Not I, but Christ…

She was hard to love, a hard nut to crack, all wound up – strangled – with cords of anxiety, yet with emotions unbridled, lashing here, spouting there—an octopus of reactions. She took the bottom bunk, which she said would calm her, as she feared everything—the dark, the creaking floors, the light left on, the sound of water dripping in the bathroom (and she was the last one out). She grumbled at my early rising and late return. Early I rose to pray; late I came home after a long day of summer classes and work.

I wanted love to break through. But how?

I talked continually to the Lord Jesus about this. How to love … how to break through one so bound with worry and fear? Each time I prayed with her, she said she felt His peace. I knew He was present; I felt His life rising in me each time I encountered her, His strength made perfect in my weakness to know how to help her.

It was His presence that helped her.

I walked along the road in Chapel Hill, my alma mater. I had allowed her grumbling to splash on me this time. I asked the Lord how He would have me respond to my roommate. And this is what I heard.

“Step aside.” I was literally stepping along the sidewalk. Again I heard in that inner voice so quiet but so unmistakably Him: “Step aside.” The soles of my shoes tapped the pavement in rhythm.

I leaned in, listening for more. “Step aside, and let Me love her through you.”

I had never heard something make so much sense as at that moment. Suddenly, everything grew clear. What was my purpose? To love. But greater: To allow the Holy Spirit to reach out in love through me. That was it. And it made sense. I had nothing. He had everything.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” Galatians 2:20

We were made to love but more: as we die to ourselves, He lives and loves through us.

This past Sunday a group of ladies gathered in my living room. We worshiped the glorious King of Kings. It’s a special time where one may lead songs but others are free to sing a verse or scripture as the Lord inspires them. I heard one sing, “Let all I do flow out of You.”

I have been singing that today. Maybe a different tune, but the same idea. I want everything I say, think, and do to flow out of His life in me. He lives in me. This is a mystery, but true.

“Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27

“I in you and You in me.” John 17:23

“Apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

“That you would be filled with His fullness.” Ephesians 3:19

I am living to love from the place and space of the heart of Jesus flowing in and through me. John the Baptist rightly pleaded, “He must increase, I must decrease.” John 3:30

Lord, increase Your presence in our lives. We bow down and lift You up. Take Your place on the throne of our hearts, in the center of our being, and let everything flow from You. Then we will spread the fragrance of Your beauty and love and presence to those around us!

That summer at UNC, I did what Jesus said. I “stepped aside.” I allowed Him to move me closer to that young lady, instead of walking away from her lashes … I let Him pour a river of life through me. That river looked a lot like peace in my own heart, joy that was contagious and made her relax. I never would have had that to give. It had to come from Him.

“In His presence is fullness of joy.” Psalm 16:11

“The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” Revelation 22:2

The fruit of His presence is for others … to pick and taste and see that He is good. The world is starving.

That is why we soak. That is one good reason we worship Him—besides that He is worthy beyond all else. He inhabits our praises, literally. We hear His voice. We gain the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. We are filled with His Spirit and overflowing with His life.

He can love through us.

Be blessed.

Joan Hutter

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