God Is Love
Struggling with the daily challenges of life as a missionary in Africa, Norman describes the glorious revelation that came to him through the simple Scripture: “God is love.” (1 John 4:8).
Still under that old, false idea of being an independent self who could and should be improved as a servant of Christ, I had begun to seek for more love that I might identify myself with my brother Africans. I looked for more faith and power, and more deliverance from the normal pressures of the flesh and critical attitudes towards my fellow workers. The surprise I got, which put me on this right track, came when that simple word “God is love” became new to me. I did not then know that God is all in all, as I do now, and I really thought that God had love rather than is love, and He could therefore give me a share. But when the Spirit opened my eyes to the fact that God is love, then I suddenly saw that love is not some emotion which I might feel and express, but love is a person—in fact the Person, when it is God who is love. It was as if He was saying to me, “You’ve got it all wrong. Love is not something I have and can pass to you. I am that love!” That left me with a question: “Then is there none for me?” And the same query struck me concerning the power for which I was asking—for I became aware of the scripture which says, “Christ, the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:24). So power, also, is not a thing but a person—the Person—and there is no “special kind” of power which can somehow be communicated to us. So again my question, “Well, what about me in my need?”
That conditioned me for the opposite end of this revelation. I saw it by the scripture which says “Christ is all, and in all” (Col. 3:11). “Christ is all”—that was staggering enough. But then, “and in all.” So I saw that I, as a human, was not to “become something better.” I was not to become, but to contain. That was it! Obviously, if the one I contained was Christ, and He is all, all I needed was to know Him in me as “the all.”