Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Love- the problem and the answer?
It rings in my ear at the oddest times, a statement I once read... "Love is both the problem and the answer." It was during a feast on a book by author Stephanie Tucker, where she posed the simple, yet complex question...
If love is the problem, could it also really be the solution?
Could it be that because of love, I've endured my greatest pain and yet my greatest joy?
Isn't it love, or lack of, that catapults us into the arms of something or someone to fill the gaping hole in our soul?
The black hole, I call it. It's the hole that drives us into the muck of destructive choices, the web of harmful people and the enticing trance of decietful hope.
Little do we know these false gods not only flow directly through and out the hole, they increase its depth, width and length, leaving us in more pain than where we began.
Love deprivation, love starvation drives our soul to find nourishment and satisfaction as intensely as if we were desperate for water after countless parched days in a desert.
Desperation for a drop of water on the tongue puts my ethic, moral and personal integrity at risk.
Desperation often erases virtue.
Love, both the answer and the problem.
I once heard a story about a young boy who was adopted by a loving family. This boy had been mistreated and starved in his prior life, both physically as well as emotionally. However, after adoption, the survival mentality wasn't immediately erased. He knew he was no longer being mistreated or malnourished, but his mentality told him otherwise.
His cupboards were full of food and his new family were full of overflowing love. But his deep engrained memories responded out of fear, even amongst the safety of his new adopted, nurturing, warm and fully loved new family.
I often respond to life as an orphan, fearing the unknown and staying in survival mode.
While the truth being, I am fully adopted and been given access to the purest, deepest love imaginable to mankind; cupboards overflowing of the purest food to saturate every need.
The love of God has the power to not only love passionately, uniquely, intimately and fully, it empowers with the actual presence and power of the Holy Spirit. They go hand in hand.
This is precisely why the love of a human being does not fully contain the strength or power to change another person.
On the other hand, the love of God, undoubtedly, unquestionably, unsurpassingly does!
This is the first, and possibly only revelation needed to break free from an out-of-order lifestyle.
But let me tell you with great confidence- the enemy of our soul will work overtime to convince us that God is not enough. Not sufficient enough. Not big enough. Please allow me to speak directly to your spirit for a moment...DO NOT BELIEVE THIS LIE.
So, the question is, how do we take this theological head knowledge regarding the immensity and sufficiency of His love, 18 inches down to the heart?
2 Peter 1:3 gives the exact answer to this well searched question:
"By His power, I have everything (not somewhat, not a little, not a portion) but everything I need to live a Godly life."
And if living a Godly life requires experiencing the magnitude of His love, how do we obtain it and abide in it moment by moment?
The book of Peter answers this question directly- "we receive ALL of this by coming to "know" Him.
"Knowing" anyone requires transparency, vulnerability, trust and time.
This is the same recipe for "knowing" Jesus.
If I hide and refuse Him access into the very areas that have been dead bolted shut, whether consciously or unconsciously, I am refusing the ability to "know" Him.
God's greatest desire is to reach into the depth of our spirit and free us in order to experience His radical love. But often there's memories, circumstances, issues so deeply repressed, it may take time in the arms of God to reveal and expose the root of the fruits being experienced.
For example, if the fruits of my life are continual disconnection from God, fear, anxiety, worry, just to name a few, than there must be a root feeding these fruits.
Jesus' desire is to not only gently and firmly yank out the root, but to penetrate its prior position with His healing ointment of love.
God enables Love to be our armor and protective mechanism (1Thes 5:8).
And then... the gift of love is no longer the problem- it's now the solution.
Marinated and infused with the love of God, who IS love, I'm now enabled to love others from the overflow of His pure, intimate, sweet, healing, fulfilling, true, merciful love.
Another promise my eyes fixated themselves on while sipping my morning coffee... "Keep on loving others... then you will not become spirituality dull and spiritually indifferent."
Could this be yet another key, another law, another promise, another guarantee into having a fully ignited relationship with Christ?
So, lets see... a lack of love for others has a natural byproduct of making me "spiritually dull and indifferent." A guarantee. A promise. A law.
My thoughts flood back to Revelation where God states He will spit out of his mouth those who are neither hot or cold.
Can you picture that? Have you ever took a sip of coffee, but unknowingly it's right on the verge between hot and cold. We do just that, don't we? That's how detestable we are to God when we are "indifferent"- neither hot or cold.
The tricky part here is that it's impossible to accurately and fully love others with out first experiencing and overflowing in God's love. We simply cannot give what we don't have.
Otherwise, any other form of love, without first being from the reservoir of God's love, will be inherently flawed.
It will contain toxic remnants of:
and any and all areas of our flesh.
But Gods love, on the other hand, is:
As John1 states, the only way God's love can be brought into a full expression in my life, is if I also love others through the love He is providing for me- and then, and only then, can He live in me. (1 John 4:11)
"Those who love God must also love others (1 John 4:21)
Those who are abiding in God's love will naturally, effortlessly love others from His overflow.
John is stating here it would be an oxymoron, an impossibility, to love God and not naturally love others. They go hand-in-hand.
The love is a fruit from my root being deeply imbedded in Him.
Interestingly, my heart wanders back to the passage I read this morning in Revelation which reveals that the leaves which grow on these fruits also hold value, great value.
They represent healing- the mind, body and soul.
So, not only are we receiving righteous character through fruits of abiding in him, we also receive healing which co-joins with the fruit!
These thin pages of His word- how they erase the heaviness, the burdens, the anxieties, the weight of life. My eyes scroll down this life- saving book to the sentence that shares that my love for others is the proving grounds, to the world, that I am God's disciple.
Not my knowledge of the bible?
Not my degree?
Not my gifts?
Not my talents?
Not my personality?
I need to sit on that for awhile and let it sink into my belief system that speaks contrary to this truth.
And then I hear it.... the simplicity & magnitude of His voice,
"You are free to love others, Joy, because I first loved you."