What is it that makes His yoke easy and His burden light? Where is it that we find rest for our souls?
When do we begin to run without growing weary and walk without fainting? What change must take place
for us to begin to really consider His every command a blessing and not even a single one a burden?
The answer is "the love of God being shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit". The love of the Father was the joy of the Son. This is the joy Jesus desires to perfect in us. He was the Son of righteousness because He so perfectly trusted His Father. The righteous live by faith. His righteous trust kept Him in perfect peace with His Father and enabled Him to serve His Father in gladness - this was the joy of His life. This is the abundant life He offers to us, His own heart and His own understanding of His Father will transform our religion into an intimate relationship with the living God. Old concepts of obligation and duty begin to pass away and all things become new as faith begins to work through love in an ever increasing joy.
As we begin to grasp how wide, and long, and high, and deep is the love of Christ, we begin to soar to the heights of all the fullness of God. Living by the Spirit is being lifted by the love of God being shed abroad in our hearts.
The love of God is like the spiritual updrafts lifting the wings of the eagle. Those who become rooted and established in love begin to mount up with wings as the eagle as they begin to be compelled by the love of Christ. Experiencing the love of the Father and the Son is what turns the religion of Christianity into the personal intimacy of "I KNOW HIM." Those who love Him are drawn to know Him by cords of loving kindness. A transformation takes place and the distant, fearful, almighty God of the universe, becomes our own Father we can approach anytime day or night. Perfect love drives out fear and replaces it with freedom to approach the throne of grace with boldness.
If we are currently in love with the world, we simply have not yet come to know the love of our Father. We may believe that there is a God, and be aware of the gospel of Jesus, but the Father and the world are so vastly different in nature that we cannot love both simultaneously. Loving the world is not so much a forbidden command but a foreign concept to those who genuinely love the Father. The more we know our Father, the more we love Him. The more we love Him, the more we want to know Him. Those who love Him, look to Him, come to Him, and find great joy and pleasure in serving Him. This is how all things become new. This is how we begin to be set apart from the world - we are simply more drawn to our Father's love and further and further away from loving the world or the things of the world. We begin to see His commands differently; we regard His discipline differently and we welcome His guidance and embrace His corrections as His tender mercies.
It makes perfect sense why Jesus only fully reveals Himself to those who have come to love Him. When asked by His disciples why He spoke to the masses in parables while speaking openly to them, He answered "Those who love Me will keep My commands." He further explained that without love, those who heard Him would not keep His words. He understood that only those who had come to love Him would value His words and receive them as He intended them to be received. Love removes the burden of the Law and replaces it with the blessing of faith.
Jesus was not sent to conquer the earth and bring home millions of spiritual slaves. He was sent to demonstrate the Father's love in order to bring many spiritual sons to glory. Only those who come to love the Father as the Son loves Him will come to live with the Father as the Son lives with Him. The glory that Jesus shared with His Father before the world began was the love the two of them shared together. This is the glory He longs for us to see.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon