God’s word is a window into the very mind and heart of God. In fact, God magnifies His Word above His name (Ps 138:2). It is easy to allow the Word to take a backstage role in our lives. Why? It takes work and effort to search the scriptures and make them the centerpiece of our being. The Apostle John gives some insight into this thought:
And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. Revelation 10:9
On first inspection the word is sweet, enlightening and glorious. But upon digestion, assimilation and prolonged residence in one’s life, it will be discomforting and contrary to the whims and the wild nature of the flesh. In short, the living Word of God does not always “feel good” in our lives.
Feelings are at best a catalyst for good, and at worst, ignorant and deceptive for the beginnings of error.
We live in a culture defined by the “touchy-feely”. Our society operates on-demand. Give it to me now. Not in 5 minutes, not in 5 seconds, put it in my hand or within my line of sight RIGHT NOW! Why? Because it feels good. And we like to “feel” good.
Unfortunately, this mindset has meandered and crept its way into our perceptions of love, specifically, God’s love. And this is our launching pad. God’s love has little to do with feelings. Let’s take a look into this.
God’s Love & God’s Word
According to the word of the Lord, God’s love IS ALWAYS in concert with obedience to God’s word. Sometimes love is convoluted with two feeling-based fruit of the Spirit; joy and peace. How does one know if they embrace joy or peace? You feel” it. How else can you define the presence of them? You feel and sense peace and you feel and sense joy.
But, God’s love, the Greek word ‘agape’, is not about feelings.
Agape love is more about actions and reactions to life than it’s about feelings in life. The Apostle Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth devoted exclusively to love (agape) pinpoints this assertion:
Longsuffering, kindness, envy-less, selflessness, modest (vs. 4), gracious, humble, even tempered, innocent thinking (vs. 5), non-judgmental & God-seeking (vs. 6), trustworthy, faith-driven, confident, determined (vs. 7). I Corinthians Chapter 13
Where do you find feelings in this list of love characteristics? These spiritual graces are not produced by feelings. They come through persistent obedience and leading by God’s truth (Word) and Spirit. Jesus has much to say on this:
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. John 14:21
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings … John 14:23-24
The New Testament scriptures (KJV) translates the Greek word agapē (ἀγάπη)- sacrificial love, a love feast, as either the English words love or charity, 144x. Of those 144 scriptures, 53 verses include the word “faith” along with the word agapē. Faith cannot be separated from God’s love.
The world has perverted into a feeling what God originally intended to originate from faith. Belief in God’s Word:
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
And faith is energized or made effective by love; through the Word of God:
Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
Worketh: Greek ἐνεργέω (energeō) to be active, efficient: effectual, be mighty in. (Strongs)
“… but faith coming to effective expression through love”. (Wuest)
The world’s formula for love is based on supply-demand marketing strategy. Love is projected as a fragile and fleeting consumable sustained with products and services.
This is not God’s design. Rather the truth is, God designed love to have its roots solely in Him, not as a consumable, but based on a condition. The condition being a heart in total and complete surrender in obedience to His word. What is the result? Knowing God for who He is. And who is He?
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. I John 4:7-8
God is love.
More Love, Less Control
The broadcast on the evening radio last week could not have been more timely. With these thoughts about love lingering and swirling around during the home commute, the preacher said:
“The more in love you are with someone, the less control you have over your life“.
The minister went on to say he was just fine living the life of a bachelor. But, when this particular lady entered his life (now his wife), things began to change. He began to loose control over his life. To the point of total loss that he might gain faithful love.
More love, less control:
Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Luke 22:42-44
The more love, the less control.
God is love. It’s more than a feeling.