To love is to set the desires or your heart (affection) upon someone or some object. What you most desire with all of your heart you love. To desire to be one with God is to love God with all of your heart, mind and spirit. When you desire something you go after it; you want to possess it; you want to make it part of your being; you want to know it in the most intimate and deepest way.
In many cases you will sacrifice everything else for what you most earnestly desire. You would leave mother, father, husband or wife, brother and sister behind to attain that which you most desire. We must also love ourselves. Not in a narcissistic way, rather with the desire to know who we are and to understand our unique genius and place in the universe. In an earlier blog I sought to established that we are predestined by God to be united with Him in one body and live eternally with him in the heavenly places; that we are then perfected by God through the working of His Spirit with our spirit and that it is toward the end of becoming Christ like, humble servants who have chosen to harmonize our will with the will of God. Love is the vehicle by which this state of perfection is obtained in a practical, day to day way.
Many of us are familiar with I Corinthians 13. It is a beautiful, brief treatise on the nature of love. However, I believe that somehow we miss the most important message of the chapter though it is clearly outlined in the last four verses: But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth, faith, hope and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
The greatest is love because it is through love that we are ultimately able to attain to perfection through the knowledge of Him who perfected us. We can’t get there without love. Now when you go back and read the first nine verses of I Corinthians 13, you will understand why you must be long suffering in the face of adversity; why you should not be prideful and boastful; not rejoicing in iniquity but rejoicing in truth; and why you should not think evil thoughts. If the desire of your heart is to be one with the nature of God, then your nature will exhibit the characteristics of Divine Love.
Why then should this love be given to our enemies?
Because God is Love. If we desire to be one with God the Father, who created all things and whose purpose is to unite all creation in perfection with Him, then as lovers of God with our wills joined to his will we become instruments of his purpose. The whole of creation is depending on us loving our enemies: For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God, Romans 8:19. It is the awaiting of a spiritual metamorphosis. Just as a lowly caterpillar is transformed to a beautiful butterfly, so will be our transformation to children of God. But it can not happen without love; your love extending to all of God’s creation, including your enemies.
To God Be The Glory