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Compelling Power    From My Utmost for His Highest

The love of Christ compels us . . . —2 Corinthians 5

I had something in my conversion story that was different than anyone else I’ve met.

From the moment I released and began to follow Christ, it all felt urgent—like I needed to hurry up and be ready. If Jesus stayed in Capernaum for three weeks, it felt like I’d met Him at noon on the last day and had a few hours to decide and pack and leave for Jerusalem if I wanted to follow Him.

Others/Most have had it worse, but this reordering of my life and loves and thirsts caused some chaffing at work, home and really, everywhere. I was transferring out of the program to continue biggering (my house, my Clients, my lifestyle, my friends—everything) and trying to see things as Jesus saw them.

I felt an immense pressure that’s hard to explain, but I think I was used to being a king. Now I had another King telling me how I should do things. And so, I did something that I’ve regretted for a long time since…

I prayed for God to release His hand on me. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to believe any more. No, I had no intention of unbelieving, I just wanted to be released from this path and allowed to hang back a little, or at least get a little rest from the pressure to press on.

So there I was, released from the compelling majesty of His power. Alone, sort of. I knew God was there, but I was a darker/colder follower of Christ, like a home where the yellow fires have gone out and all that remains are the few red hot coals. It’s not so much that the house is actually cooler, but the velocity has changed and it feels cooler immediately.

I used to worry just as much that I wasn’t suffering like Paul for the Gospel AND that Jesus would want to press me like that. It’s a strange thing to worry about two poles (that I wasn’t suffering enough or that I would be called to suffer more), until I read Acts 9 closely. In verse 16, God is telling Ananias that Paul will be a chosen instrument of His and that, “… I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.

I’m not sure that reads the same to you, but to me, I saw that Paul was special—set apart for this harder service. I bring this up because, knowing a bit about the hard life of service to God that Chambers had, I see more of Chambers’ and Paul’s path in this post than in mine. Because I felt the compelling majesty of His power and I prayed for Him to release me. And He did. And from that day, I’ve prayed for Him to compel me again. That first prayer for release is the great regret of my life.

I’m back with God (even then, I never really left), but that unquenchable all-consuming fire that God had me in, now needs tending, stoking and the bellows every once in a while. I’ve felt that intensity since. I don’t doubt the excellence in God’s plan in all of this—that excellence might just be to tell this story today.

But one thing’s for sure. I’ll never do anything but run into the compelling majesty of God’s power the next time. And when I’m gripped by the love of God, regardless of what others may think, I try not to let go.

I love you.


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