“Until the love of God that knows no boundary, limit, or breaking point is internalized through personal decision; until the furious longing of God seizes the imagination; until the heart is conjoined to the mind through sheer grace, nothing happens.” Brennan Manning, The Furious Longing of God
What does it take to see heaven truly invade earth? What does it actually mean for heaven to invade my heart, let alone the earth?
As I pondered these questions, wondering when it will be that I will see some crazy, miraculous move of God that will rock my world, the Father was waiting patiently with an answer I wasn’t prepared for. When I came asking, His words of truth came like a hammer colliding with the boxes I had continued to put Him in, crushing them. My religiously bound mind was disturbed, but my heart knew He was right.
We are always looking for something big to happen. We want to see a crippled man get up and walk, a deaf woman hear, a sick child healed. These are all good things, and I certainly believe that God does these things in our day as much as in any other. I believe that He loves to come and set His children free. But, why do we want to see these things happen? Do I want to see that person healed because I am moved by compassion for them and long to see them set free, or is it because I want people to see what a great “Christian” I am? Am I building my Father’s Kingdom or my own? Has God’s love invaded my life so much so that it overflows into the people around me?
And this is where I hear the Father’s answer: When you step into my delight over you, you will see heaven invade earth.
Wait, what? Isn’t it when I pray more or when I fast more or when I read my Bible more? I thought it would be when I had the whole New Testament memorized that I would see great moves of God! It’s when I step into His delight?
I am pressing in to what it means to be delighted in by the God of the universe and let me tell you…I am smitten. I am lovesick for this God who gave His all for me and still gives for me every single day.
And lovesick people do crazy things.
People who are in love are willing to do some really insane things in the name of love. My boldness to preach the Gospel and set the captives free is deeply rooted in the delight my Father has in me. Once I begin to understand God’s great love, as Paul prayed we would, I begin to be filled with boldness and the fullness of God (Eph. 3:18-19) Then I see the people around me with His eyes, love them with His love, and the longing of His heart to see them freed becomes the longing in my heart.
This is a much more risky way to live, really. It’s so much easier to say that there is a formula and if you pray five times a day and fast once a week, such and such will happen for you. It’s simpler to have rules and regulations to follow, to know the rights and wrongs, to stick to the rights and stay far from the wrongs, just like your Muslim and Buddhist neighbors. But when you begin to live a life taken over by love, by delight, there is no control. You have to take God at His Word, for real. You begin to see that He has invited you to be His friend rather than His servant (see John 15:15). He will begin to whisper secrets into your ear, to invite you into the work He is doing and asking for your creative input.
You will begin to be a co-laborer with your Maker who delights in you. You will pray differently. You will read your Bible differently and you will fast for different reasons. You will fight differently, no longer as a foot soldier, but as a warrior.
This is the season I find myself in right now. I am learning to be a warrior in the Kingdom, fighting from a place of victory with the authority given to me because God my Father delights in me. God is moving on the heart of every person I speak to because He is in me and He delights in them as well. He wants to move in their life more than I want to see Him move. It is a beautiful place to be, right in the center of our Father’s delight. Great things happen there.
“The moment you look up and are in a place of affection with Jesus, the Heavens are opened.” Smith Wigglesworth