In the movie The Princes Bride, Vizzini keeps using the word “inconceivable” concerning the possibility that Westley, also known as the Dread Pirate Roberts, could catch up with himself, Inigo Montoya, the giant Fezzik, and Buttercup as they flee from him. After all efforts Westley still gained on them to which Inigo Montoya says to Vizzini, “That word, you keep saying it. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”
The halftime show of Super Bowl 50 ended with a stadium filled with posters that read, “Believe In Love.” Also, during a recent speech by one of the Democratic presidential candidates the phrase “Love Trumps Hate” was used to emphasize a point. These two statements puzzled me as they caught my eyes and ears. The question that rose in my heart was, “If the world is using love to promote their agenda, how are they defining it?” They keep using this word, but I don’t think it means what they think it means.
True love must be defined and demonstrated by its author. As we have studied previously, true love is defined by God, for God is love. In fact 1 John 3:16 reads, “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.” For us to KNOW love there had to be a sacrifice of the will and self, which Jesus humbly and obediently accomplished. This world and its mission to satisfy its own will is passing away and the lusts of it, but those who do the will of God abide forever.
When God demonstrated His love towards mankind, it was while we were still covered in all that opposed His will. Jesus died not to provide a tolerance of sin and death, but by grace and through faith to give life to those bound by sin and subject to death. This is the true definition of love. The world believes that love is something that accepts and approves of the decisions of man and places this self-centered will as the power that conquers all. The only problem with this definition is that it leaves man alienated from God and still dominated by death. True love does not tolerate the self-destructive nature of sin, but makes a way of escape so that true life can be obtained and lived in its entirety. Love does not work with the old nature, but instead creates a brand new nature that has God, Love Himself, in it to both will and do for His good pleasure.
Although the statements “Believe In Love” and “Love Trumps Hate” are true, they hold no weight if not lived in the light of truth. We cannot mix the truth of God with a lie and expect positive results. The fruit of God’s love, goodness, forbearance and patience leads us to the place of turning from self-indulgence and its consequences, and towards the love of God that does not condemn, but through love saves to the utmost.
It all comes down to first knowing God, believing that He is and retaining Him in your thoughts. It’s casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts self against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. You can always recognize the love that has been defined by the world. It will exalt self and its rights all the while abolishing God and demeaning His existence. You could say this is the anti-christ anointing that does according to its own will, exalting and magnifying itself above all.
This fading and failing mirage of love causes one to reach for what will never satisfy, never gratify and will never rectify the longings and empty desires in the heart of man. Desires are only given proper perspective and true purpose when they are birthed from a heart that has first delighted itself in the Lord. Emptying itself by humbly coming to God in full assurance of His faithful and unbroken Word and accepting forgiveness. Then, by grace, allowing God to exalt them to His right hand in Christ being filled with all the fullness of God.
Christ’s obedience was His willingness to sacrifice His will becoming obedient to the cross; willingness and obedience are products of a submitted heart that has received and walks in God’s love. This act of true love exemplifies for us the love we are to believe in that will trump the hate that separates and destroys the foundation of our lives, families and country.