I want to begin this post by quoting Henri Nouwen. “The spiritual life starts at the moment that you go beyond all of the wounds and claim that there was a love that was perfect and unlimited, long before that perfect love became reflected in the imperfect and limited, conditional love of people. The spiritual life starts where you dare to claim the first love.” This first love is, of course, God’s love for us. Being the beloved of God is not first of all our choice, but that of God. We were chosen in love and for love. This is our destiny. This is our life. Only when we claim and embrace being chosen “in” and “for” love will our life makes sense. This sense of belovedness has been put in our hearts by God. Our journey in life is to claim this belovedness
Robert Mulholland Jr. in his book “The Deeper Journey” makes this point, in drawing our attention to Eph 1:4. The NIV reads, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” Mulholland points out that “chose” literally means “to speak forth.” He observes, “If you were to call on a member of a group to come forward and assist you in some activity, you would be speaking them forth from the rest of your options. You would be choosing them.” So when you put “spoke forth” together with, “before the foundation of the world” we are talking about something taking place before the foundation of the world.
As a wild man, let the truth of this scripture speak to your heart. You and I were “spoken forth” out of the Father’s love for us before the foundation of the world. “You are,” states Mulholland, “a beloved child of God, spoken forth out of the heart of God’s love before the foundation of the world.” We spoken forth, not only that we might know the love of God, but that we might find perfect wholeness in loving union with God. For at the center of our being, the voice of Jesus, the beloved, is continually calling us home, to the place of union with him
The awareness that I have been “spoken forth” as the beloved of God has found new meaning for me in what Mulholland calls the, “the cruciform love of God,” that is, Christ suffering and death for me. Listen to these words from Mulholland. They can be a revelation for you. “When we turn away from God’s love and become self-referenced beings, false selves, God’s love continues to enfold us and indwell us, now as a cruciform love at the heart of our false self. Even when we are must alienated from God by our self-referenced life, we are still beloved.” Men do you get this!!! I know, I finally am getting it. The wonderful truth is that when I drift away in my sinful inclinations and desires, God’s cuciform love is at the center suffering for me and calling me home. Men, Jesus does not leave. He is at the center. Remember when you claim your belovedness, that is who you are. You are the beloved of God, even in your waywardness. God’s love is not dependant on your behavior or understanding. Praise the Lord. Claim this reality for yourself today.