God is love. He not only created in love. He not only loves all people. He not only intends for us to love and be loved. He is love. His very nature, and all his intentions, rooted in love.
And then there’s us: rebels of love.
We are a created people who rebel against what is good for us. We’ve been doing it since we were created. It’s deeply apart of who we are, passed down and inherited from all those who’ve come before us. Since Eden, we’ve been choosing what we think is good for us, rather than receiving what God knows is good for us. Death, instead of life. Hatred, rather than love. Envy, instead of rejoicing with others. Indulgence, rather than contentment. Fulfillment of the flesh, instead of purification of the spirit.
And in this choosing according to flesh instead of spirit, we are moving further away from the intentions of our Creator. Further away from our purpose. Further away from love.
This isn’t a life we want for ourselves, but it’s a life we keep choosing.
Thinking of ourselves before others.
Acting on our selfish motives.
Defense rather than vulnerability.
Using our tongue as a weapon.
Choosing judgment over grace.
Indulging our flesh more that we fill our spirit.
Fearing instead of believing.
Complaining rather than rejoicing.
Bitterness instead of forgiveness.
Control instead of trust.
Schedule over interruption.
Tradition rather than welcome.
These are acts of rebellion that work against love. Against God himself and the love he intends for us to give and receive.
Love is the authority in which God governs his people. It’s a perfect, genuine love that rules through grace smothered justice. When we consider all the ways we are rebellious — to the authority of our parents, the will of our husbands, the desires of our wives, the needs of our community, the longings of our children, the responsibility toward the world — at the very heart of these rebellious acts is the tendency of our flesh to choose against love.
In order for us to receive divine sanctification, experience redemption among our relationships, and reveal to the world the good news gospel, we must submit to the authority of love. Above any other authority, love ought to rule our life. Our decisions. Our relationships. Our finances. Our habits. Our schedules.
To live into our very purpose to love and make Love known on this earth, we must be a different kind of rebel. The kind that is rebellious for love, rather than against love. The kind that rebels against the urges of the flesh and the ways of the unbelieving world. And submits to the will of our Father.
This surrendering to love will transform everything about us. Our relationships will grow more intimate. The activities in our home will focus on people rather than entertainment and task. Our thoughts will turn toward the needs of others. Our eyes will see where love is needed. Our self-image will come into focus as we consider how we’re created for a purpose instead of an appearance. Our work will become a mission, rather than a burden or a way to provide for our consumer habits. We will spend more time and money on needs rather than wants.
Consider the ways you need to submit to the authority of love. Your love for God. Your love for your husband. Your wife. Your love for your co-workers. Your love for your children. Your love for your friends. Even strangers. Our commitment to Christ commits us to love one another. To live into this love in a way that transforms how we live and relate.
We have reason to celebrate love! For our God has lavishly poured his love upon his people. He has delivered us. Restored us. Forgiven us. Provided for us. All in the name of love.
Happy Valentine’s Day! May you be free with your love today and all the ones that follow.