filling the in-betweens

Philippians 1:9-11

9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may be approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through  Jesus Christ, to the glory of and the praise of God. (ESV)

     The word “abound” (v 9) brings up the picture of water in my mind. Like water poured into a glass of ice. It hits the top pieces of ice but doesn’t stop there, it makes its way through the crevasses and nooks, between each obstacle, finding its way to the bottom of the container. And as more water pours in, the cracks are no longer just passages to the bottom of the glass, but they become submerged and filled as well.

     Paul prayed for this church like that. That love would keep working its way through the cracks, around the obstacles, and to the core of who we are. The love of Jesus is something that apparently, is continually searching for untouched areas in us. God want us to be filled like that with His love.

     It’s not enough for me to just live a lifetime with a static realization of God’s love for me. I must press in to know His love more. Didn’t Paul go on to say that love was supposed to “abound in knowledge”? I have to be dedicated to searching the Scriptures for the “threads” of His love. I must mine the Bible for nuggets of His pursuit of us through the ultimate expression of love, Jesus Christ.

     Paul also says that “discernment” is a facet of this abounding love. If discernment is the ability to see through a situation, or anything for that matter, and get a sense of its essence, to know what is “really” going on, maybe the Spirit gives us discernment in ways that we don’t typically think of. Maybe we should pray that we would be able to see God’s love manifested in things like friendships, and marriage, and parenting, and food, and all sorts of things. What if there is much more to life that just “making it out alive”? What if God is trying to “pour” His love into us through everyday things that we drive past, drown out, or dodge instinctively?

     Those two things, knowledge and discernment, are the factors that seem to create gravity in our hearts that “pulls” the love of God into the dark, unexplored, and hidden places in us. At least that’s what Paul seemed to tell the Philippians. And he said that this love, if given freedom and not dammed up, would give us passion for excellent things, keep us pure and blameless, organically produce the fruit of good works (of the Spirit), and above all reveal the glory of God.

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