“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.”
Most evangelical Christians have sat under a sermon that went something like this:
“I Corinthians 13 = TRUE LOVE! Love isn’t something you ‘fall’ in to! It’s not an emotion! Love is a conscious decision – a dedication – a commitment – etc., etc., etc.”
Well, I contest that this needs to be taken even one step further. That even knowing Love is a choice, not an uncontrollable emotion, we are still incapable of operating fully in it. Why do we assume that because we have deciphered the true meaning of Love, that makes us experts in practicing it? I would argue that those who seek to intentionally pursue the practice of Love fall more into the practice of devotion or loyalty. But mad, passionate, deep, self-sacrificial Love? That is too potent a draught to be drawn from mortal wells.
In Ted Dekker’s Circle Trilogy [WARNING: NERD STUFF], salvation in the parallel universe with Thomas of Hunter is represented by drowning in the waters of Elyon – this world’s synonym for God. These waters are lakes that have been anointed with the blood of Justin – or the Christ – who had been murdered by The Horde – the unregenerate. The person who dove into one of these lakes would aim deep and breathe – despite every carnal instinct screaming at her to hold the air within her lungs. Dekker describes the experience as one of complete terror as she feels the water slamming into her lungs. This is closely followed by an ecstatic feeling of Presence as Elyon kills the old creature to make way for the new. It is a drowning in Love that often invokes shrieks of intense painful pleasure from the convert. And on rising from the waters, alive in more ways than one, the Redeemed has been changed. Not only is she now completely and utterly devoted to the One who drowned the Horde within her, but she is able to see the rest of the world through a completely different lens. She is able to LOVE now in a way previously considered ridiculous. The waters of Elyon have not only cleansed her, but have infected her and put roots deep into her soul. She can’t help but Love her Justin and the Horde that murdered Him. Like a freshwater spring that can’t help but flow. Like the bough of a grapevine that can’t help but produce according to its roots.
So when it is said that one must work for Love, the foundation must not be merely mortal effort. The best that we can produce on our own is Horde – ugly, crusty, fallen, dead. Rather, implore the Author of the Eternal to drown you in His ego-crushing flood – a fount of Love that can never run dry.
‘Dive Deep. Drown Willingly.’