SCHOOL OF ISRAEL
Mini-Study Guides, 1994-5
"More Than Conquerors"
29. One Burning Message
Scripture Meditation: Galatians 2:11-21
Love, brethren and sisters, is the only remedy for fear. If we do not open our beings to the love of God so that He flows into us to quicken us and inflame us with His passion, then we can never be unified personalities. Do you have psychological problems? Well, here's the all-cure. Hard to believe? Well, why not try it. I must warn you, however, that loving in this way hurts a lot sometimes, especially when that love is spurned. But always remember that this love is God's anyway, and not yours, and He is hurting a lot more than you when it is turned away.
If we do not love God supremely we become uncomfortable at the thought of Him. And the closer we get to him the more uncomfortable we become. I well remember one young man in England with whom we shared some of the choice revelations God has given us. He was overwhelmed. He told me that for the first time in his life he felt as though he had seen God's face. He was on fire but at the same time drew back in fear. In the end the fear overwhelmed him and he elected to follow a less demanding variety of the gospel in another church. So powerful was God's presence and love that he said he could not face it and asked not to be contacted anymore. We respected that and we haven't heard from him since.
If your heart has been a desert for a long time then, yes, love is uncomfortable, even fearful, because it is so overwhelming, so unexpected, so unbelievable. I have heard so many people say that they are not worthy of Christ's love, or even another Christian's love, and then withdrawn. But the truth is that no-one is worthy of God's love, and that's why it's free. To say that we are not worthy of love is to put a price on it when there isn't one, because love, which is God's love, is free.
When love comes your way do two things. First, receive it unconditionally. Second, give to others unconditionally. Once you start doing this it will multiply and multiply until you are overwhelmed with surprise!
The reason why so many Christians are apprehensive about doing the things He asks us to do is that we do not love His will. One of the characteristics of the New Covenant Church is that its members are given tasks or assignments to complete as part of their Christian stewardship. The way people react to them is varied. Learning to be obedient to tasks is part of the test that New Covenant Christians undergo in revealing to them whether the love of God is present in their hearts or not. In my experience those who are working hard for the Kingdom are those who are on fire with God's love because they want to bless their brothers and sisters. Those who are not, who become idle and who offer excuses for not carrying out their assignments are those who have waxed cold in love. "By their fruits ye shall know them," Jesus said (Matt.7:16). We are what we do, or don't do.
I learned this lesson from a young Chinese girl when I was at university. We grew up together in Malaysia and she visited Oxford for a year to study English. At that time I was interested in Buddhism, Christianity, occultism, and all sorts of different things and had no idea what the Christian gospel really was. She was a born-again Christian. She later married and settled in California. The thing I most remember of what she said to me was that the "gospel of science-fiction", as she called it, was all in the mind and in the heart; whereas the Gospel of Christ was all in deeds. On a scale of 0 to 10 I think I was probably about 1 in terms of Christian discipleship at that time.
If there is no love of God there can be no real love for life, because life can only have meaning as He is in it. If we do not love life then we will be afraid of it. Where there is no love there will be a sense of being weak-willed, a feeling of being morally inadequate for life. Where there is no love there will be a fear of emotion also; we will be afraid to experience all our feelings in case someone might threaten or intimidate us. Where there is no love our minds will lack a sound and unified judgment. We will fear intellectual inadequacy. Which takes me back to what I said a few months ago, namely, that our personality is made up of the will, the emotions, and mind, and they can only work effectively as Christ's love pervades them.
Remember -- it isn't love that casts out fear. Love isn't enough. It's perfect love that casts out fear. And perfect love means the love of Christ, because only He is perfect. The more His love can enter into us, the more fear will flow out of us. An old song says: "Love is my reason for living." Without love there is just no point to our existence, and certainly no power to overcome life's greatest fears.
Now, finally, maybe we can see the last part of our key text shine out: "In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."
This page was created on 16 May 1998
Updated on 16 May 1998
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