The Love Of The Father
Since my wife has passed, in my personal love, desire, and my own perceived need I hug my daughters, my sisters-in-law, and extended family with a tremendous affection. This is not just in giving affection, but also meeting my desire for it: am I giving to get? Is even this very limited show of affection a lust of the flesh? It is our fleshly or very carnal nature that obscures the difference between love and lust to the minds of men. Our mind remembers the love or affection to, or from, an individual or thing, and desires to return to it. It is this lust of the flesh that we do not recognize and that often defeats our attempts to grow into the love of the Father;
I John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
There can be no fullness in our love of God, with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, if we have kept any love of the world or the lust of the flesh: our vessel will have a mixture unless and until the love of God is in the completeness of all that we have. Your fleshly or carnal mind is against the Spirit and God and cannot be subject to the law or please God;
Romans 8:5 – 8 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
So your flesh will never love God! Your flesh really only loves itself, only showing love to others in order to get what it desires! And your fleshly nature then works against your ability to love God in the spiritual. In our flesh we become like the Pharisees, making a show of the things that are right, and … pass over judgment and the love of God (Luke 11:42). In our flesh we can never reach the fullness of the love of God, for our flesh cannot and will not be subject to the law. That is why we are exhorted to come out of the lust (flesh) to find the divine nature;
II Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
So we must come out of the fleshly nature to find the nature that is given of God! How did we get to this place of failure of flesh and of the love of God? Our God is a multiplier, but satan is a duplicator. Every good thing that God has created the devil will try to duplicate, and makes a counterfeit. So where is the beginning of this counterfeit love? In place of the love of God, the devil gave Eve the alternate evil desire of lust;
Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Can you see that all of the things of the world of I John 2:16 were in her lust? She saw that it was … good for food (the lust of the flesh), … pleasant to the eyes (the lust of the eyes), and … desired to make one wise (the pride of life). If that counterfeit love of the world is in you, where is the love of the Father? Consider I John 2:15 again with the scriptures following;
I John 2:15 – 17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
The devil tempted Eve and brought worldliness (that lust or love of the world) that has been corrupting, destroying, and defiling ever since Eve was tempted: corrupting and defiling men and women, destroying righteous living, destroying faith, and confusing our understanding. How often today lust is confused for love! We see sexual lust in nearly everything, and it is teaching our young people to dress provocatively because the ad agencies say “sex sells”. What they receive is not even a cheap copy, and will never fully satisfy the longing in their hearts. We must escape the counterfeit of lust and get back to the love of God!
We are living in an extremely corrupt and lustful generation, and it has blurred the lines of righteousness around us. The apostle Paul said … I die daily. (I Corinthians 15:31) If Paul said he died daily, the possibility existed that he might not die to the flesh; as he said in Romans;
Romans 7:19 – 23 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inner man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
So if that war between the flesh and Spirit was with Paul daily, and is continually with us, how can we possibly overcome? Paul asks and answers that very same question;
Romans 7:24 – 8:2 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. THERE is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
In Christ Jesus, with a walk in the Spirit, there is chastisement and deliverance, but no condemnation. Many confuse chastisement and condemnation: condemnation is final judgment, and is beyond the love and mercy of God for us. We should have a continual walk in the Spirit, but know that if we fail we have an advocate;
I John 2:1, 2 MY little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
If you are a man or woman after God’s own heart you will love Him enough to obey His commandments, but also to receive chastisement and always repent and go forward in Him if or when you fail. How do you think Paul learned to die daily? He had a few failures, but overcame them through the Lord Jesus! If we are comfortable in our lust we will remain in it and continue in the paths of failure and sin. Why were we told of the things that the children of Israel lusted after in the wilderness? The word tells us;
I Corinthians 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
If we see and diligently consider the example in the lust of the children of Israel then we should be circumspect (Exodus 23:13), and look for the lust for worldly things in our own lives. Ephesians 5:15 also calls us to be circumspect, but you will find this spiritual warfare against the lust if you will read Ephesians 5:1 – 21. While it does not have the word circumspect, Colossians 3 considers this warfare as well, and may best describe how to be circumspect;
Colossians 3:1, 2 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ setteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
By lust our affections are so often on the things of the world, and those things are our passion. We must recognize the counterfeit of lust and escape to find the passion of the fullness of the love of God. Why is the fullness of the love of God so important? The love of God will bring us to complete obedience to His words and commandments. I awoke one day to hear We cannot let the warfare determine or dictate our actions. With the warfare active between the carnal mind and Spirit, we will perceive that temptations are options. With any love of the world or our flesh remaining it will allow our minds to justify our chosen actions, rather than to simply hear and obey the commandments of God. You are not loving God with all your mind if you allow your mind to find options. If you let the love of God determine your actions you will obey;
John 14:23, 24 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
If we fully love God it will become as simple as hear and obey. Please also see from the above verses that the depth of your love of God has a cause and effect with the King and kingdom being within you: If a man love me, he will keep ... and my Father will love … and we will come … and make our abode. There is also cause and effect with receiving the Spirit;
John 14:15, 16 If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
The Comforter, the Spirit of truth, the Holy Ghost will … teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance (John 14:26). All these promises can also bring us to the cause and effect of us abiding in His love, and having fullness of joy;
John 15:10, 11 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
This love and joy is as a blessed well springing up inside of us! What will it feel like when it reaches the level of rivers of living water flowing out of us? We cannot reach that place until we can recognize and remove the fleshly hindrances that occupy our daily walk. People need to be able to then see, and perceive, the differences between the love of God and the lust of the world: Is this in being moved and doing, not just in saying it or in emotion? The emotion of love is the most visible, but the action, provision, and constancy of love is the most life changing. The love of God is not changing in intensity with high highs and low lows, but is constant and unchanging! Barbara said don’t hug me or tell me you love me, but show me: God wants us to show him we love Him by our obedience to His commandments. How often our hearts are lead by our flesh;
Mark 7:6, 7 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
This prophesy can be found at Isaiah 29:13, and then establishes that the result was that wisdom and understanding would be hidden from them. That God knoweth the hearts can be found in a number of scriptures including Acts 15:8 and Romans 8:27, but Jesus described it so well in Luke’s gospel;
Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
Can you recognize any justification of self in your heart? Are you choosing to hold onto your lust and the things of the flesh? Brother Don Shoots said in a sermon that God had told him, I won’t let you hold on to anything but me, and Brother Shoots said he did not like that. In our very limited understanding we perceive this “hold on to” as the physical attachment or grasping of life, and do not understand the Spirit and nature of the “holding”. God is calling us to only hold on to Him, escaping the corruption of lust, and receive His love shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. Fully received His love will be all encompassing, fully meeting our every need for love and affection. To receive fully we must enter into His love, and escape the need and desires of the lust of the flesh. If we do not, the flesh will work against the Spirit, and continue to prevent or reduce the flow of the rivers of living water that are the Spirit. This love of God is part of the divine nature and will bring us to receive the promises of God. It will thus equip us to always be giving, instead of also needing to receive from the world. It is the blessing of God; … It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35) Can you receive and understand that that nature or desire to give is the mind of Christ?
There is also great importance of our love for God in relation to the depth of our faith. Our love of God will bring us to not only obey His commandments, but to have greater faith, and overcome the world in victory;
I John 5:3, 4 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
After Jesus gave the parable of the unjust judge, in Luke 18:8 it says, Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Where is our faith? We know from Romans 12:3 that … God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. So we each have been given a measure of faith, and we each determine our own activation or use of that faith. We also know and have considered repeatedly from Galatians 5:6 that faith … worketh by love. Our faith is not being fully activated because we are living and walking and trying to find faith with the counterfeit love of lust! How often we mistake the necessary love, or limit it due to the mixture of the lust of the flesh. Fullness of faith will only come in fullness of His love. When we love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and then … the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us (Romans 5:5), our faith can be activated and strengthened by that true, pure love, and then the Spirit can flow out of us as rivers of living water. We have continued to seek for the Spirit to flow in this way, and we say we are waiting for God, yet the delay and problem is ours, we have not fully escaped the corruption of lust!
Once we have finally found the fullness of the love of God, there is then a need to be vigilant to remain in the love of God, as evidenced by Jude’s exhortation;
Jude 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
The love of God will not stray with us into the counterfeit if or when we do, so we must keep ourselves in His love. Let this give greater understanding of Paul’s declaration that I die daily, there will be a need to be vigilant and obedient continually. Purpose to be an individual after God’s own heart, that you may abide in His blessing and keeping love and grace!