We have SO many ways that we “measure”, but God only has one. Under the Old Covenant, God’s Law talks about using honest scales and measures. In the New Covenant, we are told that we will be measured by the same measure that we use.
What does all that mean?
I remember about 2 ½ years ago, the Lord really started talking to me about all of this. He began to show me all the external things I had used as a measure of my value and worth before I surrendered my life to Him. He talked to me about the dangers of taking that same pattern and laying it over my life with Him. When Moses comes close to the burning bush, the Lord commands him to take off his shoes because he is on Holy ground. When I began my surrendered walk with the Lord, I stepped into a “Holy” walk that requires me to remove all the old patterns of walking – to take off my shoes – to walk “bare” before Him.
It is a curious thing in our nature that wants to “measure” – to have something tangible to be able to define where we are or what our value is in relation to others. And we tend to measure ourselves by the intentions we know are in our heart, but we measure others by the impact they have on us. Well, this makes sense because we can’t “see” the intentions of their hearts. Our desire to measure can only be met if we can find something external and visible as our “scale”, so we find all sorts scales. Why don’t you sit with the Lord, and ask Him to show you what some of yours have been or are currently? He gave me 2 pages worth!!
He Looks at the Internal
The Word of God is clear that He looks at the internal – at the heart. He actually spoke to me, “Tricia, I take you at your heart.” Not my words; not my deeds – at my heart – at the thoughts and intentions that are driving my words and my deeds! He sees what is NOT visible (things I can’t even see in myself unless He reveals it), and according to Romans 12: 3 the only thing He is measuring is faith. And that faith has been given to us by Him. How does He measure our faith? Galatians 5: 6 tells us that what is important is “faith expressing itself in love.” He looks for love. He is perfecting our faith so that we can fully love as He loves. It takes great faith to love unconditionally!! It means unconditional forgiveness, unconditional grace toward everyone, and unconditional gratitude for everything in your life – WOW – a tall order!! But, God!!
SO – the Lord spoke to me, “Tricia, I AM a God of fullness, not measure!” The Lord is the only one who knows the faith He has placed within each individual, so He is the only one who can measure to what extent they are walking in the faith they’ve been given and are growing in it. Love is the indicator, but we can’t measure that because we don’t know the capacity of faith any single person has been given by Him in order to be able to express love. He explained it to me this way. “Tricia, if I give one person the capacity (faith) the size of a swimming pool to love, and another person the capacity (faith) the size of a thimble, and they are both loving to the fullness of the capacity they have been given, it is equal to Me.” Now, we experience hurt and pain in this world because we are all running around bumping into one another with our various capacities to love, expecting that others should be where we are – we ALL have our “rules of engagement” – or as the Lord lovingly showed me – I have my “religion according to Tricia”. The other way we experience pain is that the Lord is IN us – His LOVE is IN us pushing and pressing, trying to constantly EXPAND our capacity beyond our comfort zone so we can receive a greater measure of Him. He wants us to receive the FULLNESS of Him – which is the FULLNESS of LOVE.
Growing our faith is the key to receiving the fullness. We exercise and grow our faith through obedience. As we are obedient (careful here – obedience is out of love and reverence, NOT out of fear), our faith grows because we experience His faithfulness and our capacity to love expands. This is our life journey with the Lord – it’s a good walk!
The Lord will not allow any external, visible scale as a means for us to measure ourselves or one another. That would only be a tool by which to judge each other. Now, if we choose an external scale or measure, that will be the same scale or measure He uses for us. Think about it – if I choose “my scale / my standard” by which to measure you, He will use someone else’s “scale /standard” that is higher than mine by which to measure me. There will always be someone who is or has operated at a higher level of faith, obedience and love than me (or you), so the Lord can find any number of scales to choose from. The ultimate “scale / standard” is His Son so even the highest “standard” demonstrated in human terms will be trumped by that “standard”. The Truth is that I can’t measure your love or your faith. Faith is demonstrated by obedience to what He has asked each of us to do, and I have NO idea what He’s asked you to do so I don’t know if you are being obedient or not. Only He does. He is the One who sees the unseen. I’m so glad that the only one I need to be concerned about is me. The rest is in His capable hands!