John wrote in Revelation 1:10: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day when….” I felt something like that this Lord’s day and I am going to share some of what I wrote down. Not all, because some has to do with how this has played out in my relationship with Emily.
True love seals you to the person you love and requires complete faithfulness. The problem is that we struggle to maintain even a semblance of faithfulness. Now the Lord is completely faithful and seals us to Himself through the Spirit (Ephes 1:13). Every time we are unfaithful to Him (sin,) this disturbs the seal, that is why we need to keep short shrift by confessing our sin as soon as we realize we have been unfaithful and receive His forgiveness, which enables us to experience His love completely. Our unfaithfulness, because of Jesus will not separate us from God’s love it will merely mar our experience of it.
Now, after meditating for some time on my life and experience with Emily and my walk with the Lord, I am led to recollect an incident which happened on the weekend I met the Lord in His full glory at a camp in Noordhoek. At the end of the weekend (Easter 1980), we had a communion service and as we received the host, Angus Baine laid hands on each one of us and gave us a “personal prophecy”. Now over the years I have been led to be suspicious of that sort of thing but I find I am changing my mind. The prophecy pronounced over me was simple: “I am giving you the power to love”.
So on Sunday I find my mind focusing on that prophecy and wondering about it. Maybe it was necessary for God to tell me that then, because of my general self-centredness or maybe in some way He was preparing me for this period of my life which was still far in the future, when my time would be taken up with caring for Emily. I could never give her as much love as she needs, without the help of the Lord. So probably that and much more.
So now my mind turns to the question how do “love” and “wisdom” fit together? It seems to me that you can’t separate what is part of the same thing. It is all part of what it means to have a relationship with the Lord and basically how it is expressed in our behaviour – simply put “Two ways to live”. The way of love expressed in wisdom or maybe shall I say the way of wisdom expressed in love, on the one hand and the way of foolishness on the other. Because Jesus IS our wisdom, how does it look like when we express it in our relationship with Wisdom Himself? So on Saturday Ludwig was saying, in relation with another matter that we should be careful not to try and separate things that are so deeply integrated (like love and wisdom.)
So in my mind’s eye eye I see love, like a huge absolutely beautiful jewel (indescribably beautiful), only not hard like a jewel, scintillating and reflecting a multitude of the most beautiful colours which intermingle and sparkle as it spins around. Every facet is important in our lives and gives us depth and a beauty which makes us attractive to the world so that we become – we ARE His witnesses – not just the words that flow so easily from our mouths.
Now Lilly suggested recently that 1 Corinthians 13 is a summary of the characteristics of love. While I agree with that it is far from complete. I spent time and I challenge you to do this, just looing at 4 places where Paul describes the different characteristics of love: Romans ch 12, Colossians 3″12 ff, Galatians 5:22 and compare them to 1 Cor ch 13. Now that is just some of what Paul says about love and there are negatives as well as positives, just like in Proverbs there are two ways, the way of wisdom and the way of foolishness. Here are the ways of love and the other way which is, can I call it “anti-love”. That is just in these 4 letters of Paul, what about John?
So this is such a composite picture, so deep and many-coloured it is impossible to ingest it all on your own and even less possible to do without the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is a lifetime of work – how exciting! especially as we are already recipients of the complete love of God through Christ, no wonder He asks in Ephesians 3 that the readers should be able to comprehend the height, depth, breadth and length of God’s love and to know (experience) it.
Praise the Lord Hallelujah