But in the one area where we should have the most abandon, the least safety concern, is where we often choose the most safety: Love. In no Biblical descriptions is love called safe or calls us to be safe, in fact.
"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13
Here love is called patient. Well, patience isn't always safe. Love is kind. That calls out love's attributes to be given in love. It does not mean that our reception will always be kind. Love drives out all fear. Well in order to drive out fear that means that love will be brought into the same place as fear and force it out. The fear will flee from the love because the works of the devil - either him or demons or what have you flee from the light. Eric Johnson recently spoke about how WE are atmosphere changers. When we come into a room or place, the atmosphere reflects us and anything not of the Lord must either bow to or flee from us. We come into contact with fear and come filled with love and it leaves - the fear in us, the fear in the atmosphere or in others. Fear in itself does not "feel" safe. We must walk in the power and authority we have and KNOW that the love we carry is stronger and that the fear will leave.
In 1 John 3:16, it says, "By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers."
That is not safe. It is a call to love that exists beyond our bodies. It is love that can only come from Him who was and is and will always be perfect love. It is to know love in such a way that our desires are aligned so fully with the Father's and that that is to love others and to live unified.
Sometimes, though, it is not the physical safety of loving others that is nearly as scary as the safety of our hearts. Love can hurt, deeply. Compassion for another can fill us with such a pain for another that it literally hurts. Sharing your heart with somebody to have it go unreciprocated can hurt so bad that it closes you off from love forever because of fear that it will happen again.
We are called to love though. In spite of the fear. In spite of the past hurts. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. Love is the only alm for the hurts. Love is the only way to live without fear.
About 10 months ago, I had some time with the Lord where I shared my frustration with Him. Actually, I was frustrated and He pointed out that I was frustrated with Him. I found a wall I had in loving from a place where I had been hurt. The Lord said, "You're mad at me because you are loving in spite of it and are scared." I said, "Oh, yeah, I am, because I don't want to be hurt again." And He kindly just spoke, "I made you to love. You are made to love. So YOU love, and I'LL guard." I handed Him my heart in that moment and said, "Okay."
Since then, it has been a journey of learning love without bounds. In moments when fear tries to draw near, I merely repeat that, "You love and I'll guard." And put that trust back in Him, because it's not up to me. He made each of us for love - to give and receive. As we draw nearer to Him, our ability to receive His love grows and the depth of love we have to share increases. We grow in our ability to love dangerously. To love when it should hurt, to love when fear is present, to love beyond what our physical bodies can completely contain, to love in full representation of 1 Corinthians 13, to love people who will never reciprocate it or possibly receive it for a long time, to love beyond logic, circumstances, and what the world says. To love DANGEROUSLY. To say, "Safety last." And declare, "Love first. Love is the first rule of the Kingdom - "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend ALL of the Law and the Prophets" (Mt 22:37-40).
Jews declare this law to love two times per day in a prayer called the "Shema." They remind themselves of who the Lord is and what He has called them to do. When Jesus came, he states that He did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill them (Mt 5:17) and commissions us to fulfill them as well through Him. Love. Love. Love. Love the Lord. Love yourself (through receiving His love and Truth). Love your neighbor (the person right in front of you) as yourself. May this be written on your hearts and ever in your minds.
Adonai eluhenu - Adonai echad.
Ve'ahavta et Adonai eloeikah,
Ve'ahavta le'reacha Kamocha,
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord is our God - the Lord alone.
Love the Lord your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul and
with all your might!
Love your neighbor as yourself!
I challenge you to love dangerously this week. In a moment, when your instinct is flight, hide your feelings, run from the place so that you and your heart feel safe, ask the Father to protect you, to give you His eyes and to fill you with HIS love for the person, place or situation. Follow Him. Move in love. Move in obedience. But if fear is the factor and Holy Spirit is not the one telling you to move, then stay and love. Love boldly. Love without bounds. Love without expectations. Love fearlessly and watch fear flee. Love the person right in front of you. Love inconveniently. Love dangerously.