Renee’s response to Chapter 19 blessed me.
Now I want to bless you, my readers. Here is a free excerpt from Lion in My Garden, a Devotional Activity Journal
Chapter 19: The Abounding, Surrounding Love of God © Kathryne Leach
May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the Holy Spirit Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality. May Christ through your faith actually dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts!
May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, that you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all God’s devoted people, the experience of that love, what is the breadth and length and height and depth of it;
That you may really come to know practically, through experience for yourselves the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled through all your being unto all the fullness of God. May you have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself! (Ephesians 3:16-19, AMPC).
Are you rooted, are you grounded in the love God has for you?
Are you rooted, are you grounded in the love God has for you?
In my quiet time, I heard Holy Spirit singing these words. He was asking me this question. I sensed He was asking it of His entire Body. The Apostle Paul prayed thousands of years ago for new converts to be rooted and grounded in the love of Christ because Paul understood by revelation, the important role a revelation of love plays in our spiritual maturity.
In his letter to the believers at Ephesus, Paul advised them to know God’s love, but not how to do so practically. The only way I know to become firmly rooted and grounded in God’s love for me is to feed myself scriptures on this topic until my thinking becomes transformed. To feast on the Word of God until I am changed by it, until I believe it wholeheartedly, without a shadow of a doubt.
Does the Lord build our confidence in His love through our personal encounters with Him? Yes, absolutely! Our personal experiences of answered prayer, feeling His Presence, peace, and comfort all work together to build our confidence in His love for us, but there remains one essential way to grow in confidence in any spiritual area. Feeding ourselves God’s Word and allowing it to grow inside our spirit, mind, and emotions by long and loving meditation increases our faith (see Romans 10:17).
Song of Songs 4:2 shows the Bridegroom declaring over His Bride: “your teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins and none is barren among them.” He speaks the identical verse again over her in SOS 6:6. The symbolism of sheep is used to compare her to a sheep following her good Shepherd, Jesus. She chews (with her teeth) long and lovingly on His Word.
Another method of embedding God’s Word into our spirit and soul is through music with scriptural lyrics. The music incorporates the power of repetition with melody to powerfully cause recall. This works in both the positive and negative realm. Colossians 3:16 tells us to Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Declaration Activity: I overcame my feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing by spending time in contemplation, silently sitting in the Presence of the Lord, thinking about a verse of scripture. I also devoured verses on the love of God, choosing to accept these verses as God speaking directly to me, not as metaphorical stories or vague allegories meaning something else. I chose to believe the love He has for ME, as 1 John 4:16 prescribes. It has taken years, but I now know that I am deeply loved by God. His love has become real, transforming my thoughts about myself.
Using this “say it aloud” exercise is a practical way to plant God’s Word into the soil of the human heart. You can apply this declaration exercise to any topic that you wish to develop in your spiritual life. God’s Word does not return empty (Isaiah 55:10) but always accomplishes its intended purpose. Mixed with our faith, it grows into a flower of spiritual fruit, giving glory to God. Today’s practice will be to read each verse below three times. The purpose of this activity is to get you in the habit of performing a spiritual workout. Like bodybuilding, you are training your mind and heart to believe truth. Don’t worry about erasing any falsehoods within your thinking, for God’s truth is strong and powerful enough to flush out lies, all by itself. Just like physical training, however, re-training our belief system is a process requiring repeated action over time.
The first time read the entire list silently.
The second time, read the entire list slowly, but aloud.
The third time, re-read the list aloud again so your spirit can hear your voice proclaiming these words of life over yourself. This time, replace the “you are” with “I am.” Post this list in a place you will see it daily. I suggest you say a few verses aloud every day for a week. Repeat as often as needed until you notice a change in your thinking.
Song of Solomon 1:15: Behold, you are fair, my love! Behold, you are fair! You have dove’s eyes. (Behold, I am fair to Jesus. He says my eyes are singly devoted to Him and focused on Him.)
Song of Solomon 2:10: My beloved spoke, and said to me: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. (Jesus tells me to rise up and be with Him for I am His fair one).
Song of Solomon 2:16: My beloved is mine, and I am his.
Song of Solomon 4:1: Behold, you are fair, my love! Behold, you are fair! You have dove’s eyes behind your veil. Your hair is like a flock of goats, going down from Mount Gilead.
Song of Solomon 5:1: Eat, O friends! Drink, yes, drink deeply, O beloved ones!
Song of Solomon 5:2: He knocks, saying, “Open for me, my sister, my love, My dove, my perfect one; For my head is covered with dew, My locks with the drops of the night.”
Song of Solomon 6:3: I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.
Song of Solomon 6:4: O my love, you are as beautiful as Tirzah, Lovely as Jerusalem, awesome as an army with banners! The Lord your God in your midst.
Zephaniah 3:17: The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.
John 14:23: Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
Romans 8:39: nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 John 2:5: But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this, we know that we are in Him.
1 John 3:1: Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
1 John 4:9: In this, the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
1 John 4:11: Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:16: And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
Jude 1:21: Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Christian author and inspirational speaker of truth that makes the darkness tremble. Author of two non-fiction books.