I was reading something on “True Love” from the Lamp devotional, my mind went back to something I learnt when I visited ICGC at the beginning of this year. The man of God (Rev. Eastwood Anaba) made a statement; “If you want to know how much you love God then look at how you love your fellow human beings”. So then the question is, Do we really love God? Judging from how we love and relate to people. Our whole existence should be centered on love — because God is LOVE.
We doubt the strength of God’s grace and mercy. Perhaps we are too quick in taking offense, playing the blame game and we also speak love too late. Maybe if we focus more on showing the love of God, then we can embody the beauty of being in His will. Maybe unbelievers don’t believe that God is so loving because so many of us aren’t. We don’t even love ourselves talk of loving others. The only problem is you have to truly believe that and I don’t think you can until you experience it. I think unconditional love is buried underneath our shame, pain, and fear (vulnerability). Someone hurts you and it becomes so difficult to continue loving them as if they did you no wrong. Forgiving them should be easy, right?
I believe this is where we need His divine direction, right?
God will definitely show us how to love an imperfect person perfectly, right?
I believe we all need the merciful exposing spotlight of the Holy Spirit to illumine our levels of love (God bringing us into the awareness of His Love). We have no higher priorities in life than loving God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, as well as loving our neighbor as we love ourselves (Luke 10:27). We must prioritize the pursuit of those two loves. And if we’re reading the great commandments carefully, the words “all” and “as” should drop us to our knees. They are there to make us desperate for God.
This kind of desperation — utter helplessness — is what drives us to prayer. People who pray are people who know that apart from Christ they can do nothing (John 15:5). They seek to abide in him because they desperately need him. Christians don’t always — in fact, shouldn’t always — feel the emotion of desperation when they pray. Saints who learn to rest most in God’s promises have learned most profoundly how utterly they depend on God for everything. And how faithful He truly is.
None of us prayerfully presses into loving God with our entire beings, or loving our neighbor as ourselves, until we see clearly our profound lack of such love — how much we need to be filled with the Spirit of Christ in order to love like Christ. We will likely keep comparing ourselves against the low-bar of one another, and often feeling like we’re doing relatively okay, until we invite the Spirit of Jesus to examine us. His questions always penetrate deeper. “Do you love others as I have loved you?” “Do unbelievers know you are my disciple by the way you love the Christians I have given you to love?”
Do we really want to know how he views our love levels? He invites us to ask him, and he promises to answer us if we want to know (Luke 11:10). His answer may be devastating. But that will produce the prayerful desperation that brings the growth through Godly grief as stated in (2 Corinthians 7:10).
Whatever It Takes, Lord
I believe Jesus is serious about his commandment, perhaps more than we may think (John 13:34). He did not command us to love one another relatively well. He commanded us to love one another divinely well — to love as he loved.
Honestly, it does not matter that this is impossible for fallen human beings, for we have a God for whom all things are possible (Mark 10:27). And since the Father promises to give his Spirit to those who ask (Luke 11:13), let us ask boldly (Hebrews 4:16) and persistently (Luke 11:5–8)
“Whatever it takes, Lord, increase my capacity to love until I love you with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind, and love my neighbor as I love myself”. Finally I know must let go and leave behind old things and habits(past), new things I must learn to embrace, and the future (eternity) that I must prepare for. Give me the wisdom to know the difference and strength to forgive — open my arms to receive love and grow more in your love…Amen.