Once when I was ministering in Norway, a very frustrated man came up to me. “You prayed for a baptism of love the last time I was here, but the opposite is happening.” He explained that he was having more trouble with anger and fear. The gentleman wondered why his life took a turn for the worst after a prayer imparting supernatural love.
Sometimes after an impartation of love people come up and tell me how much their lives have changed. Other times, love is a process that takes time and I’ve learned to appreciate both scenarios. When love moves in, fear moves out because “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). When the bad things manifest on the way out, it’s a good sign. I excitedly answered this man, “Good!” To which he looked at me like I was crazy.
Of course, my encouragement was shocking and didn’t meet his expectations. When love starts to move in, everything else has to move out. Fear comes up. Anger resurfaces. Our transformation is an inside-out process. The baptism of love was doing a deep work. It was uprooting the things that cannot coexist with love. When we get squeezed, whatever is inside starts to come out.
Imagine perfect love at work in everyday life, in the ordinary experiences on cloudy days and dark nights. Imagine the carpentry that went on in Jesus’ earthly father’s workshop. What happened if Mary ran out of olive oil? Did her son, Jesus make more?
Love does not just live among us in the mountain top experiences, in our encounters with God and the noteworthy stories of the Gospels. He lived⸺and still lives⸺among us in the ordinary days. This is one reason it’s so important to value both your mountaintop experiences and the valleys between them. The Father is not loving you and ministering to you only during those intense, overwhelming moments. You need to listen for His endearing whispers as you go about mundane tasks like washing the dishes or taking out the garbage.
Love thrives in the ordinary.
Some people saw the dove come down at Jesus’ baptism and the radiance of Heaven at Jesus’s transfiguration. But in between those highlights, lepers saw the face of cleansing, paralytics saw the face of healing, sinners saw the face of forgiveness, parents, and elders saw the face of honor and respect, and the poor saw the face of generosity.
Jesus did not just receive love and show love; He is a perfect manifestation of the Father’s love. Jesus became the face of love for everyone who encountered Him.
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