Without Real Love, I gain nothing. I profit nothing. My life comes to nothing. It is amazing to comprehend the power of love or the lack to beautify my life or utterly destroy it . My ability to perceive, understand, and give real love will change the course of my life with each interaction.
If I don’t understand what real love is, which most don't, the absence of real love changes how we see ourselves, how we see God, and how we see one another. A lack of real love in our life leaves us with an inferior, conditional love. This type of love says, “I will love you as long as you love me.” This love teaches us that our value is dependent. It is dependent upon our looks, our smarts, our behavior, our sexuality, etc. The sinfulness of man produces inconsistent love which is not true love. It creates confusion. One minute those around us seem to love us and the next, they seem to despise our existence. This can challenge our own self-worth. It creates fear, anger, anxiety. Real love, on the other hand, reduces and soothes the soul The love of mankind is powerful only to distort, never to heal.
Insecurity and pride both come from conditional love. A person may feel that they are not worth anything so they will shrink back and give up opportunities out of a fear of failure. They date people who mistreat them because they believe no one else will love them. Or they may be so worried that people think less of them that they will puff themselves up pretending to be something they are not just to get someone's approval.
When I know that I am loved as God loves me, I am changed, my thoughts, my words, my steps, my cravings, my attractions, my devotions. When I am not worried about whether or not others love me, I am free to love them. I can’t love others fully when I live in fear that they won't love me. These two emotions work against one another. Living in fear causes me to analyze everything I do pointing out to myself every reason why someone might not love me.
Conditional love keeps me from accepting the opportunities the Lord may provide for me. I may not even try convinced of my weaknesses certain they will keep me from succeeding and failure is too painful. Conditional loves makes me uncomfortable to be around people who love better, unconditional. I will be attracted to people who love less because somewhere in my mind, I believe this to be love. No one has ever left me more than that. Real love seems strange. I will struggle receiving love from the Lord. Picking on myself reminding me of everything wrong with me becomes a habit. I will accept less than what God has planned for me. It is with these decisions that we choose to abandon the path God has set before us. God's path is found when we are fully aware, having fully accepted and fully adopted the real love of God. Otherwise, we make decisions based on a lie that we are who people have said we are, that because people have treated us like crap, we must be crap. We turn down great opportunities out of fear. We will seek after things the world values rather than what God values because of pride. These decisions, one by one, move us out of the plan that God has for our life.
Real Love is the essence of God’s plan for our life. The more I love like God loves, the better decisions I make in life. Full confidence that God will love me no matter what reduces fear of being rejected by others. The love of God is more than enough. We don’t need everyone else’s approval because we have God’s. Our self-worth increases keeping us from allowing ourselves to be put into positions where we will be mistreated, abused, abandoned, or neglected. We will see too much value in ourselves to let that happen again. At the same time, overflowing with the love and approval of Got, we don’t worry about what others think of us. We don’t have to impress them and this affords us the opportunity to love with authenticity without needing anything in returnl.
I don’t know if this is sinking in or not, but I am praying it is hitting you right between the eyes. The Lord has said that His plan for you is beyond comprehension. It is so shockingly wonderful that it would never have occurred to you a few years before. But this plan is found as we learn to love as He loves. And again, I remind you that the Holy Spirit has poured the love of God into our hearts (Romans 5:5). This life-changing, trans-formative love is already in us. We only must learn to perceive it, access it, and live by it.
Everything can be different. Your entire life could be changed. Some of you have given up hope that things could ever get better. Well…hallelujah…I’m here to tell you, “YES! Yes, life can be different.” As you begin to live by Real Love instead of the world's love, the decisions you will make tomorrow will undo the decisions of your past. For our God is the God who restores what the locusts have eaten. He redeems our time. He redeems our mistakes. He redeems our sin. He redeems our dreams, our future, our hopes, our joy. Yes, love covers over sin, pain, and regret and uncovers the glorious plan God has for each of us.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” (NIV)
1 Corinthians 2:6-16
We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”--
the things God has prepared for those who love him--
these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for,
“Who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ. (NIV)
Lord, I don't want a life that comes from my own wisdom that is not really wisdom at all. Therefore, I lay down my soul before you in surrender asking You to fill me with knowledge of our Lord. Help me to realize the path to everything comes only after I find Your Real Love for me. Then Lord, help me to be open to Your Holy Spirit's voice. I don't want to live any life but what You have planned for me, but I get in the way and I need help Lord. I need help first and foremost understanding the depth of Your Love for me. Let me live in the freedom from fear that comes from the full assurance of Your unconditional love. -Amen
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