Coming near to God in Christ Jesus through learning of the pure holy love that flows from God toward us can cause us to develop a strong desire to have love for God and for people.
It also can cause us to become keenly aware that we do not truly have that love.
The abrasiveness disappointments and outright conflicts with people in life can cause us to become defensive, protective, and even aggressive toward others.
Growing up in our broken fallen world is not conducive to our becoming love. We are formed and trained to take care of ourselves and to protect ourselves and our small circle of family or close friends that help feed our hungry hearts and needy lives.
We develop a hard shell of many layers of self protection and defense to survive. We seek pleasure to meet our need in whatever, whoever, or wherever we can find it.
But then God comes along in Jesus and LOVES us completely just as we are and desires to change us back into our originally created state of image and likeness of God. Then a big challenge arises in our soul.
Can I truly trust this Jesus that I cannot see, when I have clearly learned that I cannot fully trust those that I can see?
Our hearts say yes, and we truly seek to trust God in Christ with our whole hearts. Yet our souls are not yet ready or able to conform to this.
Our hard shell is deeply ingrained in our everyday life as a hardened foundation of need to take care of ourselves.
We seek to find security in our hardened shell of self-protection that surrounds our pleasure seeking self-life.
THE ROAD TO LOVE IS THROUGH THE VALLEY OF PAIN
Breaking through our shell is the most painful experience of life. It is the train wreck of our past being destroyed.
The train of our life is off the tracks we used to run on and crashing down a deep ravine.
Unreasonable circumstances of failure, rejection, being misunderstood and accused wrecks our lives.
However, even worse is the final realization that we are not the lovely person of God that we thought ourselves to be, (Psalm 57).
We fall far short of the love of God that He desires for us to become. The pain continues as every single thing in this world that gave us life in our past simply dissolves or takes wings and flies away.
Like Job, all is gone, and our soul is sick near unto death.
We come face to face with the death of our old lives and religious ways. Our self-preservation and self-improvement that led to our striving to have more and be and do more fails us.
It becomes a life that we hate. Pain is our constant companion in this dark night of the end of our past life, (John 12:25).
Our darkest hour of pain beyond measure is the night just before the dawn of LOVE arises from deep within us. There are tons of forgiveness and repenting in the painful end of our past life.
JOY COMES IN THE MORNING
In the morning joy comes as the dawn of LOVE for God and everyone around us including our enemies floods our awakening spirits with unconditional love and peace beyond understanding, (Psalm 30:5).
The valley of the shadow of death is more than we could ever survive on our own. It is life as we have known it passing away.
Our need to have our own way, our self-ability, our own strength, our cunning, and our devisevness are all dissolving.
The reality is that we have no other choice but to trust Him. We know full well that if He does not take care of us we are finished.
It is then in the presence of our enemies, our self-life, and strong souls that Jesus our good Shepherd prepares a meal for us and leads us to still waters and green pastures, (Psalm 23).
Yes, the devil wants to kill us physically, but that would be his victory and cannot be allowed.
What the devil meant for evil is the final breakthrough reality for us as we lose our lives and find GOD’S LIFE OF PURE HOLY LOVE flooding our lives and taking us to the place of Sonship in His love that we could never achieve on our own, (John 10:10).
BUT ISN’T THERE AN EASIER WAY?
Everyone’s experience will be different in the details and degrees of severity. And there is technically a better way.
The better way is to be able to lose your life by truly giving it to God with no reservations and through an inner experience of death to past life to be infused fully with the LOVE of God in Jesus by the Holy Spirit.
This means actually becoming a new creation by being truly born again in Christ. That is much more than the empty or light-hearted claim often made by Christians who have not really become the practical reality a new creation, (2 Corinthians 5:17, Matthew 7:21-23).
For me and most who I know that truly become the love of God, it is a painful experience of total loss of past life and truly becoming a new creation of a Spirit being alive unto God in personally intimately becoming one life with Father God in Christ as Christ abides in us by the Holy Spirit.
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” 1 Peter 4:12-13.
“For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this iscommendable before God. 21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps,” 1 Peter 2:20-21.
His glory is revealed in us in the morning after our dark night, (Isaiah 58:8-9).
Pain plus resentment always produces bitterness.
Pain plus forgiveness always produces LOVE.
Do not waste your pain, but let patience have its perfecting work until the joy comes in the morning, (James 1:2-4).
Pain is never a welcome friend, but when it causes us to lose our past life in order to become the life of God’s pure holy love, it can truly be counted all joy.
We can endure and actually count it all joy when these painful trials come because we know as deep as the pain so will be the glory in the morning of His LOVE arising upon and within us, (James 1:2).
AS IT IS WITH THE INDIVIDUAL, SO IT IS WITH THE WORLD.
God is LOVE. His kingdom is a kingdom of LOVE. The deep darkness with all of its tribulation upon the nations is the dark night breaking down the hardened shell of resisting God and His way of life, (Isaiah 60:1-2).
Through the pain of death in the night of darkness, the remaining remnants of the nations will forgive, repent, and turn to seek first the kingdom of God.
Then comes the morning of the glory of God on earth as it is in heaven, (Psalm 110:3).
Thus the kingdoms of this world are becoming the Kingdom of our God. This is the work of God and not the work of man.
However, we do have our part in agreeing with the works of God and being obedient to all that we know that God gives us to do and be, (Revelation 11:15).
SEATED AT REST IN THE FINISHED WORK OF GOD
The striving of man never does the works of God.
Without regard to the severity of our current situation we are to be seated and at rest in trusting God to do what He says he will do. If we stand to do the work, God steps back.
When we are seated in faith trusting Him, He stands up to do the works of getting us through into the brightness of His glorious presence in the morning of His pure holy love.
It is Spirit God who works in us and through us. The finished work of the Cross is manifested in and through us by the resurrected power of Christ Jesus in us by the Holy Spirit.
All of the love, power, wisdom, and resources of Father God are available to us in the reality of Holy Spirit fully living in our lives, (Romans 8:28, Philippians 4:13, Mark 19:23).
Enduring the darkness of cleansing and restoring us to full grown Sons of God is all the work of God in us by the Holy Spirit.
Our total rest and freedom releases God in us to transform the world into the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven, (Matthew 6:10).
LOVE NEVER FAILS, AND TO THE INCREASE OF HIS KINGDOM THERE IS NO END.
“Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this,” Isaiah 9:7.
“Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom,” Luke 12:32.
Be made whole in His love,
~ Ron McGatlin
Subscribe to the weekly OpenHeaven.com Digest
Ron McGatlin Ron has over 62 years of seeking to serve God in ministry and business. Barbara has served in pastoral and Christian education positions for over 10 years. They currently make their home in the foot hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, USA. Ron has written 5 books on revival and the in-breaking kingdom and continues to write powerful apostolic/prophetic articles published weekly in the OpenHeaven.com Digest.