So many lies permeated my life as child. I knew just enough of the word of God to get myself into a world of trouble. Satan’s lies were coming hard and fast. One of the subtlest, yet most dangerous was this… that loving God above anything else meant the death of loving anything else. It was as if I thought that nothing else was allowed to cross my mind, or be important to me. The loves seemed… competitive.
The truth is they can be. Such is the nature of idolatry. We take something, usually something good, and simply make it ultimate, and thus, an idol. Yet, as I grow in love, intimacy, and understanding with Christ, I see something so much more wonderful. It is amazing that I could not see the blatant truth… that with God as ultimate there is no end to love.
We think. If I want to love so-and-so or such-and-such to the fullest, I must put them first. That is our logic. Yet, when we do so, our love for one another is hindered by being founded on us. We are weak, selfish, and have a limit to our depth.
The truth is that when we put God above all else, and genuinely desire Him above all, a crazy thing happens. He tells us to love others, AND our love for them is now founded in HIM and thus is endless in its might and beauty.
[God Is Love] Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him
Immediately after God shows us that He is to be loved above all else, he gives us the second commandment, to love others.
Matthew 22:36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?"37And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.38This is the great and first commandment.39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.40On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."
Then we look at those who we are to revere. Paul, Jesus, Peter, they loved others passionately. A few examples: Jesus wept at Lazurus’ death. Paul called Philemon his heart. Philemon 1:12. Peter loved Jesus to the point of cutting off a man's ear.
God is faithful. Such goes another lie in my heart, not that I won't ever struggle with it ever again. Yet, its power and sting has been diminished enormously. My pursuit of God moves forward. He is above all else. All love comes from Him, as He is love. Now I truly love the those I once feared God would get in the way of if I put Him first. How silly of me indeed. May He be above all else for you as well. Whatever idol you are holding on to (and recall, idolatry usually is just making a good thing ultimate. Even something as wonderful as ministry, marriage, or children can be an idol) will only curtail your true ability to actually even love and enjoy that very thing anyway. God is the reason we live. Glory be His name.