortal. That such beauty and greatness should care for such littleness and weakness.


This question is above all questions. Why does God love us? We may never completely understand, but we must accept it, we must throw ourselves into it. Into His ocean of love and hide ourselves in it. Only in doing that can we truly be filled by The Father. We must accept our Father's love for us in truth. There are days when God is so present to me, that my heart burns with love for Him because His love is so tangible. But more often, there are days when I do not feel God’s love for me in this powerful way. It is these days that I must throw myself into God's love and all it’s truth. These days I look at the cross and I may not be overcome by love, but I do not need to be overcome to love God, or to accept His love. We do not need to feel God’s presence to know He is with us, we do not need to be overcome by a mere feeling to accept God's Love for us. There are other days when I feel as though I cannot expect such Love, for who am I, a sinful human, that I should be loved like that? As much as I desire, I will never be able to love Jesus as much or as purely as He loves me, and it breaks my heart, it kills me. These days I beg for humility to accept God’s love, for in the end it is pride that keeps me away from God’s love. I must remind myself that He is God and I am not. If Jesus, being the God that He is, loves me, who am I to decline and say I am unworthy. That is false Humility. I must give my fiat of love in true humanity as Mary did when she said, “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to Thy will”(Luke 1:38). In the end, our Lord has given me the love which I can give him, and I must offer all of it back to him, with all my heat, no matter how small it is. For all is a grace, even the love we are given to give.


Once we have accepted this love, which is incomprehensibly great, we must allow it to fuel us in all that we do. Remember, as we will fall in love more, the more we understand who God is and how great His love for us is. For we cannot love what we do not know, and the more we know something the more we love it. St. Francis said when asked how one would become a saint, “You must fall in love” Oh how simple that is, how beautiful! We must fall in love and allow that love to drive us. That is what it means to be filled by the Father. So How do we fall in love more and more with Christ?

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How do we fall in love more and more with Christ?
We must understand that we can never fall in love with Christ enough in this world. It is an adventure, a beautiful adventure and we can never stop growing until we reach our true home, which is Heaven. I believe there are three main ways to fall in Love with Christ in a deeper way. Firstly through others. Secondly through scripture and reading. Thirdly through prayer.

Others
One can learn so much about God through those around them or those that love them. For me that was my parents. My parents love me so much and the older I get the more I see how much they sacrificed for my good and the good of my siblings. They have a selfless love that is so beautiful. There were times in my life where I struggled with my relationship with them. It was tainted with my selfishness and my self-centered desires, but they still loved me, and they still gave everything for me. They gave up a comfortable life, where they wouldn’t have had to deal with raising me and all my siblings, and so much more. This was one of the first ways I think I ever saw God. I see Him so clearly in them now, in their selflessness and in their love. If they love me so much, how much more does God love me. Stop for a few moments and think about ways you have been loved by others. This is how you will see God in others and learn about who He is, so you may fall in love with him more and more.

Scripture and Reading
As St. Jerome famously said, “Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ.” Scripture is the word of God. It is God’s love letter to us. God pours His heart out in His word. One of the first things I ever did after my personal conversation was read The Word of God. I devoured It, and in that I learned more about God’s heart. Read the gospels! Really read them, don’t just read them as you would any book. Read it knowing that it was written for you, it was written by a lover to His beloved. Read it with intentionality. Read scripture and watch our Lord, watch Him love his disciples by washing their feet in John 13. Watch our Lord, The Light of the world, cure the man born blind in John 9. And watch our Lord suffer and die for you out of utter love during his passion in Mark 14-15, Matthew 26-27, Luke 22-23, and John 18-19... Read it and let it sink into your heart, devour it and let it become a part of you (Jer 15:16). You will fall in love with our Lord more and more if you read scripture, for how could you not if you are learning more and more of who he is and how great His love is for you.

Spiritual reading (books other than the Bible) is great and I will never get tired of reading a good spiritual book, but in the end all must lead to love. Everything must draw us closer to Christ. I have spent so many hours poring over so many beautiful books on prayer, on the saints and on the spiritual life, on theology and philosophy, and I learned a lot from them. I love reading about our faith and spiritual life, but if those books did not lead me closer to our Lord and deeper in love, and I know some of them didn’t, they have done nothing for me except fueled my pride and vanity. All must lead to love, even the good things that we do.

Prayer
If one reads about someone’s face for a lifetime, if he poured himself into book after book about how this person's face looks, will he really ever know how the person’s face looks? No. The only way he will truly know how it looks is if he sees the face. It is the same in prayer. If we read about God, it is like we are only really reading about His face, we need to pray, for in prayer we see His face, we gaze on the face of God. We need to spend time in scripture and reading and seeing God in others, but if we do not pray we will never truly learn who God is and fall in love with Him in an intimate way. We need to spend time in silent prayer, allowing ourselves to recognize God’s presence. We need to spend that time in silence, not only exterior silence but more importantly interior silence, seeing that He is God and we are not. He is the Creator that gives us every single breath in our life. He is a God that loved you so much that He made you out of utter nothingness. Sit in that silence and allow the God of the universe to hold you in his arms, no words need be said. Just sit and fall in love.

Conclusion
As true Christians following the example of Christ, our lives will have ups and downs, but through it all we must allow ourselves to be filled by our Father. To do this we must first understand our God’s love for us more perfectly and accept it in humility and Truth. In doing that, we will fall in love with our Lord, for we will love Him the more we know who He is. We must let that Love fill us and drive us to do all things out of love no matter how small.

Photo Credits:
"God's Lonely man" by Zigg-E is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
"Holy Scriptures" by Itchyklikfinger is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
"nature" by barnyz is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
"Close-up of a painting of Jesus" by Northfielder is licensed under CC BY 2.0



About the Author Mission TeamThe mission team is made up of writers within the HN team who serve for a time with our ministry to Awaken the World to the Power of God's Love. Through their efforts, their vision of making a world where no one suffers alone is an encouragement to many hurting people of all ages. 


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