For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15
I have often thought of this verse in recent times. The idea that God’s Love should control me preoccupied my thoughts. To know that it should and to know how to reach the place where it does are not the same thing. Sunday, I was reminded that being a believers is all about relationship; about getting closer to God so that He can get closer to me. The closer I get to Him, the more I will be controlled by His love. But what, exactly, does it mean to be controlled by His love?
The verb used can mean many things. It can mean that the Love of God holds us together. His Love can keep me from going to pieces. And there have been times when I have lived that. Circumstances were such that I felt I should be going to pieces — the death of my youngest sister and the dissolution of an engagement, to name two examples — yet everything held together. Everything held together because God’s Love held me together.
The verb can also mean that the Love of God constrains us. The imagery noted in the concordance is that of a ship being funneled into narrower straits or of cattle being herded into a place where the farmer can give medication. God’s Love will also lead me to places where God can do what is needful without me being able to run from it. When I was a younger man — a boy, even — I would wriggle and squirm away from inoculations. I still want to squirm away from the needles, but I recognize the necessity of the injections. Likewise, God’s Love brings me to the place where I sit still as God does what is needful in my life.
The verb can also mean that the Love of God holds us completely. The imagery referenced is various, ranging from the image of a prisoner who cannot escape to a person thoroughly engrossed in a particular business. There have been times when the work in which I was engaged was so consuming that I lost all track of time — even skipped meals. The idea is much the same. God’s Love is such as can capture my attention if I see it rightly. If I look at God’s Love for me as it is, then I will be enthralled; fascinated that such a Love can exist at all.
Let me look intently at the Love of God and become enthralled. Let me be held by God’s Love so He can do what needs to be done — even, and especially, when I would rather wriggle away. And let God’s Love hold me together.
Father, when circumstances threaten to shatter me, please hold me together in Your Love. When You must do something I find unpleasant, please catch me in Your Love so that I am held until You have finished Your work. When I am distracted and distractable; without focus or simply mentally listing, please enthrall me with Your Love that I may be focused on what is really important.