Much emphasis has been placed on the fact that God is love. Regardless of who you are or what you are, saint or sinner, God loves you. Preachers constantly remind their congregations of God’s willingness to bless them. “Did you come for a blessing?” they ask. “The Lord wants to bless you and meet your need.” It is true! God does love us and wants to bless us. The only thing wrong with that emphasis is the lack of emphasis on our responsibility to the Lord. We must love Him! And He has given guidelines in the Scriptures on how we should manifest that love.
It is also more important to be a giver than a receiver. When we go to church our first concern should be worshiping the Lord and being a blessing to others. When that is our heart’s desire, it releases a flow from God to us. But when our hearts are only in the receiving mode, the flow from God is hindered or stopped altogether.
It is important to know that God loves us and wants to bless us. He has great things in store for His people. However, our uppermost desire must be to love Him and to be a blessing. In fact, the greatest blessing God has for us is to create within us the same divine qualities that are in Him.
Proverbs 8:17 I love them that love Me; and those that seek Me early shall find Me.
This does not mean that God waits until we love Him before He will love us. Romans 5:10 says that while “we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son.” And, or course, there is that most familiar passage in John 3:16. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Then, in I John 4:19, We love Him, because He first loved us.
It is only because God first beamed His love toward us that we are able to love Him. Surely we understand that human nature does not have an inherent love for God. Human nature is God’s enemy (Romans 5:10: 8:6-8). If human nature was acceptable to God, there would be no need to be born again. There would be no need for a nature-change if we were able to love Him and serve Him. So He enables us to love Him by transferring His love to our hearts.
It is impossible to generate or develop within yourself a love for God that is acceptable to Him. That ability is not in human nature. If you have opened your heart to the Lord, then there is, to some measure, divine love in your heart – not your literal heart, but the heart of your being, your spirit. What you must learn to do is to love Him with the divine love that He placed in your spirit. Then you are worshiping Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). When you do that it turns His “love-faucet” on, and more of His love is transferred to you; that is, He loves them that love Him. The more you use His love, the more He transfers His love to you. I love them that love Me.
Human love, whether love for spouse or family members or friends, is an emotion. And emotions are in the realm of the soul, not in the realm of your spirit. Therefore, soulish love, as well as the mind, is carnal (Romans 8:6-7). That is why it can slip so easily into self-centeredness, jealousy, and lust. Divine love is not puffed up, does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, and is not easily provoked (I Corinthians 13:4-7).
Before becoming a Christian a person is motivated and influenced by that which comes through his mind and emotions. Everyone is soulish and unable to function spiritually. Spiritually they are dead and only walk according to the course of this world. The apostle Paul makes reference to this in his epistle to the Ephesians. You hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; when in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation (behavior) in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Ephesians 2:1-3.
Do you understand what Paul is saying? All people, before becoming Christians, are influenced and controlled by the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. That is true even for the morally good. It is also true for many Christians, because they still haven’t learned how to love the Lord from their spirit. The greatest hindrance I’ve seen among Christians is that they are still trying to love the Lord with their human-love instead of appropriating the love that God is beaming toward them and loving Him with it. When you appropriate His love you are drawing it into your spirit, your inner being. And it is from there that we must love and worship the Lord. That is what it means to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
Worship from your spirit turns on His “love-faucet.” God is love (I John 4:8)! So when He beams His love to you, He is actually transferring Himself to your spirit. This is how change comes. True worship will maintain a flow of God to you. This means, of course, that you must be open to receiving His love with your spirit. If your receiver is in the soul mode instead of the spirit mode, you have closed the door. Many times I have seen Christians throw off the blessings God was beaming toward them by responding soulishly.
The Lord says, I love them that love Me (Proverbs 8:17). He begins the relationship of love and worship by first loving us. We love Him, because He first loved us. I John 4:19. Then, when we respond by loving Him with the love He transferred to our spirit, He responds by transferring more of His love to us. The cycle is broken, though, if we love and worship from our soul instead of our spirit. We are the ones that determine whether God’s love-faucet is on or off.
Copyright © 1997 by Henry DuBose