An erroneous view of love will always lead us to look in the wrong places; it will cheat us out of the best life we were created to experience. If we go looking to satisfy our love craving from our spouses, children, parents, jobs, or possessions, then we end up disappointed. If we think that love is about feelings, emotions, and infatuation, then we have drunk the wine of lies that causes us to stagger and stumble. Rather than guess at love, it is best to see what the Scripture says about it. Without a scriptural understanding of love, what we end up believing in and showing is not love but simply components of love. Let me explain.
If someone shows us the horns of an elephant, that does not demonstrate that we have seen an elephant, nor does it demonstrate that an elephant doesn’t exist somewhere. All it tells us is that an elephant previously existed. Similarly, just because we are being shown acts (or parts and parcels) of love does not mean we are being shown love, for those acts may have been done out of fear and self-seeking. For love to be shown, the heart behind the actions must be pure. Analogous to the missing elephant, it is impossible to show and give what we do not have. Therefore, it is impossible to show and give love if God is missing in our lives and if we are operating in fear. So how do we make sure that what we have and are experiencing is love? The first step is to define love accurately. Although love can be described in many ways, here is the complete definition of love
Love = God = Word = Jesus = Holy Spirit
Here are the scriptures that help us come up with the equation:
1) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
2) “And the Word became flesh (Jesus) and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
3) “But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And aft er it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God’” (Acts 5:3–4).
4) “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8).
With regard to real love, this equation reveals that no human being can claim to love without having the presence of God in his or her life, a stumbling block for those that do not believe there is a God. It says that it is impossible to say that we have love in our lives without having Jesus in our lives, a stumbling block for the non-believer. In addition, it says we cannot claim to love God without loving his Word. We cannot say we are walking in love without walking in fellowship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Alas, any action we take that does not align itself with the Scripture is an act that is devoid of love. Any decision we make that is not inspired of the Holy Spirit does not fulfill the call to love.
Real love is not just satisfied that we “know about God” but requires that we “know God.”