Well… Here I am in AntiPaul, a suburb of Manila, sitting outside on a veranda of the hotel where we are staying and looking at the hot pink bougainvillea blossoms, a towering mango tree with ripe mangos dripping from its branches, bird of paradise blooms, singing exotic birds in cages scattered about the grounds and smelling the intoxicating fragrance of sweet hibiscus blossoms as large as dinner plates in the cool evening breeze… Wish you were here! Much of the Philippines is nothing less than a beautiful garden of Gods splendor and when I imagine what the Garden of Eden must have looked like, the picture is the same.
After a late, late arrival to the hotel last night and a few hours of well received sleep, we awoke and went to New Hope Christian Fellowship to worship. The young people lead us to sing. They sang a song that I was unfamiliar with. The melody was not readily catchy like some jingles written for commercials that you can’t get out of your head, but the words of the chorus was so very intriguing.
The phrase was, “I will to live ….” And we sang it over and over. These four words are so deliberate … intentional. It also denotes conviction and dedication… seeing it through to the end. Obviously, you can put other words behind it that could convey lesser goals e.g. “I will to live a life by default” but if you take the statement, “I will to live towards this endeavor or that endeavor”, unless you want to convey a mixed message or ambiguity, it is a powerful statement towards a purpose or specific outcome. As I have been reading Ephesians 3: 14-21, I was wondering what would happen if we were to superimpose the phrase, “I will to live” to verses 17-19.
I will to live… “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith–that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God”.
What if we cared so deeply for others or better yet, loved so deeply that we were willing to die to self, our selfish center, so that Christ would dwell in the hearts of others…. So that they may see the beauty of Christ in us and want Him, want Him more than the pearl of great price.
I will to live so that others may have strength to comprehend Christ with all the saints who have gone before or better yet, the saints who are living now, but suffering from persecution so that others may know the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ love?
I will to live to be filled to overflowing with God, filled with the fullness of His grace, filled with His holy presence having His passion, His commitment, His purpose and fulfilling His endeavors and outcomes.
What if I willed to live… What if you willed to live…