Real Love, Real Hope

I have been thinking about love these past few days. My thoughts were triggered by our Worship With Word scripture focus a couple weeks ago out of Psalm 63.

“O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.”                  •Psalm 63:1-3•

His lovingkindness is better than life. I looked at the word lovingkindness in the Hebrew, and it speaks of His goodness, kindness, devotion, faithfulness, mercy, and unchanging love. When I looked at the individual Hebrew letters and their definitions, His lovingkindness encompasses grace, life, God’s support and protection, the joining of man to God, Holy Spirit, power of God, and repentance. Again, I am amazed in seeing the connection of a life bent in humility before the Lord and the release of grace and power, ultimately  becoming one with Jesus as He is with the Father. It is so beautiful!

In my study, I decided to look up the word love in the English dictionary. Love is defined as “an intense feeling of deep affection, a person or thing that one loves, and to feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone).” This is the simple definition. When it look at the full definition, it does eventually mention “God’s fatherly concern for mankind” and a “brotherly concern for others”, but the first definition is predominant in what I’ve found.  Love is an “intense feeling”, a feeling of affection, which can be of a familial, devotional, and/or sexual nature.

But love is so much more! Love is NOT just a strong feeling. Feelings come and go. Love is a laid down lifestyle that affects ALL situations and ALL relationships. Love is a person. That person is God. That person, in the flesh, was and is Jesus. Heidi Baker was quoted, saying, “Love looks like something…” What does it look?  How do I know real love? How do I find it and hold onto it? Through my own personal walk with Jesus, and according to what is written in the Word, here is my definition of love.

Love is a Person. God IS Love. Love is patient and so kind in that He suffers much, laying down His life that all would know freedom and truth. Love stands in boldness for truth and justice in the midst of pride, selfish ambition, and pain, and yet, Love covers a multitude of sins, covers the broken, and the fatherless. Love chooses to forgive and submits to discipline. Loves bears the burden, believes, endures, and sustains hope in everything. Love chooses others first, and does not seek to be seen. Love is strong, bold, and confident, yet exhibits meekness and a servant heart. Love is forever faithful and encouraging, cultivating wisdom, righteousness, and strength. Love chooses LIFE, sacrificing everything to bring about redemption, restoration, and new life. Love sees passed confusion and deception, the hard exterior, and sees the tender, broken heart longing for something more, something real.

Love is a Person. We need real Love. We need God. We love because He first loved us. Love is eternal. Love NEVER fails. Love is so much more than a feeling, affection, and physical touch and intimacy. Love is a STATE OF BEING. Abiding in God. All who abide in God, abide in Love. Love is an all-consuming fire that conquers death, that burns away all that ties us down then compels us to holiness, truth, joy, and abundant life! Love looks like something. Like Someone. Love looks like Jesus. 

“For this reason, I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from 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 through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of GodNow to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”  •Ephesians 3:14-21•

 Father God, let us overflow with Love, that Your glory would be displayed  in and through us into the world! Let us be enveloped in Your faithfulness and strength, that we would arise fearless and on fire in the beauty of Your great Love and holiness. Let us be gentle as a lamb yet bold as a lion! We want to walk in Your Love that produces confidence, joy, and HOPE. In Your Love, You have made us so much more than conquerors. We are Your sons, Your daughters, kings and priests; we are Your beloved! Nothing can separate us from Your strong Love! You are GOOD and Your mercy endures forever!

Here I Come

Walk By Faith…

…and not by sight. We have heard this Scripture before, but what does a life walking in faith really look like? How do we get the place of leaning fully into the strength of our Beloved and obeying His every word? How do we come to where we are fully surrendered to His love and where grace takes over causing us to never give up the fight against the enemy, to declare His word and stand firm on it? Where we are not tossed by the waves of the sea (emotions, other people’s words, lies from the enemy, etc.), and our gaze is fixated on the fire in His eyes…

I whole heartedly believe that God has begun a work to accomplish this very thing in us, in His Bride. In the last few months, I have noticed within myself that my flesh, mind, heart, and soul can be walking in opposition to what God says, yet my spirit is alive and binding itself to His Word, continuing to sing and declare the truth about Him, releasing light into the atmosphere. In the tumult of emotions and bombarding lies from the enemy, I find myself seeking His face, staring into the flames of love in His eyes, and securing a foothold on the truth. I’m not saying that I have entered into perfection and no longer become discouraged or sin, haha. What I am saying is that God is infusing me with His strength as I wait on Him, as I open myself more and more and let my trust go deeper in Him.

This past Friday night, during our service at the house of prayer, the Lord met with us. At first, He was gentle and kind, surrounding us with songs of deliverance. It was as though we were walking in the Garden of Eden with Him, in the cool of the night, communing with Him. Over the progression, it turned into being in the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus, drinking from the same cup of ultimate suffering yer ultimate joy, and singing, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” Beautiful, powerful, dangerous, and freeing all at once. Jesus is coming back, and He is in the midst of preparing a Bride who will stand on His Word, uncompromising and unwavering, regardless of what comes her way. She will be pure and holy, fully infused with the strength of her Beloved, her King…the King of Glory!

“There is an army rising up
Warriors of love, the Bride of Christ
Found standing on the Rock
Standing on the Word of God

Pour out Your Spirit, pour out Your mercy
No more compromise
Reveal the hidden iniquities
Let us desire fire, purity, holiness, righteousness, love
Not our will, but Yours be done
Surround us with light, fill us with light
A city on a hill, releasing Your glory”                      (Some of what was sung on Friday night.)

This transformation is not an over night event. Nor is it easy or painless. However, He is patient and He is kind. He is faithful to finish the work He has begun in us. Surrender and humility are the keys to being transformed into vessels of pure light that release His glory all over the earth! We die with Christ that we may live in Him and with Him. He is worthy of it all!

The Lord let me to this Scripture the other day, and I was greatly encouraged.

And Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the Lord; My horn is exalted in the Lord. I smile at my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation. “No one is holy like the Lord, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.”

1 Samuel 2:1-2

I smile at my enemies because I rejoice in Your salvation. Nor is there any Rock like our God! In this, we walk by faith and not by what we see. God’s word is our reality. Eternity spent with Him in love is our HOPE.

During my worship devotional today, I began by singing the old hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”.  A song painting such a beautiful picture about how awesome, kind, and faithful God really is. How sunrise brings new mercies from our Father. I started there, and then let the Holy Spirit take over. What is written below is a mixture of Song of Solomon, Revelation, some of the Psalms, 1 Samuel, and some things I felt God was showing me. It went back and forth between the desire of my heart to be close to Him and a picture He showed me of the Bride of Christ. The Lord has already established in His Word how it will be when He returns. All we need do is yield to work of His hand.

bride faith

Father, I pray that You would awaken us. Make us more aware of You and what You are doing. Prepare us for revival. Prepare us for persecution. Prepare us for Your return. We want to be the voice, we want to be the light, the bright and shining lamp, calling all who will listen and respond to You. Holy Spirit, remind us of the truth, of Jesus’ love and suffering, of the resurrection life and glory that resides in each one of us. You will have Your Bride. You will have Your inheritance. You will have Your glory. Lord, help us to be found faithful as You are faithful. Let us set our minds on things above, that Your peace would guard our hearts and the joy of walking with You would be our strength. Thank You, Father, for Your kindness that leads us to repentance, and for Your love that makes us holy. Do in us what only You can do. We love You, Abba. Amen.