The Baptism of Love

By Francis Frangipane
(En EspaƱol)

To Dwell Upon God
It is hard for us in this anxious, fearful age to quiet our souls and actually dwell upon the presence of God in our hearts. We can engage ourselves with Bible study or other acts of obedience; in varying degrees we know how to witness, exhort, and bless. We even know how to analyze these things and then perfect them. But to lift our souls above the material world and consciously drink from the presence of God Himself seems beyond us.

Yet to actually grasp the substance of God is to enter a spiritual place of immunity; it is to receive into our spirits the victory Christ won for us, which is oneness with God in Christ.

Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit, which we have received, searches all things, "even the depths of God" (1 Cor. 2:10). We can have more, and we should want more. I am a pastor. I believe in church attendance and body ministry. The atmosphere provided when we gather together can be wonderful. Yet typically the spiritual light provided in church meetings is diffused, not focused. Yes, we can find God there, but our church activities must in some fashion become what the Lord has ordained them to be: means through which we seek and find God.

Paul's cry was, "That I may know Him…" (Phil. 3:10). It was this desire to actually know Jesus that produced Paul's knowledge of salvation, church order, evangelism, and End Time events. As a by-product of His quest to know God came revelation, the writing of Scriptures, and knowledge of the eternal. Paul's knowledge was the overflow of his experience with Christ.

On the other hand, we have made ourselves content not with seeking the face of God, but with studying the facts of God. We are satisfied with a religion about Christ, without the reality of Christ.

The Bible is the historical record of man's experiences with the Almighty. Out of the personal encounters that people had with the living God, our theological perspectives have developed. But knowledge about God is only the first step toward entering the presence of God. As much as the Bible is a book of truths, it is also a map to God. As Christians, we study and debate the map yet too often fail to make the journey.

Love Surpasses Knowledge
There is a place that transcends the boundaries of knowledge and dogma; it is a simple yet eternally profound place where we actually abide in Christ's love. This is, indeed, the shelter of the Most High. Remember the apostle's prayer was that we each would "know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge" (Eph. 3:19). As important as knowledge is, that verse tells us love "surpasses knowledge." Doctrinal knowledge is a framework that opens door toward divine realities, but it is love alone that causes us to be "…filled up to all the fullness of God" (v. 19). Let this be our quest that our knowledge of God is fulfilled with the substance of God.

Consider, beloved, the Amplified Bible's rendering of Ephesians 3:19. It reads:

"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 the saints [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 have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!" (Ephesians 3:17-19)

Let this be our goal: to be rooted deeply in love; to grasp the breadth, length, height, and depth of God’s love; and to know for ourselves the deep, personal love of Christ. Can any goal be more wonderful? Indeed to be "wholly filled and flooded with God Himself" is the ultimate hope of the gospel!


Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, The Shelter of the Most High, available at www.arrowbookstore.com.