In this video, I’m discussing how important it is to seek to destroy the spirit of hypocrisy from our lives … it’s the spirit of the anti-Christ. Contrived love, humility, and righteousness blinds us to God’s true righteous love and it prohibits us from hearing and following His voice. It is a thing God hates, yet in many ways proliferated by religions and philosophies of the world.
In the last post, I recommended writing two love letters to God; one reflecting where you are today in your relationship with God and one where you would like to be.
The first commandment is:
Matthew 12:30 ‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
How many of us actually live a life that fulfills this commandment? What do you do with someone you love? Do you do the things that cultivate a relationship with God in which you can love Him with all your heart, soul and mind? Sadly most are more concerned about following the commandments of men (i.e. being in church) and those are put first, while this one is lost in the busyness.
I challenge you to put God first. Seek for Him to be your first love. Do what it takes to Love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Spend quality time with Him each day getting to know Him through His Word; talking, listening, sharing and growing in unity. Seek to learn from and listen to His Holy Spirit given to you. Start by writing a love letter describing your relationship today and then write one for where you want to be. Then you’ll know where you are headed and then DO what it TAKES to get there.
Here are a few exerts from the letters I wrote. How limited our words are.
Exerpt of my Love Letter of Today
How my heart longs for you; your presence, love and truth. You are my everything. Apart from you I’m nothing and can do nothing. You are my life.
Time with you each day means so much. I cherish each moment we spend together. It ills me to miss it. Your words spoken to me are perfect. You always know just what to say and when to say it. My heart longs to hear your voice constantly. Let your whispers ring clear in my ears. Be ever so close to me.
Thank you for the love you’ve shown me. It’s one far purer, deeper and more real than I’ve ever known. Thank you for the strength, peace and help you give me. Your faithfulness is my hope, delight and strength. I feel protected in our embrace. The shelter of your strong countenance give me peace.
I love you Lord. I want to know you more. I want more of you to consume me as I’ve tasted your goodness.
Exerpt of my Love Letter of the Future
We are bound, You and I, in the soul. We do everything together in unity of will, truth and love. You are the love of my life. Your love pulsates through me and others feel that vibration. I can’t stop talking of You for you consume my thoughts and my life. Our oneness is deep, rich, powerful and passionate. Only in your strength do I breathe. I see and feel you in every step and at every turn. Your words of wisdom fill my thoughts; I can’t wait to hear what you will say next. They leave room for nothing else.
All day long I hear your sweet whispers to me. In everything I think of and consult you, for our lives are one. I’m clothed in your love. May your fountain of living waters never cease to fill me. May there never be a separation between you and I.
You are my joy, strength and life. Your love is sweeter than any I’ve known. It changes, renews and refreshes me. I feel captivated by your love. I’ve never felt more alive than I do now.
Your spirit moves in me like a gentle breeze. It never leaves; even in the stillness the power of your spirit is evident.
I long for you and yet you are always there. I hunger for more and you constantly fill me up. There is no love like your love.
I feel the fortress of your countenance surround me and in you nothing can harm me.
Our footsteps are as one. My mind never wanders from your truth. My eyes never glance at another. I’ve know the perfection of our ways, there is no one who can compare.
In you my energy is boundless, I could run forever. Yet the rest and peace that fills every breath creates a balance of perfection.
With your hand under me there isn’t anything I can’t do; no challenge I can’t conquer. Your care for me overwhelms me.
I am most blessed among all to know your love. May you be the love of my life for eternity.
There is no better time than NOW to start getting to truly know God as He is so that you can truly love Him as He is.
We’ve been talking about divorce and remarriage in the last two posts. But what if we are in a marriage we don’t want to be in? You may be thinking this isn’t freedom. It is bondage. What about the grace of God? What about His promises of deliverance? What about happy is He who trusts the Lord? Proverbs 16:20
There are many women and men who feel they are trapped in a marriage because it is God’s will they don’t divorce. So, they “endure”. Is this what God wants for His children?
We aren’t to divorce (except in certain situations abuse, adultery, etc as led by the Spirit), so we endure. We tolerate. We do the minimum amount. In our heart we long for a way out. We want it to end. We lose ourselves in other things; children, friendships, work, and ministries, and our spouse slips toward the bottom of the list. . . Most of us have felt feelings similar to this at some point. But, this isn’t a marriage, because true marriage is about the heart. This is a heart of divorce and not God’s will. With this mindset and heart, we are cultivating division instead of peace and love. We are our own worst enemy in wrecking havoc in our marriage. This may be a hard truth to face for those of us who have lived in this mindset. But being in this place is bondage. There is a much better way. God wants so much more for us. God wants to heal and renew our marriages. He doesn’t want us to divorce. He doesn’t want us to live in misery either. He wants us to believe and experience His power of His love at work in the marriage we have.
Marriage isn’t about a piece of paper just as divorce isn’t about that. In the eyes of God, it is about the state of our heart, a heart of love. God instituted marriage to illustrate our relationship with Him. With Him, what is most important is our heart, not our outward actions. The same is true with an earthly marriage. Ephesians 5:25. All of God’s commandments are grounded in love including marriage. 1 Timothy 1:5 He doesn’t want us to simply “endure” but abide in satisfaction. Proverbs 19:23
In marriage, like everything else, our thoughts create much of what happens because our emotional output and actions carry the truth of our thoughts. The movie Fireproof is a great example of this concept. The main character, played by Kirk Cameron, did “nice” things for his wife in a last effort to save his marriage, but his wife knew that his heart wasn’t in it. He didn’t want to do them and that is what she felt. So his actions meant little to her. But when his heart surrendered to God, then he was filled with God’s love and that love filled his actions. When it did, she noticed a difference – a change that made all the difference and saved their marriage. It isn’t just about our actions and our actions without love flowing into them from our core don’t mean much.
People feel our core, which our thoughts reflect. And ladies, men feel it too. We wonder why he can be so detached and unaware as he sits around on the couch lost in the TV or buries himself in his work or hobbies – but it’s probably to escape our negativity coming from our thoughts. Not that this is always the case, but it is a lot more often than people think. How often we hear people say; I do this and that for him and he still ignores and disrespects me! It is your heart he is responding to. Men, it’s the same with the ladies. If you are being unfaithful, disconnected, and not loving your wife in your heart, she feels is and responds. We can see the vicious cycle it creates as we feed and respond to each other’s true thoughts. We love to blame others because we’re being so “nice”. But are we really? What if our spouse could hear all our thoughts? How nice would we be? Well, that is what they feel. Though they may not know exactly what they are feeling from someone, they feel it good or bad and react. If we are pouring his coffee and cursing him in our heart – it is the cursing he feels and will react to. It all starts with our thoughts. They are often the culprit feeding our problems. 2 Corinthians 10:5
This impact of our thoughts is why counseling can be constructive and helpful to a marriage. Counseling helps us to have more understanding, which leads to compassion and a change in our thoughts. It brings to light the error of our thinking as we talk through issues. We gain new perspectives. Fundamentally, we learn from counseling to think differently and that impacts our marriage. However, what we learn from counseling is at a surface level. And though it can be helpful, there is something else that cuts through everything including our thoughts, the love of God.
When we truly come to know the love of God it changes how we think and feel about others at our core. God’s love is powerful to make a significant change in any relationship.
Unlike the movie Fireproof, for me experiencing the love of God that was beyond myself took a long time. For years, I prayed to know His love. One day God filled me with it and it changed how I felt (not fleeting emotions, but a deep unchanging care) about me, God and others. Since then it has never left but grown. It came from developing a relationship with Him by abiding daily in His Word. As I grew to know God and drew near to Him, He drew near to me and His presence including His love filled my life. It started to change how I deeply felt about others. His love is powerful beyond anything we know. It seems daily I learn more and more about its purity and perfection in our lives. Most don’t understand its power and therefore don’t trust in it, because they haven’t experienced it. It is worth the heart-felt request to ask to deeply know His love. When it takes over, it renews us in so many ways including us, our heart toward our spouse, and our marriage. It isn’t an instant process but it is a process that will blow your mind. Where there once was coldness, hardness, bitterness, resentment, pain, anger, indifference, is now love; a love that is pure and strong because it is of God.
Marriage isn’t about just staying in the same house. It is about the state of our heart. But what if our spouse is unlovable? Look at God. How He loves us. His love is powerful. It isn’t by our own strength that we love but by His. Philippians 4:13 It is His love flowing through us; the love we gain by cultivating a relationship with Him. When His love flows through us it can change everything. 1 Peter 4:8
There have been several times God has called me to love someone that was unlovable at the time. The difference in those people when they felt His love through me was incredible. They may have not realized exactly what it was they felt or what changed but they felt it because their demeanor and actions changed, and the dynamic of our relationship followed. One very important note, the only way I was able to truly love was because of God’s love in me. There are two scenarios in which I didn’t have that love of God for others. One, before I had a close relationship with God, I didn’t have true love that has power. If we aren’t closely connected to Him in truth and spirit we’ll lack the power of His love. Second, my heart got hard out of pride. When I confessed that pride and prayed with a sincere motive to truly love that person then God’s love flow toward them. James 4:3 Pride is a huge enemy of love.
Every commandment of God comes down to love. Marriage is an emotional, physical, and spiritual oneness. Some of us may be far from this now. And for many of us we are a big part of the problem because the thoughts we are holding and feeding about our marriage. We need to get our hearts right about our marriage and we do that by abiding in God’s truth and letting His Words of love wash us, through prayer, and knowing that He desires a marriage of the heart – a marriage of love. And this is very important – we must believe He is powerful enough to renew our marriage and that He wants to. It is easy to doubt God’s power in this area when we are face to face with all the issues. We can easily get too focused on what is and not focused on Him. Is a renewal too hard for God? Is God too weak? Is His love to frail? Is His mercy to small?
God wants our marriages to represent our union with Him. And our union with Him is all about love – true and powerful.
Another lost life, Chelsea King, how many more until we make the changes that will make a difference?
Along side many other San Diegians, last week my husband and I searched for Chelsea. Out for a run after school, she never returned home. While we were out searching, another search team found her shoe that was the key the authorities needed to find the shallow grave where her battered 17 year old body laid. Abducted and murdered. John Gardner, who’s DNA was found on her clothing, was arrested. It was incredible to see how many people were giving their time and energy to search for this young girl. We yell at each other in traffic, cut each other off, hold a me-first mentality, but when worse came to worse – we were willing to help each other. But we need to do more and to act sooner. We need to understand how we all are connected and the influence we each have on the society as a whole.
Who is responsible?
I kept thinking about this question and how it falls onto us all . . . here are some of my thoughts.
John Gardner seems to be the one who is directly responsible – but what struck me very intensely – he doesn’t stand alone in Chelsea’s death and others like her. We are all connected. We all influence one another, and this truth is something we don’t seem to be getting. Though John Gardner is clearly mis-wired in his head and is under investigation for a horrific act that the majority of society wouldn’t do; we, society, have created a breeding ground that feeds minds like his. When we feed our thoughts, then they grow, strengthen and become reality. Society feeds sexual perversions and sexual degeneration in many ways that not only supports what he did, but damages many “normal” minds as well.
Who is responsible? Knowing we are all connected and influence each another, there is a network of thoughts and behaviors that help foster minds like John Gardner’s. . . in my opinion here are some of them in which you can see the connection between them. And I found actions of my past (and not so distant past) fall among them. When I considered how I’ve played a part in something so horrific, the gratitude for the sacrifice of Christ who born my sin hits hard once again.
Who is responsible?
Everyone involved in the pornography industry – from actors, to camera men, to buyers of the magazines. The pornography industry is one of the most destructive entities. When people give attention to porn, it is like pouring acid on their minds altering the way they think and feel toward others. It doesn’t value or respect men or women. It’s communicating how men and women, especially women want to be treated. And for those who let their thoughts settle onto the images, the feelings created provoke them to action. They what to engage in similar behaviors because of the feelings it creates. But those feelings are without love and therefore destructive. The feelings lack respect, and are full of selfish domination. What it is creating in someone is a monster who doesn’t act out of love but lust, greed, and domination. Once you open your mind to thoughts without love, you are inviting in all sorts of evil.
Who is responsible?
What about the parents who led their children to those types of lifestyles? A girl I know used to be in the porn industry. Growing up her dad had Playboy magazines laying around the house. What message was her father sending her? Not that this was the only thing that caused her to do what she did – but it probably played a part. Our actions make a difference in our lives and the lives of others.
Who is responsible?
What about those who dress to create lust, those who willing gaze at them, and those who have promiscuous sex to be loved and accepted? Beyond Playboy, when men gawk at scantly dressed women, what message is it sending to women, wives, girlfriends, and daughters? It says that to be loved and accepted, this is what they need to do, this is who they need to be to some degree. So that is what we see happening. First, we see women and many young girls dressing in the next closest thing; short shorts, skirts even shorter, and plunging necklines. What message does that send to men? What thoughts does that provoke and feed? Women and girls dress this way to get the attention of men. Do they really understand what they are communicating? Second, they have promiscuous sex because they feel this is what they need to do to be love and accepted – to be like those images men so desire. Now many don’t consciously think this – but it is what is happening on a subconscious level.
Women and young girls partake in these acts when their self-esteem is low, but engaging in them actually just makes their self-value lower because these acts counter respect. Though they may have a temporary high of being “liked” it’s a like that doesn’t come from respect and love – therefore not the type of “like” we want but one that destroys. Seventy percent of our communication is unspoken. Take away the words – what are these women and young girls really saying? They are saying I have no self-esteem, if this is what I have to do for you to like me I’ll do it regardless of what it does to me and others. Yet, the world fools them into thinking that doing these things is strong and powerful. But the messages these women and girls are really sending are what the John Gardners of the world feed upon.
One note on dress, it’s not about being a prude. You can look great without dishonoring yourself or others with your dress. Bottom line, everything we do should be grounded in love – including our dress. Our dress should be about respect and love – loving yourself, other women and men. There is place to dress otherwise – for your husband when it is you and him. But otherwise, when dressing to create lust in men, to pull their eyes away from their wives and girlfriends, and to devalue yourself by showing your desperation all you really create is pain and damage to yourself and others, not love.
Who is responsible?
Where do all these fashions come from in the first place and who is promoting them? What about the media – television shows, music, and celebrities who feed these images and ideas that scantly dress is a glorious thing, that promiscuous sex is desirable, and that women want to be dominated and treated like crap. The list can go on and on. We are all connected. We all influence each other in a tremendous way. Do you see how this is all connected? Most of people’s actions aren’t one day good then another bad – it is a gradual process as the wrong thoughts are fed.
The problem in society is a lack of true love. What happened with Chelsea is one of the many destructive behaviors that occur when we turn our back on God’s way – because His ways are true love. When we go against Him, following our wayward desires then all we create is destruction and pain. And society often supports this waywardness. It has re-labeled what love is and in doing so has labeled what is death as life and what is life as death. Society is creating a place that is growing all sorts of perversions filled with pain and death – spiritually and physically. May we open our eyes so that we cease being fools to its hideous endeavors in giving into its deception because we are killing our children – literally.
Who is responsible?
Yes, John Gardner is, but look at how society supported his thoughts to manifest into what they did.
If you are tired of hearing about lives like Chelsea, then examine your life. See how you are contributing to this breeding ground that society has created to feed thoughts that are destructive to us all. What are you influencing? What do we not stand up for? What are you creating in others with your actions? It is a very sobering reflection – it as been for me. In examining the ways I’ve dressed, the attitudes and ways of life I’ve supported, and so on, I can see my destructive contribution. We each influence the whole and it starts with our thoughts. Our thoughts are everything. They create our reality. 1 Corinthians 10:24
A note to the women and young girls, I believe we hold the biggest part in making a difference. Imagine if we acted differently how different this world would be? Our relationship to men is to be symbolic of our relationship to God. Our relationship to men and women is to be about true love. We need to be connected to God so that we know what is truly love, because He is love. Without Him all we create is massive destruction. We need to show that love in our actions – in how we treat our souls and bodies.
Exodus 15:3 The Lord is a man of war; The Lord is His name
When I think of war, I think of killing and destruction – is this our God?
Deuteronomy 32:39 ‘Now see that I, even I, am He, And there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand.
1 John 4:8b for God is love.
God is love. All that He does is in love. How can war and the pain it causes be about love? Can the two really co-exist? In regards to this topic, we often read about God’s holiness and justice, but here I want to look at His love. Like the perfect parent with their children, there is perfect justice but also pefect love. Here are some of my thoughts on it . . .
There are two different accounts demonstrating this man of war I’ve been thinking about:
Many wars directed by God occurred as the Israelites moved into the promise land. But the motive of these wars was rooted in love because God is love – as we’ll see. God’s plan of reconciliation included Christ being manifested in a sinful body, like our own, so He could be the sacrifice that stood in our place uniting us back to God. God revealed Himself to the nation Israel – and it was through that lineage Jesus would come.
As God’s people moved into the land He gave them, He instructed them to wipe out the nations before them. He did this because the other nations were so corrupt that if they remained they would corrupt His people as well. Judges 2:3 Once taken in by other nations and their gods, they would be deceived and lost. And the state of the world at the flood of Noah would happen once again. He wiped out the nations to protect His people, and those He left were used to test them. Judges 2:21-22 Through Abraham God’s family came – not of the physical seed, but through the promised Seed of Christ. Romans 4:16 He had to preserve His people enough so that through them He could manifest the life of Christ to save us all. Those nations died, so His people could survive, so we could be delivered through His son, Jesus. That is love. Joshua 23:3, Deut 7:16
What may seem unfair, unjust or even unloving to us in this sliver of history was an act of love in the span of eternity. There is a much bigger plan and purpose, and that purpose was crafted in love because God is love. God did what was required to protect His family. The thought comes to mind – what would you do if your family’s life was in danger?
Second, wars of God were a result of the actions of the wicked, whether unbelievers or God’s people. When people go their own way, there are repercussions. Joshua 24:20. In the Bible, we see over and over how people became so wicked that they destroyed themselves and others, which happens when people follow their own will. God created mankind to walk and abide with Him in love. When they don’t, spiritual death is manifested. Physical death, in these wars of God, is the materialization of the state of their souls.
In God’s infinite wisdom, He does what is best. Like those who died in the flood of Noah, it was better to end the wickedness, than let it continue on causing more damage and pain. Genesis 6:5 They weren’t getting better, but worse. God knew the end to the path they were on. If you see a suffering animal and there is no hope for recovery, what is the most merciful and loving action to take? In the bonds of evil, people suffer and suffer greatly and the harm they do to others is extensive. God sees the beginning and the end – for any one life, He knows best. And He does what is best for all mankind.
A side note . . . we need to learn that only by being united to God is there life. Apart from Him is death. To abide in true life and love, which God desires with us, we needed to possess our own will. Robotic forced love isn’t love. But now there is people’s free will to contend with. In our free will, God laid out the choices before us Deut. 28, 30:19 God designed this life to operate in a certain way. He told us there is a path that leads to life, which is following His will, and a path that leads to death, which is following our will or anyone else’s other than Him. There are consequences to going our own way. If we are separated from Him, then we spiritually die because we were created to be united to Him in love. The fact that our bodies return to the dust from which they came is nothing compared to spiritual death.
I think one of the main reasons we are here on this earth and experiencing the evil we do is to learn that following our self-will doesn’t work. Following the will of God is the path of life, which we also get a taste of on this earth when we walk in His ways. This truth is what we all have to learn so that we willing follow God’s will and thus abide with Him in love. When people chose to follow their own will then they are making their own judgments about what is good and evil. (represented by the tree of knowledge of good and evil) They are driven by their own understanding, which is limited and wrong. Spiritual death is manifested. However, when we follow God’s will and are led by His Spirit, we aren’t making the judgments God is. (the tree of life) We are following His lead and therefore walk in life because His ways are life. In order to abide with Him in love and freedom, we have to choose His will, not ours, and that means we have to learn the difference and the consequences of both. Thus, this life here on earth were we are seeing both played out. Only by being united to Him is their true life.
God knew we would go astray. That is why the plan was always life in Christ Jesus and to provide a way in which we would be a part of Him. Because when His Spirit is in us, we live according to His will because that is who we are. 2 Peter 1:4
I believe in the end when we see clearly – we will see how every act of God, a Man of War, was the ultimate act of love.
The other day my friend told me about an incident she had with her cat who has asthma. That morning she happened to glance out the window while doing some chores and saw him lying under the bushes. The form of his body sent her running outside to see if he was okay. She picked him up limp and lifeless . . . running back into the house she got the inhaler and saved his life.
As she reiterated this heart breaking story on the phone, she said, “What I would give if for just 10 minutes I could communicate with him as he understands and tell him he needs to come to me when he feels this coming on so I can help him!”
Instantly I thought this is what God did for us in Jesus. In a way that we could understand, He showed us His care and love. He saw how much we suffered on our own and told us the way to an abundant life here on earth. He told us to come to Him because He is there to help us, He is the way to life and without Him we will die.
Though my friend wanted to become like a cat to clearly communicate to him, she wanted him to know that she was much greater and more powerful than any cat friend he might have to help, provide and care for him.
The human image of Jesus helps us to connect to God. The book, The Shack, did a great job of conveying God’s desire to be close and personal with us. God wants to dwell with us in a bond of love and intimacy and this image helps us to relate.
But . . . we have to be careful about this perspective. The problem with focusing on the man Jesus is we think of Him too much in terms of a human. When we are flippant in Christ being our Lord, lackadaisical in our approach to His Word, careless in our relationship with Him, or lack a fear of God, I think it is in part because we are humanizing Him too much in our lives. When we do our mind automatically puts limits on Him and therefore His power and all that He diminishes in our lives.
Christ came to earth in the flesh as a man, but that is no longer how He is or how we are to know and relate to Him. 2 Corinthians 5:16 He came as a human to die as one of us carrying all our sin so He could take our place in judgment, and He also came to communicate a message. Like my friend, His desire was to tell and show us that His presence in our lives changes everything. He is the way to life. God is our caretaker, teacher, deliverer, provider, protector, lover of our souls, comforter, healer, and so on not ourselves and not others. If we trust Him we will have a life far beyond what we are capable of on our own. Another cat can’t give a cat an inhaler, not to mention everything else we cat lovers do and give our furry friends. No human can do what God can do for us. He came to tell and show us in a way we could understand, but He isn’t a superior version of us. (None of us would say this that He is, but we all often act like it.) We need to get to know, live and worship Him as He is, God Almighty. Romans 1:25
Obedience for a believer who is growing in the knowledge and grace of God is more of a desire than obedience. If you are born of God and abiding in His Word, your desire to do His will is strengthening because you are growing in love with Him.
It is important to recognize the ones maturing are the ones who experience this desire and not the burden of obedience. Many Christians aren’t growing and still think and act like carnal men. Therefore deep down they don’t desire the ways of God. They may act certain ways because they feel they have to but it is out of pure obedience and not love. Romans 8:7 What they have is a religion of rules and not a relationship of love. They lack a strong inner spirit to walk as a free spiritual being who isn’t rule bound but love bound. 1 John 2:5 Unfortunately, those rule bound people who think they are mature can be quite destructive and misleading to others about what the Christian faith is all about.
Kids are given the rule, don’t run into the street, because they can’t yet grasp the deeper truth that running into the street means you might get killed. It is the same with an immature spirit – all they can grasp are rules so they cling to them. But staying in this condition isn’t what God intended when He sent Christ to us. God desires a bride in love with Him and following Him because of love not a maidservant following the rules because that is what you should do.
This is why in the verse above love comes first. Obedience as God desires, with our hearts not just our actions, has to come from love not brute discipline. When we love Him, we want to follow Him.
Because Christ stands in our place, we have completely fulfilled the law now and always as He did. Covered in grace, we could go about sinning – however if you are truly born of God that isn’t your desire. Romans 6:14-16 You desire what God does because now you are a part of Him. God took care of our sin at the cross. Being free from the judgment of sin, the lessons of our lives are about walking in God’s will because that fosters intimacy and love with Him. He teaches and leads us down paths to accomplish that closeness; paths that instruct us what is His way and what isn’t. When He reveals a path we are walking that is counter to His, it isn’t to condemn us we have already been judged in Christ – it is to lead us closer to Him because sin distances us from being united to Him in truth, love and will.
And at its core, His will is about love, loving Him and loving others. Every command of God is what it is because that is the most loving thing to do. As a maturing believer you desire to grow in love – not a love of this world but a love beyond what we as flesh humans are capable of. John said that by our love others would know we are His – that means it is a love that mere men aren’t capable of giving – otherwise why would it set us apart? John 13:35
God’s love is much greater than ours. Most of us assume we know what love is, but what we know is a tainted version of His. We have to seek what is true love and what isn’t. And from what I am learning it is beyond what I ever considered as loving. The extent of His love – just the purity and selflessness alone and what that looks like in my day to day – is amazing. As you grow in love you begin to understand the depth and the reasons behind His commands and you desire to walk in them.
If you love God you want to do His commands of love therefore they aren’t burdensome. 1 John 5:3 If you want to do something it isn’t a burden but a joy. This is the experience for those spiritually maturing. It isn’t about following the law, trying to be perfect, or following some rules. It is about seeking God’s heart in each situation with a desire to love others with the power of His love flowing through you. You aren’t focused on following rules. You understand that Christ is your righteousness so you cease from trying to earn your own. You do what you do because you want to. And the closer we draw near to God the more this desire grows.
Since I started seeking God, I have seen this transformation in myself. It doesn’t happen over night it is a process of growing in love with Him by spending time with Him. From that time comes a true desire to follow Him. I want to do His will. It isn’t that I’m not tempted. I am. We all get blindsided by our Mr. Hyde personas – but the Spirit waves a flag shows me how that isn’t the most loving thing to do and I think oh, yeah, I don’t want to do that.
If we love God then we will obey Him because we desire to abide in His love. John 15:10
This past week we got two Ragdolls kittens . . . adorable does not suffice to describe them and any picture doesn’t do them justice.
Now that we are pet owners we have been taping episodes of Dog Whisper. I know they are cats, but Cesar Millian, the Dog whisper, has fantastic insights into animals in general. The other day he delivered another one – animals respond to our energy, period.
Every living thing responds to our energy – plants, animals, and people. The energy we put off is the key to healthy plants, sweet loving pets, and good relationships.
The Bible teaches us this same truth but it instead of energy it describes this soulful projective power as heart. If our heart is hateful, negative, critical, judgmental, resentful, fearful, or anxious that is what people will feel and respond to regardless of what we say or do. If it is full of truth, love, understanding, forgiveness, mercy, peace, and calm that is what others will feel and respond to. People react to what we project from our heart, not so much our words or actions. Therefore, our heart or energy affects the outcome of our interactions.
Consider for a moment the ripple effect of this underlining constant dynamic in our families, our marriages, at work, and with our children. Often the problem in our relationships is what we are communicating when we are just standing there without saying a word.
For example, how many times has someone said or did the right thing but you knew he or she felt negatively about you? People can’t hide their true colors. We may not know exactly what they think but we can sense the hypocrisy of their words and actions. We can’t stand when others do this to us, but yet we do it all the time.
Because the state of our heart affects us and everything around us, it is what matters above all to God. Remember the sum of all commandments? Love God then others. Love comes from the heart. If we are bound by rules and force goodness then we are a negative testimony to the love of God. We actually do more harm than good. We are to love from the heart not wear valentine masks painted in red and pink. And God is the only one to make our love toward others increase and abound. Unfortunately many think it is in their power and duty to manifest love.
1 Thessalonians 3:12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you
Christianity is all about love and love flows from the heart. That is why He gives us a new heart. He doesn’t repair the old, but replaces it for one that is a part of Him and capable of giving His pure love grounded in truth. However this heart starts small and needs nourishment in His Word to grow. When it does and we begin to live from the heart of the spirit and not the flesh then that pure love manifests relationships as they were intended to be whether with Him or others.
Our important role is to seek God’s love by abiding in His Word and wait for His work in us. If we don’t seek and ask we don’t receive. If we force it or try to fake it we end up being the worse hypocrites of all – professing God’s love and giving a warped decrepit version of our own.
If we seek God’s love then in time little by little it will consume our lives. It is a process that takes time and there is nothing instant about it from my experience. It takes time to know God and to cultivate a relationship of trust so we can truly surrender our lives. Then we can yield to Him, be filled with Him, and let down our walls to let His love flow through us and out to others.
It is better to admit we are a work in progress than be a counterfeit. Because people feel our hearts, if we try to pretend and neglect to wait on His true love our testimony of who God is destroyed. We end up pushing people away from God instead of toward Him.
Abide in Him and wait for God to truly transform you so that your words and actions come from a place of love. If you want love then spend time with the One who is the source of true love. We need a new thriving heart of Him to experience any true change otherwise we are putting perfume on a stinking corpse. Waiting is hard, but when you begin to see a real difference in your soul your praise will be true and glorifying to God. Then when people experience your love there will be no doubt your love is of God and not you. His love is the most important and best energy we can project.