How do we know that we love God? John seems to be the one turn to for wisdom:
- John 8:42 NASB – 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.
- John 14:15, 24 NASB – 15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. … 24 “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.
- John 15:12 NASB – 12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.
We are in trouble as the Charismatic movement. Our generation has defined love to be an internal process instead of an external process demonstrating to others the love you have on the inside. Let me give you a true story to summarize where I am coming from.
There was a woman who asked herself how can she increase her love with Jesus. Upon doing so she heard about the need to have a quiet time before the Lord. So she stopped having breakfast with her husband and family as Jesus now came first. She soon started attending a more spiritual church over forty miles away, an hour’s drive, as none of the churches near her were spiritual enough. Now, instead of just being at church on Sunday mornings, she began to attend the prayer meetings on Sunday evenings as well, going out to lunch with her new friends on Sunday afternoon. Her family saw her less and less on Sundays. Then she started going to the special Saturday evening services whereby the Holy Spirit would “fall” and their response was to be “getting drunk and being slain in the spirit by laying on the floor shaking and laughing.” She added “women’s ministry on Saturday mornings” so her family no longer saw her on the weekend.
To make time on the weekends for church. She now took the time she used to spend with her family on-weekday evenings to do the necessary things in life that used to get done on the weekends.
So, she no longer had date nights with her husband nor lunch dates. Nor did she have time to attend school events with her children. She was too definitely tired to be intimate with her husband and began to take matters into her hands. And it became so much a substitute for taking the time to build marriage intimacy, her husband kids would walk in on her multiple times.
When the husband attempted to bring all this up with the new church and was growing angry at their destruction of his marriage and family, their response was “Oh isn’t great that she is so in love with Jesus that he comes first!” And “Isn’t it great how she shakes on the floor with Jesus so often!” “You sir have an anger problem.” Instead of encouraging her to repair her broken relationships. Their response was to make her a worship leader. She now had to find more time for guitar practice. Group worship practice filled up what little space was left. And now several times a year she would go away on special Holy Spirit retreats to fall on the floor with Jesus so that he may increase her love for him. She was too busy with the church retreats to take the time to vacation with her family.
She is now going through the process of becoming divorced. Her kids hardly see her unless they go to church with her. But her church’s response was “We knew Satan would come after you by using your family to attack your faith. They are in league with Satan.” They denied ever saying such a thing, but her husband and children clearly overheard this stated multiple times. She does not think twice now about lying to be with Jesus. Now her children want nothing to with the church. And as for sharing her faith, she no longer has non-Christian friends to interfere with her faith. But by golly, she spends hours with Jesus.
I wish could say this was an isolated story, but I have heard it repeated multiple times in various forms. The unspoken theology is that loving Jesus inside your head is more important than loving others. To love Jesus, means that you spend more time in church and alone with Jesus. The more time you spend inside your head with Jesus is more of an indicator of your love for him than how you treat other people. The reality is you do not have one without the other.
Family and friends and the unsaved no longer distract her from her faith, but hey, she shakes on the floor with Jesus. And the Jesus inside her head now speaks to her congratulating her on overcoming Satan’s distractions through others who want to keep her apart from him. Her goal is to eventually move across the country to attend a special Holy Spirit ministry school as the Holy Spirit is more there than where she lives. But after all, the more time she shakes, rattles, and rolls the more her love increases for Jesus. How sad.
So I encourage you to love much my friends . . . but as Jesus said to.