The first week’s speaker was Andy Byrd, one of the founders of the Fire & Fragrance. He spoke on the topic of wholeheartedness in loving God. It was something I had never really thought about before, being completely abandoned in our love for him. I knew that Christians are supposed to respect, honor, and be grateful to him, but this was a different concept than I’d ever been taught before. Here are some of my notes for the week:
What is wholeheartedness for Jesus? It is being so gripped by the gospel, so undone by salvation that everything in your life is filtered through the lens of God. Jesus didn’t die for us to just gather once a week, he didn’t die to leave our minds unrenewed. He wants to move through believers, and he wants to possess all of us. Salvation is not something to be embarrassed about, because we have been saved into an extravagant, healing, abundant, deliverance-filled life!
Where does wholeheartedness begin? It begins in the revelation of his love. It is impossible to truly respond in love without God’s initiating love first, because God is the initiator of all love. God found us when we didn’t know how to find him. When we attempt to love him out of human effort, at some point we will fail. If we let him love us first, we would find he is irresistible. His love for us is cheapened if we think we deserve it. We don’t, but it is the delight of the Lord to love us. Zephaniah 3:17 “He will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” We think we have so many issues, but really we just have one: Do we know how much he loves us?
How can we be wholehearted? Surrender. It’s the only appropriate response to knowing a God like the one we do: full and whole surrender. Don’t surrender out of shame, heaviness, or guilt. Surrender out of joy and thanksgiving, because our God sings and dances over us. It’s one thing to live in his love on a daily basis, and an entirely different thing to live under his lordship. Many people, myself included not too long ago, know more about his lordship rather than his love. When we know his deep, faithful, incomprehensible love, then committing ourselves to his lordship is easy; he is both Lover and Lord. Jesus didn’t die for a portion of our hearts, or for us to be compromised by this world. Don’t let society’s version of relative freedom guide us away from God’s objective and true freedom.
Accessing Abundance Requires Surrender