When Paul says that he is compelled by Christ’s love, he means that he is overruled, overmastered, held by an iron grip. Most of us have no idea what it means to be held in the grip of God’s love. We are held only by our experience. The one thing that held Paul was love. Whenever you see someone held like this, you know there is nothing standing in the way of the Spirit of God.

For some time after we are saved, our testimony tends to focus on what God has done for us. The baptism of the Holy Spirit takes our focus off ourselves, and places it on Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “You will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). He didn’t say “witnesses to what I have done for you.” It isn’t wrong to share personal testimony, but Christ wants us to pass on to a deeper, more profound kind of witness. He wants us to learn to view everything that happens to us as if it were happening to him—any praise we receive, any persecution we suffer. This is why we must be overruled by love and by the majesty of our Lord’s personal power. If we aren’t, we won’t be able to stand for him.

Paul lived to persuade people of the judgment seat of God and the love of Christ. Some called him insane, but Paul didn’t care. He understood the reason behind his actions: the love of Christ had him in its grip.

When we too are filled with this love, everything we do will give the impression of God’s holiness and power, never our own. Then we will truly be witnesses, and our lives will bear wonderful fruit.

Wisdom from Oswald

To those who have had no agony Jesus says, “I have nothing for you; stand on your own feet, square your own shoulders. I have come for the man who knows he has a bigger handful than he can cope with, who knows there are forces he cannot touch; I will do everything for him if he will let Me. Only let a man grant he needs it, and I will do it for him.”
The Shadow of an Agony