As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. John 15:9
There's a kind of love John spoke about, a kind of love one can only know when their love is tested beyond what they can control. There's a kind of love John spoke about that we all need more of if the world will truly know Him, for they (the world) will know us by our love! There's a kind of love John spoke about from experience, through testimony, because he had pressed against the heart of Jesus Himself and passed through trials we can only imagine.
There's a kind of love John spoke about that doesn't come through easy lessons or reputable training, a kind of love that is beyond explanation and only known through absorption. There's a kind of love John spoke about that God Himself entrusted to him, a kind of love that many of us have been trained in for such a time as this.
These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. John 15:11-12
Most of us wouldn't choose the trials and journeys that prove and re-prove such love in our lives. These are the kind of trials the enemy thinks will water down or steal our love, or even make it grow cold while we walk through the process. One of the enemy's top goals is the wearing down of the saints, and at the top of his list is our love.
Many have been through long, seemingly unfulfilled journeys, broken moments, isolation, rejection, offenses, mistakes, loss, and round after round of patient perseverance. The enemy would like nothing more than to steal your love, but God knows you'll dig deeper and rise higher at the same time. He knows He has made you an overcomer WITH Him, and not only are you coming out the other side, but you will come out the other side with your love fully intact, and more richly powerful than ever before!
Do You Love Me?
He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep." John 21:17
The journey has not just been about possessing your promises, but about the agape version of unconquerable love, the kind of love John spoke about that will transform the world. He doesn't just question our love, but challenges our love to dig deeper and rise higher because He knows the abundant life it is capable of. The promises and breakthroughs many of us wait for are the end goal we often keep in sight, and they are very much part of God's vision for our lives. But the process is equally important, and it's a process that takes our human love and makes it more like His in His agape, unconquerable form.
Our First Love
For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God... Exodus 20:5
I love that He is a jealous God! The apostle John was whisked away to the Island of Patmos, a supposed desert and wilderness that would normally be viewed as a punishment. But, truly, it was a wilderness of oneness, a place God set John apart for Himself so that He could empower Him and share with Him secrets He couldn't reveal to anyone else. Such a season was not punishment or judgment, but was about God being jealous over John and his heart and calling! The fact that we love a jealous God should confound us!
Many are emerging from their own wilderness of oneness to realize a new season and life they hope will not disappoint – and it won't! But let's leave that part up to God, surrendered into His more-than-capable hands. May we focus on the love He has been procuring during the process, the love that the enemy has wanted to grow cold, wear down, or turn bitter. Let us grab hold of the love God has refined through fire and let it become a witness to the world, and then the promises He has also given us will no doubt take shape. Now that is a double portion!
My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. 1 John 3:18-19
John spoke about a love that is too often known by head more than heart, but that is changing. He spoke about a love that in its true nature is really more lived and persevered than taught. It was John who translated Jesus' love letters to the churches in Revelation, and they were in fact love letters – words to woo people back to the original fire God grew them from, or for. John, in his Gospel, as well as his letters that later followed, spoke about love in more depth and width than many of us have ever in reality known – but we are about to, for we have been through a season that will bring such "Love," the Person, to life in ways He has interceded for ever since the Cross.
God Is Love, So We Must Be Love
Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 1 John 4:17
John spoke about a love you have been living and training in, through the pits perhaps, but it's a love that will be stronger now on this side, a love that is beyond mere words and definitions, beyond doctrine or denomination, a love that is known through lives who have absorbed what John absorbed.
You have been trained and are being released to live the kind of love John spoke about, toward God, your neighbors, your persecutors, and even your enemies. Love has overcome the thief of the season you've passed through, and now Love will overcome much in the world through you! That is the kind of Love John spoke about. His name is Jesus.
Blessings on your adventures of love with Him.
Joey LeTourneau, along with his wife Destiny and their five kids, live in Redding, California, and work across the nations to see the Father's heart and blessings revealed, and want to see God's children empowered to live out their unique purpose and calling. Joey has authored six books, and together with his wife they have founded Imagi-Nations LLC, a movement to "Imagine nations changed because you lived your purpose and dream."
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