What Is God’s Love Like?


Stairwell in Syria by Steve Murray

Stairwell in Syria by Steve Murray

I recently began reading The Forgotten Way, by Ted Dekker, and the book has been an eye opener. By that I don’t mean that have learned anything new. Rather, I am sensing, glimpsing something that I have not quite grasped yet about what I already know but yet not really know.

Ted Dekker describes his own journey in this knowing in the book. Here is part of the story of his journey:

There in my office, drowning in a sea of self-condemnation and unworthiness, a gentle question whispered through my mind

                Does your Father not love you with the same love that He asks you to love others?

The room was utterly still. I blinked, unable to comprehend.

What is love? The voice asked.

But I knew, of course. Love was a staggering concept that held no record of wrong and was kind in the face of cruelty. When the evil man attacked, love turned the other cheek without offering blame or grievance. This is the love no one knows – the same love Jesus talked about often.

                Does your Father not love you with the same love that He asks you to love others?

I sat in my chair, stunned, unable to accept the implication that anyone could possibly love me in such a way. I had never thought to ask if God loved me in the same way He asks me to love others.

Then I heard another thought, like a voice but not a voice at the same time.

                Let go of all you think you know about Me, so that you can KNOW Me.

Translation: let go of your intellectual knowing so that you can experience my love (to know in a biblical sense).

As a deeply philosophical thinker trained in theology, deeply dependent on logic and intellect, this invitation should have frightened me. Instead, I began to weep with gratitude at such an intimate offer.

You mean I don’t have to figure this all out?

                Has doing so ever led you to this kind of love?

No.

                Taste Me and see that I am good. I am love. I am Father.

I didn’t hesitate. Nothing else mattered to me in that moment, because if it was true that God was this kind of loving Father, I would throw myself off a cliff to fall at His feet in gratitude for such an extravagant love.

And so I did. There, in the night, I closed my eyes, let go of who I thought I was and who the Father was, stepped off a kind of cliff, and I free-fell into that space beyond mere intellect where faith and love are found.

This was my surrender, you see? I let go of my own fear of not having it all figured out; my fear of not having all the right doctrines and beliefs; my fear of not being accepted unless I measured up to the demands of a holy God. I let go of all of that and fell into the arms of trust and love.

It felt like falling into a great unseen mystery, but I was actually falling into the light. I was falling out of a prison – a darkness that had been deepened by my own attempts to make my own light through reason and striving.

As the light filled my awareness, I began to awaken to a whole new reality.

It was then that I began to know my Father intimately in the way Jesus talked about knowing the Father – a word used for a deep intimidate experience between a man and a woman. It was that kind of knowing, not an intellectual knowledge that swallowed me.

There, I trembled at his goodness , because He is infinitely good and complete and could never, never, never be compromised by anything anyone did or thought. Ever.

Who is this God who is love? Who are we in relation to Him?

He invites us to find out, intimately – not merely intellectually – but to know Him intimately!

I highly recommend the book (which you can order here – The Forgotten Way).

But I am finding that reading it is not sufficient. It is just another collection of inspiring words that never lift very far off the page unless I take them to heart and enter into my own journey on the Way. God cannot be known from the pages of a book, not even from the Bible, unless we take Him up on what He says.

And then, we can’t really know God unless we abandon ourselves to the Person of God. He is our Father. We are His children, if indeed we know Him.

And, if we don’t really know God, we can take heart in this: that He has made Himself known and promises to make Himself known by those who seek Him with all their hearts.

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