UNDERSTANDING LOVE 2
In our article last week we saw that God loves men at three levels:
1. with the will alone—‘agape’ only.
2. with the will and emotions—-‘agape’ and ‘phileo’.
3. with the will, emotions and mind: so totally reproducing His character in them by intimacy in the mind (Proverbs 23.7, 1 Cor 2.16) —‘agape’, ‘phileo’ and intimacy.
This week we will see how to love men as God does with this understanding.
In our relationships with men we are to love men as God loves them (John 13.34):
‘Agape’ all men even our enemies (Matthew 5.45).
We are to ‘agape’ and ‘phileo’ only men that are more committed to God so we can correct and rebuke them to get closer to God without them responding negatively (Revelation 3.19, Proverbs 9.7-8).
We are to ‘agape’, ‘phileo’ and be intimate only with men who are committed to God even unto death so that our relationships with them will reproduce God’s character in them and us, like Ruth was intimate with Naomi; Elisha with Elijah; Esther with Mordecai; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego with Daniel; and of course John with the Lord Jesus.
If you and try to ‘phileo’ and be ‘intimate’ with people you should only ‘agape’ you will find yourself getting into unnecessary strife and in many cases they will injure you spiritually:
Matthew 7:6 (ESV): “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.
1 Corinthians 15:33 (LITV): (33) Do not be led astray; bad companionships ruin good habits.
Observe that this does not mean you do not love them: you love them with ‘agape’ but not with ‘phileo’ or intimately until they come to that level of commitment to God.
To do this it is vital to pray this prayer at least once a week (Genesis 1.3-2.2) in addition to your normal daily prayer to walk in love, praying in the spirit with all types of prayer and praying for the spirit of wisdom and revelation (See our books for details):
Philippians 1.9 (Amplified): 9And this I pray: that your love may abound yet more and more and extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight [that your love may [a]display itself in greater depth of acquaintance and more comprehensive discernment], 10So that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value [recognizing the highest and the best, and distinguishing the moral differences], and that you may be untainted and pure and unerring and blameless [so that with hearts sincere and certain and unsullied, you may approach] the day of Christ [not stumbling nor causing others to stumble].
As you do this you will love with wisdom and understanding and not just emotions alone.
‘Phileo’ without ‘Agape’ will be misdirected by Satan to pander to human feelings and emotions and take us away from God’s purpose and destiny, like Satan tried to do through Peter to Jesus (Matthew 16.21-23).
As you interact with men locate, by the discerning of the Holy Spirit, their level of commitment to God and love them accordingly: in the outer court, the holy place or the Most holy place of your heart!