Love Loves to Love

“Love loves to love. And the reward of love is love …”

I’ve heard Misty Edwards sing these words many times from the prayer room at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City,  but today they are personal.

Many years ago, not long after I had given my heart to Jesus, I had an experience that marked my life.  Really, it was the first time I truly encountered the love of God. It started out like any other morning–I got up to spend time with the Lord and simply started thanking him for all he was doing in my life. However, on this particular day I became completely overwhelmed with gratitude. Something shifted in a tangible way and I experienced a very profound sense of his presence. I entered into a transcendent sort of place where time ceased to exist. There was only him … and me with him.

I’m not sure how long I was in this place of worship and communion, I just knew I never wanted to leave. It was the first time I caught a glimpse of the timelessness of eternity. I knew that this I could do forever.

Eventually the sense of his presence lifted a bit and I realized I needed to pay attention to the business of daily life and get ready for work. But I didn’t want to leave. I was so drawn to him and had such a deep longing to simply “be” with him that I had to literally pull myself away. As I did–with the eyes of my heart–I saw a very clear picture of Jesus’s face. He was weeping. But I knew instantly they weren’t tears of sorrow–they were tears of joy! He was absolutely overwhelmed with joy that I wanted to be with him so much.

I no sooner absorbed this beautiful sight than my old nature and old thought patterns emerged. The internal dialogue went something like this: Yeah, right! Like God really cares about you that much. Get real!

But as soon as the thought was formed, the Lord’s voice literally boomed within my spirit with a thundering “NO!” that shook me to my core. He certainly had my attention! Now that I was listening, his message was simple: You need to believe I love you that much–because it’s my love that will change you.

I’ve never forgotten those words and never will. They’ve proven true in ways I never could have imagined. But lately I’ve been  musing on them in a very different–and not quite so positive–way.

The truth is, despite the many years that have passed since that encounter, there are areas of struggle in my heart and character where I have not seen transformation. At least not as much as I would like to have seen by now. It puzzles me. I know his love. And I know his love has changed me in many, many ways–yet there are places in my life I where I don’t reflect his love. Places where, it seems, his love has yet to reach. I want to keep growing, so I keep pressing in to listen and learn …

But sometimes he just wants me to press in to be loved.

Today was one of those days. My heart was hungry for his presence and once again he gently drew me into a place of deep communion with him. From the safety of his arms, I started asking (again) about areas of my life that don’t seem to be manifesting his love.

But he stopped me.  And he reminded me …

Love loves to love.

The motive of love isn’t transformation … it’s love.

The goal of love isn’t change … it’s love.

Because Love loves to love.

What he told me many years ago was (and is) true. It is his love that transforms and changes us. We need to know that we know that we know, we are loved before any lasting change can even begin to take place. Love is the very foundation of our identity in him. When our identity is secure, we become who we really are:

     ~Accepted
     ~Beloved
     ~Cherished
 

But when our goal in receiving his love is anything other than love … when our motive is anything other than simply allowing him the pleasure of lavishing his love upon those he loves to love … we miss the highest purpose of love. 

Because Love loves to love. 

It takes time to work out everything he’s worked in. We are “being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory”(2 Cor.3:18), but the timing is different for each of us. We’re all wired uniquely. Some things come quickly and some things … well … not so much.

But it only takes a moment of pure, holy love for our identity to change.  When our identity changes, our destiny changes. When our destiny changes we become who we really are …

LOVED.

Because Love loves to love.

What about you? Will you allow yourself to be loved … simply for the sake of love?


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