When I first heard God's promise to make me a fervent lover, it seemed too good ever to be fulfilled. Yet Jesus' words gave me hope: "'"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind"'" (Matt. 22:37, NKJV, emphasis added).
He was saying that my heart could burn with love for Him. This is the supernatural power we long for that He has promised to give.
We often see ourselves as failures. But Jesus does not define us by our immaturity. He sees us as genuine lovers of God.
Why? Because He knows the cries of our hearts and gives us the enabling power to love Him in a genuine way. Here is the way His plan to impassion us works:
Our hearts are renewed and empowered to love by knowing two things: first, God's passionate personality and second, who we are to Him. Love feeds on truth, and when our hearts begin to know the truth of how God loves and desires us and who we are to Him, we are transformed from being weak in heart to bold in love.
When we understand the passions of God's personality, our hearts become alive in love, and we have the ability to enjoy Him. There is no greater revelation than the revelation of the heart of Jesus to us. God radiates with love for His people. He looks upon us in great delight and enjoyment.
Knowing this changes our emotional chemistry. We are invigorated and strengthened by the revelation of His amazing affection. We are renewed by the knowledge of what we look like to Him.
Our spiritual identity is determined by the way God sees us, which is different from how others perceive us and how we perceive ourselves. God has purposed that we define ourselves according to the way He feels about us and by what He declares over our lives.
Our tendency is to determine our identity and assess our value by how well we perform spiritual disciplines or how we look spiritually to others. We have grown accustomed to deriving our sense of worth by how we measure up spiritually rather than by how God sees us. This causes us to become slaves to the religious opinions of people rather than being free in the love of God.
It leads to a misinterpretation of who we really are, which is who we are before God. We judge ourselves as hopeless hypocrites instead of genuine lovers of God.
Whether we succeed or fail, when we determine our worth by other people's perception of us, we are doomed to feel like failures. The Lord designed us to find wholeness in Him and security in His declaration of beauty and success over our lives. He created our hearts so that only in this realignment will we find joy and comfort.
The enemy attempts to destroy our confidence before God by causing us to imagine that God despises us. Believing these accusations leads to distorted images of God and an unclear perception of what we look like to Him. With these untruths hovering over us, we become paralyzed by the feeling that God is disappointed with us. We lose all motivation to persevere and press in to the Lord. We lose the energy to seek His face wholeheartedly.
The truth about God's heart is the weapon to combat the accusations of the enemy. The revelation of God's delight in us renders void these accusations and causes us to become empowered for righteousness. Truth transforms us. Meditation on His Word progressively washes away the wrong images we have of God and the wrong impressions we have of who we are to God.
As we enter into agreement with God about what He looks like and what we look like to Him, the darkness of Satan's lies is overcome.
This article is from the July 2001 issue of Charisma
Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.
Dare to go deeper in your faith. Our "Life in the Spirit" devotional takes you on a journey to explore who the Holy Spirit is, how to interact with Him, and how He works in your life. Are you ready to go deeper?