What is Love?
Words and thoughts such as [ “strong affection”, “personal ties of kinship”, “affection based on admiration”, “warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion” ] certainly apply. [4 a : unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: such as (1) : the fatherly concern of God for humankind (2) : brotherly concern for others b : a person’s adoration of God] 1 Is a description of the wholeness, purity, and selflessness nature of the Love of God. This Love of God graciously infuses into our own flawed and more selfish loves, as we believe and trust in Him. God’s defines love, through His word, Spirit, actions and character, especially through Jesus.
Song of Songs 8:4
I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up, nor awaken love, until it so desires.
I believe these words are words of warning to all seekers of God. Do not stir up, nor awaken love, until it so desires. All of us in one form or another want love. We want to be valued, want to be respected, want be pleasing to at least one, and affectionately admired by at least one, some or most others. The problem is that we are very impatient to find these things, this love for ourselves. Many give up too soon in finding this love in the one source of love beyond comparison. This want and need of love is a God given want and need for Him. A want and need for Jesus, who is our mediator and reconciler with God. (Father/Son/Spirit)
Stirring up or awakening love before it desires, I believe, is the awakening of our own affections or too much of our own affection for things other than God Himself. We as brides or prospective brides of Christ, may awaken our love to other less suitable loves before Our Love, mercifully and graciously stamps us and claims us for Himself. We may be seeking after His love and peace, wrongly in human relationships, in romantic relationships, in money, in pleasure, in security, in power, and so on. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are seeking Him, even if we are an atheist. We are seeking of the love, peace, joy, and security only He can give, in other things. Even as the true bride of Christ, we are prone to stir up our love wrongly, we are still prone to be over-lovers of self, pleasure, convenience, and such.
God is merciful and gracious with our far from perfect seeking of Him, and walking with and in Him. However, may we seek Him more rightly, seeking Him in Himself and not in others or other things. That none of us who seem to know His love to a degree would perhaps fall short of His true saving love, mercy and grace, choosing rather lesser loves. As the beloved apostle finished his epistle of love with these words, may we absorb, believe and walk wisely. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. (1st John 5:21) That we would learn to keep ourselves more and more, from the idols we tend to draw near to, idols that falsely promise love, happiness, peace and satisfaction….
As we look to God, by simply looking to Him throughout our days with expectant faith, and trust:
To you I do lift up my eyes, you who sit in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress; so our eyes look to Yahweh, our God, until he has mercy on us.
We may meditate on our God, our Savior, His mercy, love and Character. As the saints of old meditated on the perfect law, we meditate of the fulfiller of the perfect law, our righteousness, our hope, our Loved One. We may ask God(Father, Son, Spirit) to help us have more accurate thoughts of His goodness, and sufficiency to save us poor and needy sinners. We may spend time in His word allowing Him time to communicate to us truths, truths not simply known and understood by our minds, but also becoming more known, understood, and trusted by our hearts. As we learn more with our hearts the nature and revelations of our God, we may allow this new and deeper understanding of His mercy and love to affect us more greatly. The expected effect will be an increased outflow of His mercy and love from within us to others, lessened self consciousness, and self seeking. As we are in this seeking Him state, we begin to see more clearly our idols as increasingly distasteful, and many times hateful and unattractive to us. We will be finding much greater satisfaction, peace, and comfort in God when we give over our seeking of these things elsewhere. We our allowing Our God, Our Shepherd, Our Helper, and Advocate to protect us as He desires to protect us, and in His way.
Please do not misunderstand me. I am not speaking of a perfect turning away from seeking comforts, peace satisfaction, love in other things. We still have sin within us, and this sin within us doesn’t allow for perfect obedience, perfect turning from sin, the world, and our flesh. I am saying when we do fail and find ourselves seeking comfort, peace, love, in other things, that we recognize it. “This thing is so far below my God, This thing has no ability to satisfy me as Jesus does.” ” Jesus is my so much better love, hope, and satisfier, I have come to truly know this.” Though I’m still giving in to my desire for this or that, I know, this is not the answer, my true need is comfort, peace and love from Jesus, but my weakness and sin still persist.” Then we continue to pray for mercy, that we would be freed more so from these lesser things that hold us, to one degree or another. Praying for more faith and love, from and for our Lord. We look forward to our complete freeing from sin and things that draw us away, with anticipation and hope in the goodness, mercy and love of God. This is our confidence, Jesus, and His character. He will fully redeem and make beautiful, without spot or blemish His bride. Our credited perfection will become practical perfection.