We don’t pursue love by “doing,” by “getting,” by “doing to get.” Love is something we receive from God and we abide in it to experience the fullness of love.
John 8:31, 32 “If you abide in My word, then you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
We receive Lord Jesus (the word became flesh) and believe.
John 7:38 “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”
We receive revelation unto faith.
Romans 4:22 “And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous.”
We petition our Father in prayer and we wait to receive wisdom and understanding in His timing and through His ways.
James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
We receive conviction from the Spirit and we obey.
John 16:8 “And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.”
We receive promptings by the Holy Spirit and we respond.
Romans 8:14 “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”
There is a monumental difference between getting love and receiving love. Let’s begin by looking at the difference between religion and following Christ. Religion says, “I obey, in order to be accepted.” But following Christ is exactly the opposite—it says, “I am accepted! Therefore I long to obey; I desire to obey.” One is driven by fear, the other is driven by love. One is about performance, the other is about position and purpose. One is led by flesh, the other is led by the Spirit.
From The Collected Works of Watchman Nee:
In Acts 22:10, The Lord Jesus appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus, and Paul immediately asked, “What shall I do, Lord?” A turning point in our spiritual life does not come through our decision to do something for God; it does not come as a result of our resolving to do this or that for God. It comes when we see Him. When we meet God, a radical change takes place in our life. We can no longer do what we did in the past. When we meet God Himself, we have the power to deny ourselves. The matter of denying one’s self ceases to be optional when we have met God. His appearance makes a person unable to go on by himself; it forces him to not live by himself anymore. God’s appearance brings with it inexhaustible power. Such an appearance will alter the whole course of a person’s life. For a Christian, the power to live for God is based on his vision of God. Oh! It is not our decision to serve the Lord that enables us to serve Him.
After we first receive Christ we are on fire to do things for God—but the way that seems right to man leads to destruction—the wisdom of man is earthly, sensual, and demonic. We believe we have to do works in order to receive love—but here is the truth that will set you free: we already have received His love and our hearts are changed forever; we simply have to believe, die to self, and walk in faith.
The practical application of receiving His love is through belief—by believing we are forgiven, by believing therefore there is now no condemnation, by believing who He says we are—and He says we are sons. Praise God! We are sons of the most High—delivered from the domain of darkness, set free from the cords of sin and bondage of self; loved, valued, secured, protected, provided for, and guided in perfect truth. Redeemed, transformed, and glorified (three stages of salvation).
Before Christ came into my life it was “do this” in order to avoid pain and gain pleasure, but now it is “know Him” and receive every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.
God reveals Himself to us; first in His Word, in prayer and communion, in our circumstances, and through people. Once the tender love of Jesus Christ begins to invade our inner man, we are wrecked—changed forever. He melts our hearts with a love we never knew existed—a security we never knew was possible. The truth of His word shines brighter than the sun and burns up—yes, consumes, the lies and the false beliefs we held about ourselves, others, and God. Has the love of God changed you forever? Do you see His mercy and His grace in your life?
When we discover God’s love for us, and become more and more rooted in His love, it changes everything. The love of God will transform you in a way nothing else can. His love will deliver you from evil, fear, and the grip of addiction—from the grip of sin.
2 Timothy 1:7 “God gave us not a spirit of fear, but of power and love and sound mind.”
Without the love of God we ramble around like selfish animals, devouring one another, stepping on the hands and feet of others to gratify our own desires. We may fake love, in order to gain the trust of people, but unless our motivation is the love of God, we will use, abuse, and manipulate others for selfish gain.
Only with the love of God can we love selflessly and sacrificially.
Romans 5:5 “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
1 Timothy 1:5 “The goal of our instruction is love; from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.”
With God’s love we rejoice at the opportunity to GIVE to others, HELP others, BLESS others, ENCOURAGE others, PROTECT others, and CORRECT others. Sharing and spreading the love of God makes us joyful above all else.
John 15:7-11 “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.”
While the law focused on doing, the focus of grace is on being—being like Jesus. With the new covenant, the focus changed from an obsession with self—am I doing the right thing, saying the right thing, wearing the right thing, thinking the right thing, and so on; to, falling in love with God through our Lord Jesus—His love for me, His, patience, His goodness, His kindness, His precious peace that surpasses all understanding—to the point that I want to be just like Him. He is the Lover of my soul.
Matthew 16:26 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”
His love is for you. It is God and God alone who is able to meet and fulfill our spiritual needs. Love is not something we get, it is something we receive.