In 1 Timothy 1:5, we read:-
For we reach the goal of fulfilling all the commandments when we love others deeply with a pure heart, a clean conscience, and sincere faith. TPT
The Christian Church is full of people who are passionate about "doing things for God". If we do things for God, the belief is that life has meaning and people see us as a "real" Christians. This appears to be as much as an internal message as a message given to us by other believers of Christ. Have we been misled in our understanding of who Jesus is and who He has made us be? How important is love, really, to our walk as followers of Christ? God is calling us to grow and mature so we live our lives purely out of love and not doing things because we are Christians.
13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. ! Corinthians 13:1-3 NKJV
When we learn that we can do so many things that are seen as good, but if we are not motivated and guided by love, then we have not profited by any of our actions. Ouch! I am nothing without love! How then can we love others as God is calling us to love?
In his book called "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality", Peter Scazzero shows how our growth as Christians moves through 6 stages. Many Christians get stuck at Stage 3 where our life is about serving God. For those who have been fortunate enough, they have experienced an event in their life that is known as "The Wall" which is the catalyst for the journey inward and ultimately to being transformed into love. Most people who have been through this wall have experienced pain, suffering and loss that could destroy. Instead, Jesus has walked them through their crisis that has allowed them to get past the serving stage and to being transformed so all they do is through love. I can testify that this wall is not fun, but the blessing of getting through the wall is worth it! Let's have a quick look at each stage:-
Stage 1 - Life-Changing Awareness of God. This could happen as an adult or child, but it is where we become aware of who God is and begin our relationship with HIm.
Stage 2 - Discipleship. In this stage we learn about God, how to follow Christ, become part of a Christian community and finally understand the foundations of our faith.
Stage 3 - The Active Life - This is the "doing" stage where we actively work for God, using our gifts and talents to serve God and others.
Stage 4 - The WALL and the Journey Inwards - As we hit the "wall" we are compelled to go on a journey inwards. As we seek God, He takes us through the wall. We cannot go through it ourselves. This is the start of our journey towards walking in love.
Stage 5 - Journey Outward. Now we have gone through a crisis of faith, we move outwards again to do things for God. This time we are doing things from a grounded centre of ourselves in God. We have an inner stillness through experiencing and living in God's deep, profound, accepting love for us.
Stage 6 - Transformed Into Love. Our journey continues as God brings people, events, books etc into our lives to keep us moving forward. God continues to work in our lives to complete the work He started. His goal for us is that we are made perfect in love. His love becomes our love both towards God and others. When we experience HIs perfect love all fear is driven away. (1 John 4:18) We surrender to God completely and are totally obedient to His perfect will.
As a Christian of many years, I found it hard to receive the Father's love for me. To understand how much he really loved me and to be able to relax and allow God to love me was very hard. It took several major things to happen in my life that caused me to stop and really seek God in a new way. Getting through this wall took time, many tears and times of intense hurt. Getting through the wall was the start of a new adventure in my relationship with God. I now see myself and others differently. I can now love others even when they do not love me. God is showing me that I can only truly love others when I have fully received His love for me.
This walk God wants to take you on is about moving from the physical or flesh to the spiritual. These intense times of pain that are inflicted on our flesh can often be the greatest blessings as they take us into a new dimension where the revelation of God's love is the only way we move forward. I can be hurt in the physical or flesh, but respond back in the Spirit in love. This is made an incredible difference in my life.
It has not been an easy journey, but I am now understanding that through the wall His yoke is easy and His burden is light!
28 Come toMe, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Take the hand of Jesus and get through the wall! Only He can take you through! The journey is worth it! Don't bounce off the wall... get through! Experience living "Transformed Into LOVE!!!"