Does the love of God grip you so tightly that all your thoughts and actions are overruled by him? Does his love constrain you like it constrained the apostle, Paul? Does the feeling compel or pull you to do whatever God asks? Is it as restricting to you as that? What does this kind of loving constraint do to a person? How does it feel?
As a hedge surrounds a yard and protects it, so God’s love hems us in. It controls our very being the same as disease (in the negative sense of the word) controls a person’s health. The disease constrains that person in its choke-hold. The body has only one response to the disease ravaging it. It hands over control to it and then either fights or dies. Unless the body is pumped with anti-disease medications to destroy the infection, it perishes. In another scenario, picture a tube of hand lotion. There is only one hole at the top. When squeezed, the lotion has no choice but to come out through that hole. The lotion is constrained by its tube.
Unless we are constrained by the love of God like that, we can get into all kinds of mischief. But that’s up to us, isn’t it? We choose to be constrained or controlled by God. We’re all controlled by something, aren’t we? It’s up to us to focus on the Lord when we make a decision to purchase something, to marry, to receive treatment, to give, to work, or to be in relationships. If we are constantly pursuing a love relationship with Him above all others, our days will be peaceful but not necessarily void of trouble. They will be at rest but not necessarily without injury. Peace and rest in Him are what keep us level-headed, calm, and satisfied. Even in our sickness, poverty, or loneliness we are at peace. It doesn’t mean we will have all the wealth, health, and happiness we desire, but it does mean we will be content whether we have those things or not.
We face many obstacles in a day, but if His love constrains us, we can be free from those self-inflicting wounds that deflate us. Get to know Him. Feel His constraining love around you. Find intimacy in Him. Let Him hold you. Don’t let go, for it is there that all the cares of this life are put to rest.
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. John 15:9
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. Ephesians 3:18