The greatest Christian who will ever live will be the one who loves God the most. This is why the greatest souls to ever walk the earth are those who lived a life of pursuing God, seeking to do His will. This is because doing God’s will is proof of the true love of God, not merely a whim of human emotion.
Loving God is the first and greatest commandment, yet this love is not just an emotion. The word used for “love” in this commandment is not a noun but a verb, an action word. You cannot command an emotion in others. Therefore, our goal must not be to sequester ourselves in a place where we can just sit and feel emotions for God, but our love for God should be the controlling factor in our lives, in all that we do. There may be times for sequestering, and a deep devotional life is a foundation for a healthy Christian life, but the biblical love to which we are commanded does something.
Though what we become is more important than what we do, what we do is important too and is the proof of true love. As James wrote, what we do is also the proof of true faith as “faith without works is useless” (see James 2:20). Faith without works is not real faith. Neither is love without action real love.
Even though the love commanded in Scripture is not a noun and not an emotion, it does not mean that emotions are not a part of it. Who would like to hear their spouse say, “Darling, I love you by faith, but I don’t feel anything for you”? Even so, emotions can be influenced by many factors, even chemical factors in our bodies. Therefore, we must learn to control our emotions rather than allowing them to control us. We should love with the same actions, regardless of whether we are feeling up or down.
It may be difficult at first to love God Who we cannot see, but as we mature in our love, this becomes an advantage rather than a disadvantage. Not being able to see Him with our natural eyes forces us to see Him with what the Apostle Paul called “the eyes of our heart,” or our spiritual eyes. Our spiritual eyes can see much more than our physical eyes ever could. Our spiritual eyes are only limited in what they can see by our faith.
Our spiritual eyes don’t just see the externals of a person, but will see their heart even more than externals. Therefore, as the eyes of our hearts are opened, we will not be prone to judge others by appearances but by the Spirit. True judgment in this way is, therefore, only possible to the degree that our spiritual eyes are open.
The Apostle Paul understood this very well from the beginning. He was struck blind in the natural with his first encounter with the Lord. To “see” the Lord, Paul had to see Him by the Spirit. In some way, this must happen to each of us for us to really see Him — we must become blind to the things in the natural to see in the Spirit. To keep relating Him to natural things is to greatly reduce Him.
Scripture explains that the natural realm is but “a shadow” of the spiritual. This is why the Lord Jesus told His disciples that it was expedient for Him to go away so that the Spirit could come. It is hard to imagine anything that could have been more wonderful than walking with Jesus when He walked the earth in the flesh. But He Himself said that having the Holy Spirit with us is better. How? Because the Spirit will lead us into “all truth,” which can only be found “in the Spirit,” which is the reality that the whole physical realm is but “a shadow” of.
“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance to his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come,” Ephesians 1:17-21 NIV.
~ Pastor Rick Joyner
|Pastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.|