If you were standing in a room by yourself, with a huge hungry lion in front of you, the natural response would be fear. Absolute fear based on the knowledge that this animal is about to change you in ways that are quite undesirable.
But if you were standing in front of the same lion, while the lion was locked inside a strong cage, your feelings would be completely different. This terrifying animal is now controlled, so that you can relate to it like an animal locked in a zoo.
Sadly, this is a lot like the way that the church relates with God. God is infinite love; passionate love; uncontrollable love that seeks to change us in ways that are sometimes undesirable. If the love of God does not seem as scary as a lion, it is probably because we have put god in a cage.
We do this mostly through the way that we pray. We pray in ways that are safe, where we keep God at a comfortable distance. ‘Love me and make my life better than it is, but don’t change me or take over my life’.
We can only come to know the full power of God’s love by praying dangerous prayers. Give God the permission to take over your life and to change it. These prayers are the things that unlock the cage and invite the full power of God to take over us. So the next time you sit down to pray, pray for the courage to unlock the cage.