Love is one of the greatest quests of humanity. That's why we never run out of songs to write. But, have we made love something other than what it is? Have we made love something that serves us rather than something that serves? Have we forgotten what love is or, that love is God?
Everything that God does is out of an extreme love for us. Forgiveness, grace, mercy and yes, even rules. His love is relentless and bold, kind and personal, holy and right, unswerving and pure. His love is full; full of life, joy, creativity, energy and adventure.
Let me come at this from a different angle. One of the greatest struggles in my life has been fear. It has not been intentional and certainly not my quest, but nevertheless it has been there ...a nagging voice always looking to have its way! Fear opposes love. It is vocal, demanding, analytical and protective. Fear never allows love to totally be all it is meant to be for love is too free and does not make sense. It will never give everything to another because it must hold something back for a rainy day. If that is my axis or plume-line of action, then I will certainly grow more like it over time. My dreams, talents and relationships will be compromised and I will not be all that I am made to be. Over time, in essence, I will die.
Jesus said that perfect love casts out fear. Love is free and does not operate on calculations or keep tabs. Love makes fear mad. Perfect love is not a thing. It is pure and free flowing, unconditional and forgiving. Love does not need to be repaid or acclaimed. It does not need honour for it is honour itself. Love does not need. Perfect love is the substance of life and is completely Jesus.
God is love and His desires for us are out of His perfect love.
Will you let Love be?
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
1 John 4:16-18 NIV
While reading this morning, I knew the Lord was speaking again to a very deep place in my heart...
I've been reading through a chronological version of the Bible and today's chapters were in Deuteronomy where God is giving Moses final instructions & reminders for Israel before they move into the promised land with their new leader, Joshua. So as I come to chapter 18, I glance at the sub-titles: Offerings for Priests and Levites, Occult Practices, The Prophet and dive in. After reading the previous OT books, a lot of this is beginning to look repetitious, but I move on. I resonate with the Levites, agree quickly with the avoidance of occult practices, and want the voice of the prophet. Oh, but I haven't noticed this before... Look at verse 16!
For this is what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.”
I want His voice & presence to be near. I trust Him. I honour & fear only Him. I want Him to speak & move through me.
This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children...
Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
Peter replied, “You are the Messiah"
Mark 8:29 (NLT)
I had just listened to a challenging sermon on the fear of God. If I am to fear God rightly - out of respect, honour and love - then I need to know Him. Hearsay is not enough. Something inside of me must engage with who He truly is.
So, I got to thinking ... I've respected & honoured others before; my husband, my granny, Billy Graham, the Queen. Now, I haven't (obviously) had relationship with all of these, but I have held them all in high regard. But maybe this is about more, more about living and dieing. Who would I live for? Who would I die for? Or even, who would I allow to live with me and give me life? Who would I allow to give me advice and guidance, so much so, that if they said so, I would do so. Hmm, this hits a much deeper chord, doesn't it?
We are now in the territory of the "me" - the territory of rights. This is where fear dwells, both the healthy and scary kind. If I do not know who God is (who He says He is and has proven Himself to be) I will never fear Him rightly. I may panic (wrong fear) when He tries to enter "my spot" or just be indifferent - not being aware of His presence and understanding His intentions.
I can look to my past, but I cannot lean on it
Please inquire for the word of the LORD today. 1 Kings 22:5