I encourage you to recognise God’s love is different from worldly lust
We live in a world that confuses lust with love at almost every level. Impulse seems to trigger behaviour more often than right motive or wisdom. Desire is openly permitted to run head-long unchallenged and without examination or accountability. Consequently, society gives evidence to the social and family decline caused by the absence of love that elevates truth to the top of its priorities.
The point is this; it’s remarkably easy to wrongly evaluate God’s love by the world’s deficient standards, concluding that His love falls short of our self-centred expectations. Once we understand that with God lust only gets His negative attention, pride and ego are not on His ‘cool’ list, plus our prejudices and personal preferences fail to appear on His importance schedule, we naturally begin developing animosity towards God. So, for many, this is how sin grows within them; always working against God and leading it’s volunteers away for the Lord.
Culture and selfishness
For the average person in our culture, when they think of the Lord Jesus Christ, the instinctive question that dominates their thinking is; “What can God do for me?” Secondly, their self-defence mechanism kicks in quickly by asking; “What pleasures will I be required to give up?”
Fortunately, as God has engaged with humanity throughout history, one of His consistent operating principles has been “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Romans 5:20).
Therefore it shouldn’t surprize us when we read in God’s Word, that a Christian should “not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17).
In fact, the genuine believer has chosen to be captivated by passions this world fails to understand. “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).
A great exchange
Oh, how simple life would be, and how powerful the Church’s testimonies, if every professing Christian lived like this! Fleshly lust would be exchanged for Christ exalting love. Believers would joyfully take ownership of their place in this world to “proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). Compelled by the selfless love of Jesus Christ, we would be inspired to speak well of “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” Because “according to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
Today, be encouraged to recognise that God’s love is vastly different to worldly lust. Turn to Christ with all your heart’s affections in surrender and a faith that dies to self and lives to Christ.
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz