Love is Out of This World!

Print“Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me, because you loved me even before the world began!”

Let’s just step out of time for a moment; away from our life, our notion of time and experience. We can only know what God has revealed; and he continues to reveal Himself, not in new scripture, but through an ever-deepening relationship with him through both what he has already given us and what he chooses to show us through the Holy Spirit. Just even this little glimpse of an eternal God, outside of our concept of time, is a rich source of revelation as to his character and purpose.

The Father’s House was there from before time; love existed before either our understanding of it or God’s revelation of it to us John 14: 2 (NIV). Love, therefore, is not a worldly concept but entirely existent in the eternal character of God. Love is unaffected by creation; creation was brought into existence from love; we were created out of love in order to reveal love. We have seen that the nature of God as love is an eternal concept, not a construct of creation. ‘God is love’ is an eternal statement; it would be true whether or not God had chosen to create the earth, heavens and us. It is the eternal Truth.

In John 17: 24 Jesus , the Son presents his desires for those that the Father has given him, and bases that request upon the love that existed between them before the foundation of the earth.

“Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me, because you loved me even before the world began!”

Jesus is wanting us to be with him where he is (not will be) so that we may share a view of the reflected holiness and goodness of God that has derived from the loving relationship that they enjoyed in eternity. At the very moment that Jesus was praying that prayer, he was experiencing the same complete unity with the Father that we now enjoy.  Jesus knew that there was no plea greater than to stand on the eternal and unchanging love that existed between them. A love that exists outside of the world, outside of creation; a love that he has brought into the world and is continually revealing to the world. The love of his Kingdom. There is no better place of plea. When we approach the Father, if our petitions do not come from that place of complete unity with love, we are deluding ourselves if we think that the Father will answer them. He cannot, as he cannot bring anything that is not born from love. Paul captures this truth when he encourages the church at Ephesus to:

“pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Eph 6: 18 (NIV)

As they pray in the Spirit, they are capturing the very heart of heaven and therefore the foundation of their prayer is firmly based within the nature and will of God.  Just as in The Revelation when a door was opened in heaven for John to see through, so in Christ a door is opened into the eternal house of love. Before a single angel or star was created (let alone us), love was being bestowed or given, and love was being received eternally.

Oswald Chambers puts this beautifully in My Utmost for His Highest;

“Before the foundation of the world, the Father in his essential being was Father relative to the Son, and the Son, in his essential being was Son, relative to the Father.”

The concept of fatherhood and sonship existed before creation – it was the blueprint from which we were created, not a construct through which we understand God. It can therefore not be destroyed, altered or created. It is eternally existent. It is not a personified abstraction, a way that we can understand God; sonship and fatherhood is the very nature of God himself. The doctrine of eternal sonship was first affirmed in the Nicene Creed of 325 A.D and flows from Paul’s letter to the Colossians and the writer of Hebrews Col 1: 13-16; Heb 1: 2.  Both reveal that all things have been made through the Son.

It is therefore from this place of eternal love that we need to receive love and allow it to flow from us to the world. If we look anywhere else, we are merely feeding from a copy, however good that copy may be. We need to exchange love directly with heaven first; receive it and return it in worship and then allow that same love to flow to those around us. It is no surprise, therefore, that Satan chose this very area of relationship to attack and distort. When he tempted Adam, through Eve, to disobey God and eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he distorted the one characteristics of a child/parent relationship that is crucial; complete dependence. From that moment, humanity became orphaned, which in turn obscured the revelation of this pre-existent family relationship based within the flow of perfect love.

In worldly terms, the opposite of love is hate. In Kingdom terms, the opposite of love is sin. As God is love, anything that falls short of that love is outside of the holiness of God. The fall separated us from love, it is to love that we return. Reconciliation with our Father in Heaven does more than simply give us eternal life, it restores the image of the perfect flow of love from a father to a son and from a son to a father. It brings us from a place of independence to one of dependence and trust, the very nature of God’s identity, as love flows again through our entire lives and out to the world.

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