Love, it’s the big picture and the details
So many of us go through life begging to know God’s plan for us. Jesus, however, tells us that when we follow after Him, we are His friends; and He has already revealed the plan to us.
“No longer do I call you slaves,
for the slave does not know what his master is doing;
but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father
I have made known to you.” – Jesus (John 15:15)
I find myself, all too often, focusing on the small picture items of my life, the “morass of minutia” to quote one of my mentors, Pastor Tom Jackson. In fact, those details can be sweetly distracting from the overwhelming sense that I’ve missed the “greater calling” that God has for me. I spend so much time worrying about the “what, when and how” that I neglect more important “who, where and why”. In short, I let myself get bogged down in the details and miss the big picture completely.
I’m afraid many of us are searching for the destination from the starting point. We are expecting to simply “arrive” and hoping to skip the journey all-together!
While God is a God of details (life could not exist if He didn’t plan out each microscopic moment), He doesn’t seem to be quite as consumed with spelling those details out as we are with praying them into existence! Our need to fill each space of time with the play-by-play or plan of action consumes us. But ultimately, the God of the universe seems very content to be working from His big picture plan. So what is the big picture, and where do I fit in?
One word sums it all up: LOVE
Did God send His only Son to earth to plan our day, find our perfect job, introduce us to the person that would change our life forever, etc….No! He sent His Son to save us out of His desperate LOVE for us! That, my friends, is the big picture. The details of life will happen no matter what, but love should be our focus.
So, where does that leave us? All the daily grind and big picture questions can be summed up with this one answer: Love one another.
LOVE is the journey and the destination!!
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” – Jesus (John 13:34-35)
“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another.” – Jesus (John 15:16-17)
When we live our lives from the place of loving others so deeply, that we might give up our lives for them, then we will be living as God commanded us. At that moment, we will be operating from the perspective of the big picture, and we make room for a supernatural occurrence to take place. The concern over the details of the plans God has for us will fade because our faith in Him will consume fear of the unknown. We will operate in confidence that He is guiding our steps, as well as providing the wisdom we need for our daily lives because we trust in Him and His love.
Finding out your “who, where and why” is your piece to fill in as you pause and pursue God and His direction. Who in your world elicits a deep sense of compassion? Who comes to mind when you ponder Jesus’ words “the least of these?” Where do you find these people? Are they under a bridge in the wrong part of town? Are they sitting under a few wisps of shade waiting for anyone to give them a few hours of work? Are they in the carpool line behind you? Take the most time with the “why”; praying Psalm 51:10 diligently to ensure you are serving from love not need.
Once you know the answers to those questions, God will naturally give you the vision for the “what, when and how”. The fruit promised in John 15 will be a natural by-product of love!
But remember (and this is a mouthful, so read it slowly): Loving others where they are – from where you are – requires that you be able to accept God’s love where you, yourself, are….Receive His LOVE as you are and step out in His assurance that you are stepping out in His ultimate plan for your life!
I hope you will continue to join with me as we embark on this journey…as we lean into God to learn who He is and who He created us to be. Let us Pause and Pursue Him together, remembering His love is the big picture and the details.
Stepping out in Love,