2006-07-24 - Isn't Love Divine?
Part 4 - The Greatest of These is Love
The book of Corinthians teaches us to abide in faith, hope, & love, & then reminds us that the greatest of these is love. I've noticed that here faith & hope are placed before love, & yet love is the greatest. Therefore, it seems that in order to reach this level of divine love that glorifies God; it appears we must also uphold an attitude of faith and hope. Yet, in maintaining these, we must also endure. And enduring is where love often times loses its "power" due to feelings and emotions. These would be the deep valleys where it is hard enough to simply continue to walk in unwavering faith, much less hope. And to "love" during these times, especially if your spouse or others do not understand or agree with you, or possibly are at a different level than you, that's the time when we begin to break out the bricks and mortar and become wall builders.
I think this is the time you must pause before allowing your first reactions to move into your defense mechanism. Then allow God to move in you, where, I believe you will be able to move into a more realistic stage. Stage 1: realizing your peace is gone & you are no longer enduring this situation. I believe we all experience this at differing points in our Christian upbringing (we never grow up completely. Our lives are a constant growing & learning process). It is so much easier to want to the easy way, not to mention we may think at the time, it would be much more fulfilling (in a sense) to just react in all our humanness. The ole "I want this person to feel what I'm feeling," tends to rear it's ugly head. Then, maybe, just maybe that would make him/her realize how I feel. Well, here's the first problem with that one. Men don't think, feel, or react the way women do. And secondly, there is truly only one partnership that can change someone, and that would be that person & God.
When our humanness is determined to take charge, it is vital to go immediately to God, stop, quiet our selves & begin searching He's promised when we seek Him, He will be found. Most of the time, I believe we are under such stress, anxiety, exhaustion, desperation, frustration, anger, etc that we are unable to see Him beside us. Sometimes what am I saying? many, many times, I've noticed that I'm so beside myself with such anxiety (or whatever feeling is readily available), I couldn't see Him, because I was in the way. One of my mother's phrases comes to mind now, "If he was a snake, He would have reached out and bit you." Thankfully for me, He's not the snake, but the Snake-Stomper!
Remember in Corinthians although love is the greatest, faith & hope are placed before it, possibly signifying an importance of these three as a triangle relationship that works together to achieve the final result a love in which is without human motive, yet overflowing with God's grace & mercy.
There are several various ways we can gain this "experience", but we'll save that one for another day.
Father God, I come to you now in faith, hope, trust, & even greater than any of those Lord, love. It's often times too much for us to love sufficiently, especially when we don't feel it reciprocated, or when we know it's not. But teach us to be the shining light of Your glory. You have said if we ask anything, it shall be given so Father, we ask for insight, knowledge, & wisdom: Insight to understand when we are working in our flesh, knowledge of Godly love, and the wisdom in which to use it. May all glory & honor be to You. AMEN
Comments or Questions?