29 October 2009

Losing Face and Loving It

Not feeling the love?

Words in the previous post don't make it happen. Yeah, so, there are great reasons to love God, but a person does not choose to love God simply because reason dictates. Obviously, or it wouldn't be love. (Even in "real world" examples this doesn't happen. Perhaps someone pretends to love someone else and goes through all the right motions to get a certain “reward” – but this either tapers off and dies out or he gets found out. There are many traditions, where this is acceptable and encouraged behavior for a mate, because as he behaves lovingly, he does indeed begin to love.)

But here we are talking about faith in the God who loves us-and I know making a strong argument for someone to succumb to His love cannot in any universe make you love Him. A good argument will not propel you into the Arms of Him who loves you. Nor should it, or it would not be love.

If you ask “why” I love someone—you’ll find it has no answer—rather the answer is wrapped up in the individual. Now, if you and I both love the same person, you wouldn't even think of asking such a question. So it is with loving God, too. I know why I love God-and it's all about Him. Yet, reasoning cannot create motivation to love God, it cannot. Reason is important and certainly informative-and we want our consciences and minds understanding our Love as well as possible, but that is in the realm of information.

No,one needs an encounter Him-a face-to-face, intense and extended encounter wherein all you can do is feel the burning desire behind His love. Comprehension may begin to dawn at that moment you encounter the self-giving love, much like it does in our human relationships.

So then, what does it all boil down to, this actual breaking-through to the love of God?

First, an unbelieving person has no ability within himself to access the love of God—though he accesses many other kinds of love. Accessing the love of God is exclusive—exclusive to lovers of God. It’s simple, but it’s difficult.

Secondly, resistance to faith in God is a moral, not an intellectual problem, normally. There are plenty of ways to get answers to honest questions. What a man fears most is losing face before his peers, so he resists faith, and loses the possibility of entering into enjoying the love of God.

But, what about the “price?” Isn’t it costly to love God this way? Yes-and no.

One only gains through loving, even when something is sacrificed. The man who elopes with his lover finds himself an old man with a mate who is sure she was chosen and exclusive. Yes, it cost him something-maybe his familial relationships, perhaps he lost status or an inheritance-but the gain surpassed the loss. A man who chooses to love God may lose face, possibly money or position, family ties may be strained, but he gains a joy in the love of God, which sustains him in life and which can not be bought and which cannot be replicated.

  • Charity Johnson

Let's see how the apostle Paul compared the cost:
(I was)…of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; as touching zeal, persecuting the church; as touching the righteousness which is in the law, found blameless.
Howbeit what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ. …indeed... I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord... (Philippians 3:5-10)