The Spirit of God Who lives within the heart of anyone who truly believes in Him is also the Spirit of the love of God. In the New Testament, the Bible tells us that love is a gift. “…the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5). The life of His Holy Spirit can’t be divided from His love. And the one thing about love that we can be sure about is that it can’t simply be emotionally aroused. Why does the Lord forgive us and fling all our sins away? So He can fill us with His Spirit. Then, through His Spirit, He’ll be able to instruct, lead and guide us in the right path—all because of His love.
The Apostle Paul’s main objective was “that I may know Him….” This ought to be our main objective also. But how is it possible to love someone that we don’t really know? Many Christians are making this mistake. They attempt so much to love God, when they really don’t know Him. And why don’t they know Him? It’s because they give such a small amount of their time to Him. We need to understand that it’s not only His Word that we need to know, but we also need to know Him—on a personal basis. We aren’t just able to know about God—we’re also able to have a warm, private, personal relationship with Him.
The need in so many lives today is the same as the purpose God has for us—that our love should grow. And obedience to God is the prime evidence of our love. If we have love, we’ll be obedient, and if we have obedience, we’ll have love. We often hear God’s Word, but are we obedient to do it as our faith in Him leads us to? Love is the only authority we should readily obey. It extends an unquestionable authority over us, but it’s not one that involves fear. If we don’t have love, it also means we don’t obey the Word of God. The absence of love is all too often the source of many of our spiritual troubles. Yet it isn’t simply by His love that the Lord saves us—it’s by His grace, propelled by His love. And what makes it possible to live a life obedient to God? It’s His grace. Obedience is what He looks for, along with prayer without ceasing. He’s also looking for devotion from a heart full of love for Him. Then the Lord will be able to give us all the power necessary for us to behave in holiness and obedience.
Even though mankind is composed of lost sinners, the Lord continues to love us—and He wants to know if we really love Him. The way we’re able to see proof of genuine faith is by the love that comes from faith like this. But there can’t be any love if faith hasn’t been put in the right place. It’s faith that makes all things possible—but it’s love that makes them happen. When the new life of God comes into us, we’ll experience a new love for Him entering into our lives. We may have belief in God, yet never take time to work out what our faith really amounts to. But the one thing we can be certain that our faith will do, is that it will take possession of what God has already offered to us. Since we have become His beloved children, we are to live in His fatherly love.
Paul referred to love as preferring someone else—Who is Jesus Christ—to myself. He’s to be the foundation of our faith. He’s to make our life full. Therefore, it’s important for us to put our trust and faith in Him on all occasions. In fact, the way we first got to know Him personally was through our faith. Yet the most important trial of our Christian life isn’t according to our faith. And it’s also not according to how we serve Him, or what we give to Him, or even our sacrifice for Him. The real test of our Christian life and walk boils down to how much we love Jesus. Do we know how much He loves us? He loved us so much that He was willing to give His own life to die on the Cross for our sake. But it’s only as we go on having obedient faith in Him that we can continue in His love—whose purpose must always be the Cross.
Where do we need to be? At His feet, which is where we’ll find the place of love and where we’ll also hear the voice of love. He wants us to be His faithful companions forever in this love relationship. In Christ, God is speaking—and we have no choice but to obey. Let’s step out in obedience and let God have His way with us.