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Falling for Worldly Love

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Falling for Worldly Love

Proverbs 3: 5-6 Trust in the L ord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (NLT)

Renowned filmmaker, Woody Allen once quipped, "I was nauseous and tingly all over. I was either in love or I had smallpox." This of course from someone with three marriages, the last of which is essentially with his former step daughter. The point being that there is a "love" the world sells that is in stark opposition to the love God intends for us in this life. As Christians, we shy away from discussing it because it is always a delicate subject that challenges our currently held feelings and makes us uncomfortable. But smallpox, nausea, butterflies in your stomach? No matter how the world tends to define love; it never seems to sound very positive does it? According to the world you "fall" in love. Do you know the definition of the word "fall?" According to the dictionary it is, " to become less or lower; become of a lower level, degree, amount, quality, value, number, etc.; decline." To lower your value! Yet despite this it is aggressively pursued and desired by nearly everyone. Despite the fact that "falling" implies that you have no more control over yourself. And therein lies the majority of the problem.

A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls. Proverbs 25: 28 (NLT)

A city with broken down walls is easily invaded. It is easily overrun. It has no protection and is easily assaulted. And isn't that how we are when we have fallen in love sometimes? We look the other way on things that are supposed to non-negotiable to our faith. We compromise our beliefs and our faith in pursuit of this state of being that can leave us so exposed that we can feel as if we have no control. I have heard the oft used lament, "well I love him/her." And I understand that emotions are difficult to dismiss. Feelings are very real and very powerful. And God addresses this for us:

Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. 1John 3: 18-20 (NLT)

God is greater than our feelings beloved but only if we let Him be! But note the usage of love here by God. Do not merely say that you love someone, but love should become an action verb. So often we can leave our common sense and our faith behind when dealing with the four letter word that love can become. The world convinces us that cupid shoots us with an arrow and apparently we lose all sensibility. Let me proffer the notion that anyone trying to shoot an arrow at you probably does not have your best interest at heart!

Then I have equally heard that other lament; "well you can't control the heart and who you love." Again, this may be true but what you choose to do with those feelings you absolutely can control. One of the fruits of the Spirit of God within you is self-control! As for our heart...

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17: 9 (NIV)

Do you ever feel sometimes that your heart doesn't exactly have your life's best interests in mind? That is what God is talking about. Our key verses today implore us to follow God and not our feelings. The first verse says to trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. Why does God say this to us? Because He always knows what is best for us in everything. Sounds simple enough right? But how many of us truly follow this when it comes to matters of the heart? Even for those of us who are married the warning is real. How often have we heard the reason for divorce be that someone just, "fell out of love?" That is what happens when you concede all control to your feelings. God is no longer in control. However, when your love is rooted in God there are no such shifting sands because God never changes.

So, if you trust in the Lord with all of your heart then your heart cannot betray you. God is not going to want you to be with someone who treats you less than you deserve. He certainly is not going to want you to be abused or mistreated or making excuses for someone who abuses you or mistreats you. How often do we see people routinely settling for less than God would have for them? How often is the culprit; "love?" Lean not on your own understanding! God sees your feelings. We are not talking about pretending our feelings aren't real but rather that we choose God over them. We choose to accept only the best that God would have for us. If God came to you tonight and said that you were not going to get that big promotion at work you have dreamed of but that it was in your best interest, would you accept it? What if He gave you more insight and said that by taking that big promotion you would find yourself over-worked and over stressed? That it would lead you away from Him and the plans He has for your life? What about now would you accept it? Yet time and again we can know in our spirit that someone we are dating is simply not the choice God has for us and yet we can stay for "love." God sees the beginning and the end. He sees what happens if you were to stay with someone you are not supposed to be with and yet we can turn our hearts from God and toward the world's version of love we have coursing through our soul. Proverbs teaches us:

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief. - Proverbs 14: 12-13 (NIV)

Just because it may seem right does not make it right. Just because it feels right doesn't make it right. Our worldly love often ends in grief. We mourn the loss in our soul and the time wasted chasing the wind. Chasing a dream in our hearts that the world planted. Sometimes we will then even blame the God we serve but failed to consult before getting involved in the first place.

The second part of the key verses is even more important. We need to seek the will of God in everything we do. Why? Because then He will show us the right path. This includes relationships beloved. There is a right path that leads you closer to God and the plans He has for your life and there are wrong paths that lead you away. The decisions we make today can have a life-long impact when we are dealing with matters such as love. But so often we can leave the pursuit of God's will out of our relationships. We lean onto our feelings and believe the lies the world sells us. Lies that say we just can't help ourselves. That we no longer have any control over the paths that are before us. But God is saying to seek Him and He will make the paths before you straight. Then you will know which one to take. How many of us know people that made the wrong choices and decades later they are still paying the price of worldly "love?"

And it is not like God has left us without a road map to begin with on the subject of love. The following are the most common verses read at weddings, regardless of faith:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 1Corinthians 13: 1-11 (NIV)

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
 
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