A time for great affection
This affection will be the protection we need
Have you ever thought about how the God who created everything, who needs nothing, who lives on forever, who did not need to disclose Himself, make Himself known or draw near — that this God, who could ask for and demand anything, His greatest command is this - love Me.
In Deuteronomy, Moses recounts that day of the drawing near of the Lord, when they, “heard the voice from the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire.” (5:23)
And on this day of God revealing His glory and His greatness, when He could have asked for anything, He asked for this above all else, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (6:5)
Love Me, with everything I’ve given you.
Are these the words we repeat over and over to our children as we go about our days, “Love Him, love Him…love Him.”
Are they the words that hang visibly present over the doorposts of our homes, “With all of our being, we love Him here.”
Have these words found such a home in our heart that they begin to manifest, becoming visible on our hands as we work and on our foreheads as we stand in the presence of others? “I love Him, my God. Everything I do, I do for Him. Everything I have is His, and He is worth so much more than that. Freely I give my all because He is so lovely.”
The way in which we love is of course expounded upon both in this passage - all your heart, soul, mind and strength - and then throughout the Scripture, as He teaches, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15)
Yet the fact remains, it is our love He is asking for above all else.
Have you ever thought about this? Have you stopped to reflect on God in light of this? Who is this God? What is He like that He would ask for our love?
And after we have reflected on Him, let us then turn our thoughts inward - Do we know what it is to be lovesick for Him?
“I will rise now,” I said, “And go about the city; In the streets and in the squares I will seek the one I love…I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, that you tell him I am lovesick.” Song of Solomon 3:2, 5:8
Lovesick: In love, or missing the person one loves, so much that one is unable to act normally, behaving in a strange and foolish way.
Let us make no mistake - Great trials are coming. Days of adversity are here and are approaching. Much will be questioned, challenged, and fought against. Those who wish to endure must prepare. What is this preparation?
Sound doctrine, church discipline, personal purity and consecration, all of these things, yes.
But another as well. One that we must not dismiss as superficial. Affection.
Affection will be our protection, and thus, we must intimately know of this type of love, both in receiving and returning.
There is no way to endure the sorrow, the lamenting, until we know of this love. There is no way to retain hope during the waiting, through the agony until we know of this love.
We must ask ourselves then, have we yet known Him as our Beloved? Have we sought and found the One we love? Have we been lovesick for Him?
This is a time for great affection.
“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three: but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
Three remain, one is greatest - love.
This type of love, this affection, will be our protection.