An Unrelenting Fire
Spiritual Formation begins and ends with love. If we don’t hear this repeatedly, then we’ll be tempted to twist the journey with Jesus into some kind of achievement scheme or self-improvement project. The Way of Christ is not about earning anything, nor is it aimed at self-development. It is the total transformation of the human personality into the likeness of Jesus Christ: body, mind, heart, and soul. It starts with a spark of love, a kind of awakening, and ends ablaze, in a union of wills. Human beings from the very beginning were designed with this kind of love in mind. Without it we’re not really human, we’re just a sort of animated cadaver. When the Spirit awakens us with His love, we come to see ourselves utterly known and loved by God. There’s nothing we can do to make Him love us more, and there’s nothing we can do to make Him love us less. But what we often fail to recognize is that not only are we unconditionally loved but God’s conditioning us for love, to become love. To be remade into that divine-like image, to burn with an unrelenting fire, to be swept away by that infinite rush of goodness, like the south wind warms and renews the tired and frigid plain. He sweeps upon us, whispering: ‘Come to me, you are now but a dim mirror. I will rinse you, clean you, fill you with my light, I will make you shine brighter than a thousand galaxies.’ This is God at work in the world. Not just to awaken us to love but to love us so completely, until we join Him and become love ourselves.