“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8).
Most of us think that we really understand the love of God, but our experience proves otherwise. We feel lonely, depressed, discouraged, and defeated. Every one of these negative emotions would be turned to positive by a proper revelation of God’s love for us.
As for loving others, most of us would admit there are some people who are very difficult to love. Since we do not fully understand God’s love for us, we fail in loving others. We can’t give away what we don’t have. If we receive a full revelation of God’s love for us, it becomes easy to love others with the love that we have received.
When we struggle to believe that God’s promises to us will come to pass, that’s unbelief; but the root of that unbelief is a lack of love. Galatians 5:6 says faith works by love. That means love is the driving force behind our faith. Remove or diminish love, and faith ceases to be what it should be. Many of us try hard to believe when we should be seeking a greater revelation of God’s love for us. Then, faith would just naturally work.
There is more than just a superficial knowledge that God loves us. In Ephesians, chapter 3, Paul prayed that the Ephesians would get a greater revelation of God’s love for them. He said, “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Eph. 3:14-19).
Notice in verse 18 that God’s love isn’t just one-dimensional. There is height, depth, length, and breadth to it. Many Christians only see God’s love as they would see a painting, in one-dimension. They’ve never seen the multi-dimensional reality of God’s love.
In verse 19, Paul said as we experience God’s love, which is superior to mere knowledge of God’s love, then we would be filled with all the fullness of God. What a statement! Are you lacking in any area of your life? If so, you lack a revelation of God’s love. Experiencing God’s love equals fullness.
I’ve said all of this to say that a deep revelation of God’s love for us is the most important thing we can receive. First Corinthians 13:13 says, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity” (God’s kind of love).
There are many ways that Satan uses to try to block the revelation of God’s love for us. One of the most subtle, and therefore the most deadly, ways is that he has deceived us into thinking that God’s love for us is tied to our performance. We think we have to do something to earn God’s love. We have to merit God’s love. That is not what the Bible teaches.
In the natural world, you get what you deserve. Employers don’t hire you based on their love for you. You have to perform. If you perform badly, you are punished or fired. The same thing is true in most relationships. I’ve had hundreds of married couples essentially tell me, “They don’t deserve my love.” However, the nearly-too-good-to-be-true news of the Gospel is that we don’t get what we deserve. Praise the Lord!
God’s love for us is unconditional. That is, God doesn’t love us because of some virtue we possess. God loves us because “God is love” (1 John 4:8), not because we are lovely.
Religion is one of the biggest propagators of the conditional-love-of-God lie. Most “Christian churches” teach that God’s love for us is conditional, based on our performance. If we pray, go to church, pay our tithes, etc., then the Lord loves us and answers our prayers; but if we fail, then the Lord won’t answer our prayers. That’s not true.
There is a disease in the church that I call “spiritual dyslexia.” Dyslexia is where a person sees things backwards. A dyslexic person sees the word “god” as “dog”. There’s a huge difference between God and a dog; yet dyslexics don’t see it.
“Spiritual dyslexia” has a similar effect on people. Those infected with this “spiritual dyslexia” see scriptures backwards. For instance, 1 John 2:3-5 says, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”
A dyslexic Christian sees these verses and says, “I want to know God, so I must keep His commandments.” These verses are saying just the opposite. Keeping God’s commandments is a result of knowing God. You can live a holy life without knowing God; the Pharisees proved that. However, you can’t know God without living a holy life as a result. When God’s love is perfected in us, keeping God’s Word will be the result (verse 5).
Any attempt to reverse this order is “getting the cart before the horse.” It won’t work; and yet this is what the majority of Christians are trying to do. They are seeking to know the Lord better by living a holier life. It’s just the opposite. Experiencing God’s love more will produce a holy life.
This dyslexic condition has caused many to tie God’s love for them to their performance. When they do well, they let God’s love for them flow. When they do poorly, they condemn themselves. They think God is condemning them, but He’s not. In many cases, it’s not even the devil condemning them. Satan has caused them to believe a lie, and they are condemning themselves.
We all need a greater revelation of God’s unconditional love for us! I have a special series designed just for that purpose. A revelation of God’s unconditional love for me is what turned my life around in 1968. It’s still impacting me today. These teachings reveal the things God showed me about His love. I believe that if you open up your heart, the Lord will grant you at least as much revelation on this as I have, and it will change your life.