For a long time I thought that hatred was a pretty strong emotion, but I’m now seeing very clearly that God’s Love is so much stronger than hate. His Love is a mighty, destructive force. I know that’s strange to say, but Love comes in and changes everything by its very nature, whether it’s received or rejected.
The Nature of LOVE
Love is actually the most powerful force that can be wielded in this life. The violent nature of Love is an offensive assault on all that isn’t love. Love is violent, and fierce is Love’s presence. Scripture says, “Love is as strong as death” (Song of Solomon 8:6). Imagine the irresistible force of death…this is what is comparable to love.
Love changes the very temperature of any atmosphere. Where little despots can fit and fume, Lovers level everything in their path. Everyone caught in Love’s path has pushed out of them a decision and a choice for or against Love. We just can’t remain the same in the presence of Love. In response, we will either dig in our heels to resist Love or we will fall forward into Love’s uncontrollable nature. But what is not possible, is to remain the same.
The Nature of Love in the Word
I’ve witnessed many responses to Love but the results are always the same. One of two things happens: an embracing of Life or descent into death. Look at Ruth and Orpah in the book of Ruth. Ruth passionately loved Naomi and Naomi’s God. She bound herself to Naomi’s every step in total commitment. And then there’s Orpah, who fades off into Moabite obscurity never to be heard from again. Orpah leaves Naomi to return to a heathen nation, while Ruth, who fell into Love’s grasp, becomes part of the very lineage of King David and the throne of Jesus Christ. Her life, radically altered in the hands of Love, gave way to the redemption story of the whole world.
I too have loved and left all for love. I’ve done this both as a vessel to Love and as a recipient of Love’s pursuit. In both cases, Love came to me and obliterated normalcy and the status quo. It isn’t mild! It’s a hostile takeover. Like a tsunami, you’re swept away never to be the same. To carry Love for another is foolish and vulnerable, and to be pursued by Love is to be absorbed and drastically changed. Everything changes in the presence of Love.
Love destroys in order to build. I have to leave something to love. What is it that I leave? SELF! Self, by nature, bolsters to preserve and protect self. Love, on the other hand, assaults self’s construct. To love, I must let down the guard which fortresses my heart. All your prideful shields have to be set aside to experience love and when you do, your story will bring forth the crowning of Love as King.
No matter how much I desire to, I can’t guard myself and receive Love at the same time. To embrace Love is to have both arms open wide, with my heart fully exposed. This unshielded stance is why I am so easily destroyed by Love. I lose myself, and my self-preservation is annihilated. You cannot hold together your rigid system of control and still receive Love.
The Nature of Love Changes Everything
Love is destructive, plain and simple. Even if I attempt to fend it off by refusing it, it’ll only force me deeper into my preference of death over Life. Love is an affront to all that resist it, regardless of receptivity. Love is a catalyst to secure and prove my choice for Life or death, both to me and the world.
Love wars on everything, especially on all that isn’t love. Though Love doesn’t resist our choice not to receive it, Love is still an affront to all our choices for death. Love is patient, kind and longsuffering. Love is Christ! Everything changes in the Light of Love. I am taken over or out by Love. Love destroys and is a sword to either separate me to love, or run me through. Love destroys us either way.
So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts.
But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all.
1 Corinthians 12:31 NLT
The scripture that follows this is 1 Corinthians 13—LOVE!