"There are more fish in the sea you know. At college you'll meet girls from all over, and how do you know one of them isn't who God has for you." That is what my mom said to me, and what led to me breaking up with Barb while we were in high school.
Barb was my first 'real' girlfriend and mom was concerned that I needed to see all the variety of those so called fish in the sea. Barb and I had started dating when she was 15 and I had just turned 16: We were young, skinny, and found in each other someone to talk through life's issues. One out of those 3 is still true.
But I understood what mom said. The next year I was off to Indiana University (IU) while Barb would be a 2 hour drive away back home, a senior in high school. IU had about 35,000 students on campus at the time, meaning at least 17,500 of them would be the female variety of fish in that big sea.
I broke Barb's heart
Urged on by mom, I broke up with her before I had a chance to think it through. When I had time to slow down and think, this was my reasoning:
Barb and I had talked through everything in life in those 2 years we'd dated. Her home life had been horrible, and my dad had left our family, forcing me to grow up fast, so we were two broken people who found the Lord and healing together.
I knew she would be a great mom, that she would always be faithful, that she was as honest as the day is long with a very strong sense of right and wrong - she was and remains intense. I was like the Proverbs 31:10-11 husband who valued her above ruby's and whose heart safely trusted in her. I also knew her amazing sense of humor, her tenderness of heart, her love of nature and butterflies, and eye for detail.
I came to the conclusion no matter who I met at college, there would be none better than Barb.
Once you know a person is honest, they can't become more honest. They are wholly honest. Once you know a person loves the Lord 100% as you do, they can't improve on 100%. Once you know she has given her whole heart to you, there is no way to receive more than that 100%.
I realized the rest is just making allowances for personality differences in how those qualities are applied to life, and that simply means growth in character in Christ on each person's part as life happens through the years. As long as each continues to grow and mature as a person in Christ, they can work anything out.
So why would I leave someone I knew so well and who knew me so well, for some 'fish' I hadn't even met? And since she had given 100% of her heart to me and I to her, it meant no matter who I met, they could do no better than give me 100% of their heart.
That day I stopped looking forever, went back to her and she graciously received me, and we've been together uninterrupted since.
Christ in you
Paul teaches the same truth concerning Christ in us and how nothing we could ever do can add to that.
"He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also along with Him freely give us all things?" Romans 8:32
The themes throughout Paul's many letters all revolve around the fact we have Christ in us because the Father gave us His only Son, which is a complete work. He had 1 Son, and He gave Him: He could do no more, He could do no better.
Could He give each believer a galaxy to rule? A galaxy is merely a part of creation, no where near the giving of His Son. Could the Father give each person amazing super abilities to fly or see through walls? What ability or talent could He empower us with that could even come close to Christ in us? Could the Father give us each 100 angels to command? A million angels at our command can't compare to having Christ in us.
Now from another perspective
And similarly, because we do have the Father's only Son in us by the Father's Spirit, is there anything you or I could do to add to that? Could any of us do 1 thing to add to what Jesus did on the cross? We have 100% of His heart in His action on the cross. There is no thing you or I could ever do to add to that love.
How could we through formulas or rituals, add to or improve upon that? So stop looking. Stop trying.
Do we think fasting 40 days will therefore impress Him? Do we think being at church at every service impresses Him? We already have 100% of His heart, we can't make Him love us more!
Like I was with Barb, realizing I could never find anyone better than her, but in her I had all things, so stopped looking, Paul is saying Christ is in you, so what more could you have, what more could you want? What can you add to that? If God the Creator and Source of all good things gave us His Son, who by the Father's Spirit lives in us, is there anything we can contribute to what He has already done?
Who can rest in this knowledge?
This may sound like a silly question, for knowing the above we would think we could all rest in Christ and go about our lives without trying to impress the Father, that we would leave all efforts to come to Him on our own merits or try to manipulate Him to do what we want or need. We would think our lives would be focused on simply walking in communion with Him, making praying without ceasing a reality through conversation carried on all the day long.
But this requires a certain condition of the heart - all others will live by performance based faith.
Have you considered that the 10 Commandments carried no promises of eternal reward or glory? There was no promise of reward, of earthly blessing, of answered prayer if you kept them - they were just commands.
Even in the 613 laws of Moses, which were divided between the moral law, the health/sanitary law, and the laws of worship, the most He said was choose life, choose blessing*, and if you do what I command it could be like heaven on earth*. Nothing was said about earning eternal reward or a future in heaven. They just said 'Do this'. (*Deuteronomy 30:19, 11:21)
Why did He do it that way?
The Father designed it so a person had to walk with Him simply because they love Him, and His mercy, grace, and justice without promise of being upgraded to first class in some heavenly destiny. By saying "I command this" He was giving people the opportunity to search their hearts and motives - He sought people who loved righteousness and Him and observed His commands whole heartedly simply because they love rightness and Him.
People serving Him with ulterior motives like personal gain, promise of reward in heaven, promise of riches on earth, need not apply. He issued commands without talk of heavenly reward that He might have a people who walk with Him purely out of love of Him and His ways.
He hasn't changed
Jesus said the Father seeks those to worship Him in spirit and truth*. The word 'worship' is 'proskuneo' which is from 'pros', towards, and 'kuneo', to kiss. Literally then, the Father is seeking people who in purity of spirit and motive, kiss Him. He just wants us to love Him for love's sake. That is what worship is to be. No 'kiss' to get something from Him. No 'kiss' to impress Him - just worship in love for love's sake. *John 4:23-24
Once a person realizes they have Christ in them, that should end all ulterior motives, all performance and formula and ritual based service to Him. Falling in love with the Father and Lord starts when we are born again and know what we were saved from, and grows over time. The pure in heart even if they get off that love motive for a season, always come back to just walking with the Father because they love Him.
We have 100% of what the Father could give us - His Son through the Father's Holy Spirit, lives in us. If we don't let that sink in we may go off sampling other 'fish' in the sea before we realize we have all we could ever have or want right now, in Him. I've run out of room for today, more next week. Blessings!
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