What an interesting thought about how love can be dangerous. Please note however, I am not talking about weird, demonic possessiveness and control that brings pain and sorrow. That’s distortion to a hellish degree. But what I’m referring to couldn’t be further from that because I’m talking about the true love of God that causes one to do beautiful, marvelous things that one wouldn’t ordinarily do. I think we need to put this kind of love on our check list and begin to exhibit it fully to those within our sphere of influence. There is a lost and dying world out there that needs to know the true, holy, powerful love of God. The dangerous love of God takes us into a realm of glory we could not otherwise have known. I’m talking about it in every sense of the word as something quite positive and profound.
Holy Communion Revelations
As some of our devoted readers know, I will have a book about the revival of Holy Communion coming out in the spring of 2012, as well as a CD of some - out of many - Communion prayers I’ve journaled through the years. If we ever needed deeper revelatory truths in this hour of humanity, it’s comforting to know that encountering the Lamb of God in Communion will give that to us to an astounding degree. Remember scripture says that if everything Jesus said and did would have been recorded, it would have filled the whole earth. See John 20:30 and 21:25. Therefore, we still have a lot to learn!
As so often happens, a few weeks ago while absorbed in Holy Communion, I became enthralled with the holy Presence of the Son of God. I had been crying out to the Lord about a pain in my life and told him I felt the bread I held in my hand was as the bread of tears and affliction. Psalm 80:5 seemed to be my mantra, “Thou hast fed them with the bread of tears, and Thou hast made them to drink tears in large measure.” Deuteronomy 16:3 refers to the bread of affliction. But while engaging in self pity, the Lord, as the kind gentleman that He is, came to me tenderly, softly and yet with great strength and gave me a revelatory vision. Oh how wonderful He is! Truly He is our Prince of Peace!
Overcome by the Lord’s divine Presence, I began to see a vision of the Lamb of God in the Garden of Gethsemane. This beautiful garden became a place of horror. Jesus was already being tortured with humanity’s weight of sin upon his body by sweating great drops of blood. (Luke 22:44) When you know what’s about to happen to you…anyone of us, as human beings, would cry out in agony of soul. Sometimes I have sat and just tried to ponder what it would be like if I knew in a few short hours I would be nailed to a tree and I get scared! Just the thought of it is torture. And Jesus, who was the Word made flesh (John1), truly felt all the things flesh feels – thirst, terror, agony, sadness, persecution, loneliness, abandonment. He even asks the Father if that cup of torture could depart from Him. (Matt. 26:38-42) But the Father asked Him to drink it. Jesus obeyed. He drank it for me. He drank it for you. He did not refuse the Father.
So in those early morning hours, as I clung to the sacred Communion Bread, the Bread of Life, I held it close to my heart. And with tears running down my face, I could barely look at the scene before me. My own aches and pains of mind, body and soul were washed away as I saw the Father comfort the Lord with a strong angel. (Luke 22:43) Knowing the agony was only going to worsen, Jesus got up from that place and walked on.
Precious people of God, this is exactly what you and I need to do. Just walk on. Keep going. Keep putting one step in front of the other and the Lord will lead us through with His comfort, peace, and strength beyond human belief, even in the midst of fierce storms. I thought of the old song by R. Rogers and O. Hammerstein II called, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.’ Most of you are familiar with it, but let me quote some of it here:
When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark
At the end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of the lark
Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on Walk on with hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone
Jesus walked on. He knew the Father was with Him. Jesus told his disciples in John 10:17, “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.” He kept moving closer to the Cross of Calvary’s bloody, torturous, slow death. LOVE compelled Him! He did it for me. He did it for you. He did this for all those who would believe in His Name and in His act of love on that sacred tree.
Suddenly, in this vision, I began to get a revelation of the blood of the Lamb of God and how dangerously wonderful it is! It causes all the hordes and demons of hell to flee! I saw them flee from me! And I began to cry out in prayer for the ‘dangerously wonderful’ to fall upon many peoples, especially my own family for healing, deliverance, breakthrough and glorious provisions from on high. I declared the ‘dangerously wonderful’ is here! The Lord’s name IS Wonderful! (Isa. 9:6) It is here in the NOW as it was then. I declared what a divine meal this is (Communion). And as I wept, I declared my own ‘dangerous love’ to the Lamb of God. I vowed to follow Him at all costs because I saw just how dangerously wonderful and powerful this godly, holy, pure love of the Lamb of God really is!
I began to make fierce intercession for the entire state of Iowa where I live. Might you as well for the area where you live? In these darkening hours that are closing in at the End of the Age, we need to cling to the Cross of Christ ferociously and display His kind of dangerous love to the world around us, but especially to those closest to us.
Examples of Dangerous Love
My world has been rocked by this revelation! I pray it rocks yours as well. This kind of holy, dangerous love is seen all through God’s Word. But that night in taking Holy Communion, I saw it in a whole new light. Remember Jesus’ words in John 15:12-13? “This is my commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (See also John 12:24-25). I began to recall areas in scripture where I saw this kind of holy, godly, fiercely profound, dangerous love displayed. All of it leads to the biggest display of all on Calvary!
Most Christians know the story of the three Hebrew children in Daniel 3 - Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who were thrown into the fiery furnace because they would not bow to any other god than the One and only, Jehovah God. That’s dangerous love! It caused them to do what one wouldn’t ordinarily do. Theirs was an abiding, powerful, godly love that took them far beyond the norm of comfortable, churchy commitments. It was down right dangerous to love to that extent! They were saved from death. But some are not. (Heb. 11) Nevertheless, the rewards for such obedience and love of God are everlasting! How about you and I? How far are we willing to go to be alive unto God and dead unto the world?
The fresh aliveness of Christ
If you’re desiring the new, the fresh, and need the aliveness of Christ in your walk, then embrace Romans 6:4-5, “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.” Wow! Do you see how we’re called to be dead to the pains of this life which will cause us to be united ALIVE with Jesus through His resurrection power? Dangerous love is about death to one’s own self-centered desires, and being ‘on fire’ for God at all costs! Did you read that correctly? ALL COSTS!
Remember Daniel? He was also tested through dangerous love by being thrown into a lion’s den to be eaten alive. (Daniel 6) I don’t know about you, but I was at the zoo this summer with the grandkids and I wouldn’t want to be in that den alone with one! But I’m just pondering…if the government broke into our homes and asked the same question of us as these Hebrew believers, what would we say? Would fear, intimidation, lack of total commitment, compromise and lukewarmness keep us from giving God glory? Are we more ‘lovers of ourselves’ than that of our magnificent God and Redeemer, Jesus? (2 Tim. 3) Will our walk with the Lord display His kind of holy dangerous love by honoring God the Father unto death if need be just as the Lamb of God did? Hebrews 11 tells many stories of those truly committed. Some were saved from martyrdom. Others were not.
Does all this sound radical? Indeed. But this is the time we are now entering in these days of earthly existence. We have to consider just how deep our love commitment to the Lord really is. Perhaps our love is too superficial causing us to tread on dangerous, enemy territory. Satan’s ways kill, rob and destroy. God’s ways bring light, revelation, deliverance, provision, healing and everlasting life.
One of my heroes in the Bible is Paul. Look at this guy! He writes in 2 Corinthians 11 how he was in labors…imprisonments, beaten times without number and often in danger of death. He goes on to say how he received 39 lashes five times…three times beaten with rods, stoned, shipwrecked a number of times spending time floating around in the ocean…being on frequent journeys in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from his countrymen, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger on the sea, danger among false brethren (very sad!). He went on to describe how he had been in much labor and hardships through many sleepless nights in hunger and thirst often without food in cold and exposure.
Paul goes on with his dissertation …saying how he had to endure the daily pressures of all the churches he’d planted. And we think we’ve had a bad day, week or month! Danger surrounded this guy almost perpetually. But GOD’S LOVE COMPELLED HIM to walk on. Lovers are givers! True, godly, holy, pure love of God, will cause us to give above and beyond our own strength because it relies totally on the power of Jesus to carry us through – no matter what the trial, heartache or sorrow might be. Jesus loved us unto death. A true follower of Christ will do no less.
How dangerous are you?
Who has made you angry? Who has taken advantage of you? Who has brought a heartache or sorrow into your life? Are you dangerous enough in God’s holy, divine love that it will cause you to humble yourself and forgive? Can you display the power of God by asking forgiveness of those YOU have wronged? “And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” (Eph. 4:32; 5:1-2) There’s nothing more beautiful than the fragrance of Christ being displayed fully in our lives.
It was this kind of deep, dangerous love that caused Paul to go the extra mile not just once, but over and over again! Dangerous, godly lovers are givers! They’re the ones who contribute more, not just in monetary means, but by giving more in the way of forgiveness, grace, honor, respect, care, and nurturing of others leading them to Christ by their life-style.
Dangerous love is displayed constantly through committed Christians. Love compels them, just as it did the Lord Jesus. (2 Cor. 5:14-17; Luke 14:23) There are countless Christians through the centuries who have displayed dangerous love not willing to compromise their faith in God.
Ephesians 3:17-19 reveals this kind of love: “…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and founded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” Therefore we must ascertain that having titles behind our name with a list of theological degrees is not the avenue to bring us into this amazing, dangerous godly love. It’s simply residing in the Lord’s Presence. It’s drinking in His nature of love. It becomes reflective as we spend time with Him. No wonder Stephen had the glory of God on his face as he was being stoned to death in Acts 7. He truly displayed dangerous love even calling out to God to forgive his tormentors and executioners. Who is like this today? Who is willing to go the distance in displaying God’s glory in this manner? In many countries of the world today indeed there are those being martyred for their belief in Jesus.
What about us?
How are we doing? How would our lives really look if we took the challenge as the apostle Paul and entered into the dangers of God’s holy love that surpasses understanding? How would we answer Jesus in John 21 if He asked us the same question He put to Peter, not once, but three times, “Do you love me?” Amazingly, the Lord indicates by what manner of martyrdom this apostle will suffer. Still, Peter walked on! He embraced the dangerous love of God not willing to compromise anything again in his life. What a testimony! (See Luke 12:4)
Our assignment has, and will always be, to love beyond worldly perceptions of what true love really is. True love gives. True love gives all. I believe our challenge today is Hebrews 10:24, “… and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love…” Embracing this challenge from God’s Word will change the landscape of our spiritual lives. Revival will display dangerous love. Its how the church was born in Acts, and its how the church will survive, thrive, and be caught up alive at the End of the Age. (1 Thess. 5)
Walk on! Walk on in dangerous, godly, holy, love!