Jesus wants a lovesick bride who will cherish Him above everything else. Lovesick people will endure anything and go anywhere for love (see Song of Solomon 8:7). Cost is never the ultimate issue.
When the bride in the Song of Solomon understood that the bridegroom’s love for her was better than the wine of this world, she abandoned herself to him. The exhilarating things of this world—even the good things—couldn’t compare to the wine of his love. It was the revelation of his love and affection for her that released in her an extravagant love and obedience.
Enjoying God Fearlessly
The revelation of God’s love and His enjoyment of our lives will also awaken in us the ability to love and enjoy Him. The more we enjoy Him, the easier it will be to respond to Him. Obedience that is born out of the revelation of His deep affection for us always produces the strongest commitment.
By contrast, many Christian leaders have attempted to use fear and shame as a motivation for obedience. As a result, a number of followers of Jesus have lived with a silent dread, believing that God the Father doesn’t love them and that He’s always looking for ways to expose their faults, weaknesses, and struggles.
Various passages have been used and taken out of context to try to provoke individuals to “radical obedience.” However, what’s overlooked is John’s statement in 1 John 4:16-18: “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The man who fears has not been made perfect in love.”
The enemy’s goal is to make you afraid that God will reject you one day. This fear will always produce torment in your relationship with the Father. The fear of judgment will cause you to guard your heart from Him, and you will never be fully open to Him.
Loving the Father without a guarded heart is vital for your spiritual well-being. When you understand that His personality is delightful to experience and His will for you is not burdensome but wholesome (see Matthew 11:30; 1 John 5:3), you’ll then want to freely give yourself to Him because you’re in awe of Him.
Some may disagree with my approach to Christian living because they believe that without strict guidelines, clear-cut boundaries, and a list of dos and don’ts, people will see how close they can get to sin without going overboard. Sad to say, there will always be those who will abuse grace and twist the true meaning of its message. But I am far more concerned that people will end up being consumed by religious rules and regulations, lose touch with their hearts, and never really come to know the Father and experience His love.
I believe that people who fall in love with the Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit and have a revelation of God’s grace will not want to live in sin. Because they have experienced the joy of being fully accepted and loved, they’ll want to forsake lesser lovers for the supreme Lover of their hearts. They won’t want to hurt or grieve Him (see Psalm 51:4). Even in our natural relationships, we don’t want to do things that would hurt the ones we love. Our motivation for pleasing them is our love for them, just as our love for our Heavenly Father should be the motivations for pleasing Him.
I believe that when the Church becomes lovesick through a revelation of the Father’s love, we will see the Church emerge in all the power and glory God intended it to have. Believers will be brought out of their boredom and lukewarmness and awakened to fervent love and dedication!