“Blessed are the lovers of God, for they shall discover His secrets!”
It’s not a verse in the Bible. But it’s true all the same! God saves up His best secrets for His lovers – those who prize Him and His Presence above everything else in their lives.
Consider this verse in The Passion Translation:
“Intimate friendship with the Lord means sitting near Him / It is a place reserved only for His lovers / They receive the revelation-secrets of His promises.” (Psalms 25:14)
Lovers see the world differently. Anyone who has fallen in love will understand this – that feeling of walking on air! This is meant to give us a glimpse of what life with God can be like.
We need a love encounter
To become lovers of God, we first need to encounter His love for us. The Holy Spirit once pointed out to me that I can’t freely give if I haven’t freely received! That helped me to stop striving to love people in my own strength, and to start pursuing more of God’s love for me.
A one-off encounter with our Father’s love is not enough. We really need that encounter to become an ongoing experience of His love in our lives. The Bible makes it clear that this is meant to be our normal experience: This is what it means to be continually filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18), because it is the Holy Spirit who wants to constantly pour out the love of God into our hearts. (Rom. 5:5) And it is what Jesus promised when He said, “the water I give you will become a spring of living water welling up inside you.” (John 4:11,14)
Under the old covenant, people were given rules to follow, which they couldn’t keep. But the new covenant empowers us from the inside to live the way Jesus lived. This empowering begins when we encounter Jesus for the first time. And it grows as we experience His love for us day by day in His Presence.
John put it this way:
“Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning … On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you …” (I John 2:7-8 NASB emphasis mine)
In one sense, the commandment to love isn’t new, because it was already there in the Law of Moses. But, at the same time, it is new because of the jaw-dropping revelation that – for the first time – we can live up to it! Jesus fulfilled this commandment. And now He gives us the same power to fulfil it – He puts His love in our hearts. This is why John says that it “is true in Him and in you.”
When we experience the love of Jesus, we feel loved, but that’s not all. We also receive the ability to love the way He loves. He implants His heart within us, beating with His very own heartbeat of love!
When we grasp the truth of this, it radically changes how we read the New Testament.
Jesus describes what lovers of God look like
Take the Sermon on the Mount for example (Matthew chapters 5 to 7). Many see this as an ethical code – a new standard to live by. I don’t buy that! I see it as a beautiful word picture of what lovers of God look like.
Jesus didn’t come to give us a new set of rules! He came to give us a new heart! He came to make us lovers! In this sermon, He describes a new breed – those who have been captivated by their Father’s love – and how they will respond to life’s challenges. And the life He describes, He empowers us to live!
Searching for hidden treasure
Years ago, when I was a teenager and young in the faith, I wrote a poem:
For love of You, I think I would
Do anything You ask me to
But if I’m to be able to
I first must ask for love of You.
I have experienced so much more of God’s love since I wrote this. And yet this remains my prayer: “Show me Your love, Father! Show me how much You love me, Jesus! Holy Spirit, please fill my heart with Your love!”
I know enough about treasure to know that you have to go looking for it. And you’ll never find it if you’re half-hearted. How much more with the greatest treasure of all!
But Jesus promises that if we seek, and keep on seeking, we will find. And if we ask, and keep on asking, we will receive. Let’s not be shy about asking Him for more of His love!