Tag: Father

birthRIGHT of love

God is continually transforming us into the likeness of Jesus (Romans 8:29). What this means for us is that God is continually stretching us to love as Him. A prophetic image that the Lord gave me for this was of new wine being poured into a heart shaped wineskin which symbolizes God pouring His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). Now the more that God’s love marinates within our hearts, the more it expands our capacity to love. His love literally stretching our hearts just as new wine stretches wineskins as it ages and matures. The longer and more fully we embrace the Father’s love, the more His love will stretch us to love as Him. I am completely convinced that the Father’s love changes everything because His love is fully alive and moves us to live more abundantly which for me means being set free to love completely.

Genuine love is a God given birthright that too many people fail to claim. I mean we live in a pornographic culture where people pawn their God given birthright of genuine love in exchange for something that is perverted, shallow and selfish. God is love (1 John 4:8) and so He designed us to love. But, sin has perverted the way that we love. Now, here’s the good news of the Gospel for those who choose to believe: Jesus has restored us back into fellowship with God which means the Father’s love now lives within us by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). Jesus has redeemed our perverted love back into genuine love. But, we need to choose to reclaim our God given birthright to this love which means letting go of our old way of loving and choosing to learn this new way of love.

After coming to faith in Jesus, one of the very first things that God revealed to me was that I really didn’t know what it meant to love. In that moment, Holy Spirit moved me to begin praying this very simple prayer: “Jesus, teach me to love.” I remember praying this prayer every day for years. Today, I am close to being 10 years in the Lord and I still pray this simple prayer, maybe not daily as I used to, but at least once a week I am confronted with how much more I need to learn about loving people unconditionally. What I’ve come to realize is that it’s God’s love that transforms my love to be more like his true love (I blogged more on this here: TRUE ✞= ♥ LOVE). Again, it’s Jesus who has redeemed our perverted love back into His genuine love.

A Scripture verse that I find great comfort in is 1 John 4:19 which says, “We love because God first loved us.” I find comfort in this because this means that I don’t have to generate this genuine love on my own, but just need to lean more and more into God’s perfect love (1 John 4:18). The more I press into God’s love the more His love will fuel my love both for Him and for others. So this is my prayer: “Jesus, teach us to love. Help us to follow your lead in loving the Father and loving others. Father, pour more of Your love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom You’ve given us. And Holy Spirit help us to rest in the Father’s love. In Jesus Name, Amen.

“You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:3 NIV).


TRUE ✞= ♥ LOVE

God is love (1 John 4:16) and if Jesus is the exact representation of God (Hebrews 1:3) then Jesus also is love. So, His agreeing to go to the Cross for the sins of the world must be seen as a free act of unconditional love, both towards the Father and Mankind: ✞= ♥. 

I am longing more and more to love like Jesus. The deeper Holy Spirit takes me into Father’s heart, the greater the desire I have for selfless love. Just the other day, I was in the shower singing worship songs to God and praying (for me, showering the dirt off my body is always a good physical reminder of the spiritual reality that God is continually purifying my heart) when I felt Holy Spirit ask me: ” Are you satisfied with how you love people?” When I heard the question, I almost began to cry because truth be told, I’m not. I am so aware of my weak love and the desire to want to prove my love. But, true love is bold and never feels the need to prove itself because true love is secure and loves without question. True love just loves. That’s the kind of love that I see Jesus modelling when I read the Gospels. He engaged in relationships that transformed people: True love compels a person to risk and endure beyond themselves.

Prayerful intercession is an example of true love in action. When I pray for others, I am sacrificing my time (both with God and others) in order to cry out to God on behalf of another. Let me explain, I see prayer as a time to let God directly love on me. So, oftentimes I will spend most of my prayer time alone before God with an open heart and a quiet mind,  eagerly listening for His Words of grace and to feel His heart towards me. So, when I spend time in intercession for others, I sacrifice my time with God (where He loves on me) and with others (because I am alone). That’s why I believe there needs to be a good blend of talking with and listening to God. My times of listening fuel my intercession. The more that I understand God’s heart and mind towards me, the way He feels and thinks about me, the greater this increases my capacity for true love. His love sets my heart free.

I need to constantly remind myself that God knows all the burdens in my heart and life and that God not only loves me, but He likes me, too! He loves spending time with me. This is not to say that I don’t spend time telling Him my burdens, but I find it much easier to be in constant communication with God throughout my day, rather then at set times. When a situation arises I don’t wait to tell God about it later, I let Him know right there what’s going on with me in the moment and oftentimes I will ask Him to  intervene. So, in the moments that I actually get to be alone with God, I spend that time listening. I trust that He has heard every prayer offered to Him, either vocally, mentally or within my heart alone, so far in my day. I try to remember that God is God and that He does hear all my thoughts and heart cries and so I wait to hear His words of encouragement, guidance, comfort and blessing. I believe with all my heart that God desires good for His people, but too often we spend way too much time talking, rather than listening. 

In my desire to love more like Jesus, I believe that spending more time just listening to Father’s heart and mind towards me, the way He feels and thinks about me, will strengthen my weak love and lessen my desire to want to prove my love. I will just simply love. The more I receive God’s love, the more His love will transform my love to be more like His true love. How often do you spend time just letting God tell you just how crazy in love He is with you?


I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine

What my heart has been yearning for is greater intimacy with God. This longing has become more pronouced over the past few months. But I’ve been wishy washy about pursuing deeper intimacy with the Father through prayer and worship because I’ve been ignoring this longing or allowing something else to fill this yearning. This has blinded me to the desperate state of my heart. Thankfully, I’ve spent the last few days at The International House of Prayer’s end of the year “onething” conference. God has met me here and has lavished His grace and love on me. He has in many ways released my heart to respond to Him in love again.

Over this past year or so, I’ve slowly sunk into rationalizing and intellectualizing how I’ve been responding to God. So, instead of just responding to the Father in love, I’ve been responding to Him in how I think I should. Now I know that the only way to approach God is to do it His way which means I need to be steeped in His Word and filled with His Spirit (John 4:23, 24). But, lately I’ve been thinking about it way too much. This has in many ways delayed, even stifled my responses to the Holy Spirit’s leading in my life. So, instead of exercising my heart in worship and love towards God, I’ve been exercising my mind. Now, I also understand that we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30). But, if I truly want intimacy with God I need to be exercising my heart moreso than my mind. Long story made short: this has shrunk my heart.

How I’ve come to this revelation is that on day two of the conference my chest began to literally ache. It was in this moment that God reconnected me to my heart and allowed me to feel the condition of my love-sapped heart. When I don’t allow my heart to respond to the Father in love and adoration my heart becomes lovesick. Since that moment, Holy Spirit has been helping me to stop thinking about how I should respond to the Father and empowering and releasing me to just respond to Him. What’s happened is that I’ve been so concerned about pleasing the Father that I’ve forgotten that He will always delight in me (Psalm 149:4) and rejoice over me (Isaiah 62:5). I’ve forgotten that “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine” (Song of Songs 6:3). I belong to God and must actively participate in this love relationship by allowing my heart to respond to the Father’s love.

The only love that satisfies and makes me whole is God’s love. This is such a simple truth, but one that wars within me because I’ve been settling for lesser loves, rather than the Father’s unconditional love. His love truly is better than life (Psalm 63:3). But I’ve gotten away from actively responding to the eternal love the Father has for me. Today, my heart is still a bit sore, but I know that the more I exercise my heart in response to God, the stronger my heart will become again. I’m thankful for God’s faithfulness and His intimate concern for me as His beloved. God has reignited my faith and renewed my strength. Bless you Jesus!