“I JUST WANT GOD SO BAD.” I heard this recently in a time of deep prayer from a man who wants more freedom and deliverance from his past. He went on to share his story with us during this time of prayer. It was not unlike many other stories that I have heard. First, there was abuse at an early age, then a life full of drugs and rage, which then led to violence and time in prison. He had accepted Christ a few years ago, but he has struggled to find victory from the past.
This is what led to our special time of prayer with his pastor and me. As we shared and prayed for this man, I was struck again by the power of God that is needed not only for salvation (Romans 1.16-17) but also for total healing and deliverance from every past hurt, addiction, and sin. Two truths stick out to me as I think of people becoming free from the past--first is our identity in Christ; and second is understanding the incomprehensible, deep love of God.
Colossians 2:9-15 is an amazing text that is packed with truth of what Christ has done for us. It is hard for us to wrap our minds around these great truths from the Word of God. Verses 9-10 of that passage talk about how all fullness of God lives in Christ. All of who God the Father is lives fully in Christ. That statement alone makes my head spin. But then Paul writes that we have been filled with Christ. That means that the power that raised Christ from the dead is now living inside of me, you, and anybody who has accepted Christ as their Savior. One of the first steps in our freedom from the past is our understanding the truth that the fullness of God in Christ is in us.
We need to understand the deep love of God as well. This love of God can never be fully explained or grasped. We often try to explain it in words, but honestly it does not make sense to the rational mind. Why would God give up everything and send His Son to enter into our mess and chaos so that we can have abundant life? The answer is love, but this love must be much more intense than anything I can imagine. I think that is why Paul, in Ephesians 3.18-19, prays that we “may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
We cannot fathom this love intellectually. Our sin is too great. There is too much evil in our world. Yet, this amazing love does in fact win out. The love of God is true, real, and available to all. But this love needs to be more than understood. It needs to be demonstrated and experienced in a powerful way.
So in one sense, that is our job as missionaries--to help people understand their identity in Christ and to understand the incredible love that God has for them. We want our family to be clear on these truths in our own lives and live them out radically. As we continue to grow and live this way, we will be able to help many in the city experience true freedom in Christ. Please pray with us like Paul prayed for the believers in Ephesus, that we will know God’s love and be filled with the fullness of Him. Let us all say, “I just want God so bad!”