This is the second part of the most important article I have ever written. What I am sharing cones from the depths of my relationship with God and I feel His release to share it. If you missed part 1 - you can access it from a link below. God ministered to me about His love and how everything in our relationship with Him hangs on our concept of it. We hear the term so much - the meaning has become diluted in today's society. This is the revelation God gave to me.
The love of God is so multi-faceted, multi-dimensional - transcending time and all defining categories we can create with our finite minds. Paul tried to express this in Ephesians 3.
"For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."
Paul was trying to describe this massive love that he was so aware of - but he couldn't! Not really. Not completely. What he said was pretty much - that God's love is so high you can't get over it, so low you can't get under it, so wide you can't get around it! Then he pretty much said, "What I mean is - that you may really 'know' the love of Christ. Then you can be filled with all of who God really is!"
Until we get a revelation of the total magnitude of the love of God - we can't understand or receive all of who He is. Because who He is - is love.
I used to be so envious of Moses. I like many personalities from the Bible - each for different reasons. But, Moses had a relationship with God that was like no one else's. There was an intimacy that was bold, open and honest. God didn't like everything Moses did, but He stood in covenant with Moses no matter what. Moses' enemies were God's enemies - and vice versa. Until I came to this place of revelation - understanding more about God's love - I didn't know exactly what it was about the relationship between Moses and God that made me desire it so much. I think I know now.
You see, God revealed Himself to Moses like He did to none other. But, then - Moses' request of God was different from anyone else's. He didn't ask just to know Him. Moses asked to see Him and to know His ways! God explained to him that no man can see God and live. Then God had an idea. Not being able to turn down the earnest request to know Him more - He told Moses he would allow His goodness to pass before him. Moses would only see His back side, but experience all of His goodness. And that's what God did. God shielded Moses in the cleft of a rock and let His goodness pass before him.
Moses was so immersed in and impacted by His supernatural goodness that his face began to glow. There was a work done in his heart that so permeated every crevice of his being - that it worked it's way to the surface - in the form of a holy glow. Natural met supernatural. Mortal met immortal. The glow from the "goodness" of God was so powerful that the children of Israel couldn't stand it - and couldn't understand it. It was glowing so brightly that it took days for it to subside after he came back from being with The Lord.
When we get a revelation of what God's love really is toward us - it will affect EVERYTHING about us! People will look on us and wonder, "What happened to them?" Or, they will do what some of the children of Israel did. They'll ask us to cover up the fact that we've been with God. They will be intimidated by the residue of His "goodness" lingering on us - and tell us it doesn't take all that we are doing to serve God. They'll say we don't have to live in holiness. What's wrong with a sexy, dirty movie in the privacy of your own home? It's not hurting anyone. What's wrong with pre-marital sex or a post-marital affair? They'll say we don't have to be prudes and the world will accept us better if we learn how to blend in. And of course - you can lie a little bit. You can steal small things. That's nothing! Everyone does this. They'll say - "No matter what you do - stop glowing!"
I have tried to imagine what that would have been like - Moses' experience on the mountain with God - but I can't. I can't fathom it. I can't imagine feeling in this mortal body - the absolute, unbridled power of the goodness of God. But, God allowed it for Moses. Moses came away knowing God like no other man on earth - before that time or since. The only ones I can think may have come close were Abraham and Enoch. But, while they walked this earth - even they never "saw" God.
I truly believe that because we have not clearly understood and adequately represented the love of God to the world - we have alienated many that are trapped in sin. We cannot understand how God can abhor the sin but love the sinner. Surely He hates both! So - either we present to the world a God that beats people over the head with the letter of the law and nothing that resembles grace - or a God that is so permissive - anything goes at the church of the "Let's Feel Good"! And the trapped, hurting person comes out fighting back at us - trying to set the record straight that they are just as "good" as we are. Often times they wind up fighting for the right to stay trapped because we have put them on a defensive track. There is no where else for them to go.
The stripped down truth is - we can come just as we are to Father God. The Word says He remembers we are dust. We are not perfect. He didn't make us that way. He will reveal the sin - encourage us to let Him help us walk out of it - but the power of His love is His motivator.
"He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust."
He loves us too completely to leave us in the sin that will hurt us, tear us down and destroy us. That's what sin does - no matter how shiny it is in appearance - sin is sin.
It's like the story of the snake that begged a man to pick him up and carry him across a busy road. The man said, "No - you'll bite me." The snake promised he would not if the man would do this one favor for him. Then he begged the man. So, finally, the man picked up the snake and carried him across the street and the snake reached up and bit him. The man said, "You lied! You said you wouldn't bite me!" The snake chuckled and said, "Can't believe you trusted me! You knew what I was when you picked me up!" No matter what package sin comes in - it's still sin.
His love is so powerful - it can address any sin. It will cover the sin and heal us from it's consequences. The power of God's love took Jesus to the cross and led Him to die for the sins of all the world - excluding NOTHING!! All we have to do is come to Him, repent and let Him do the rest. I love words. But, our words can't describe this love.
I came to realize two things. First - intimacy of relationship with God is why I was envious of Moses. That is the thing God built into every human being that makes us thirst for Him. I used to call it a God-shaped place in our hearts that only He can fill. It's a place for Himself. Many times - we misunderstand that in our lives and we think what we are thirsty for is a human relationship. We seek out a mate, and if we are not careful, will begin to try and pull out of them the things that can only come from intimacy with God. Or we try to extract it from friendships - and that can never work. What is really happening is - we are desiring that open and bold covenant intimacy that can only be realized at the feet of Jesus.
The second thing I realized is that - I have longed for someone to know me that way. I thought what I was longing for was a career in music, marriage, Bible School, a Master's Degree, or a job with a certain salary. As satisfying as pursuing some of these things was - the hunger was never extinguished. Even the achievements - though they fueled the fire in me to accomplish more - were never enough. I didn't understand that I really wanted a different kind of fulfillment - a different kind of intimacy. I was longing for the supernatural intimacy of the Almighty God with His child. That is what we are all longing for. It is the most valuable piece in the puzzle of life - the pearl of great price.
Coming to really know His love is a revelation. There are no steps you can take and arrive there. It comes from seeking Him, and holding to Him as tight as Jacob did when he wrestled with the Angel. He was not willing to stop until the Angel blessed him - and he didn't. Many believe that Angel was the Angel of The Lord - Jesus Himself. The Angel touched Jacob in the hollow of his thigh as they wrestled - leaving him marked with a limp for the rest of his days. So do we - become marked for the rest of our days - when we get a revelation of the incredible love of God that passes all understanding.
I am believing "...that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen."