The Urgency and the Way of Spiritual Reality (continued)
The Love of Christ
Yes, the love of Christ is the next thing. We need the energy and the enabling of the Holy Spirit to manifest and to know the Love of Christ. Love is not a thing that we can produce, it is a supernatural thing. It is something for which we need Divine energy. And I believe God would have us to take hold of Him for the love that we have not got to be made real to us. Oh yes, we talk about love, but how little of it seems to come off. It has got to be something Divine that we appropriate and count upon continually: The Love of Christ. Not our love, but His Mighty Love. "The love of Christ constrained us." What is love? Well, for this we need one another, "That ye may be strong to apprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge" (Ephesians 3:17-19); to apprehend with all the saints. What a privilege to be together, in order to know the Love of Christ, to learn this supreme secret of love: His love!
We are put together, dear friends, in order that we may know the Love of Christ. And when it speaks about being filled with the fullness of God, it comes immediately upon this matter of love. There is no fullness of God where there is no love.
You know I think that not only is the apostle bowing his knees, but I feel that he is calling all of us to bow our knees, that we may be on our faces before God for the reality of all this: "That we may be strong to apprehend with all the saints." As though it was our pursuit and our quest together. Do let us find out the Love of Christ. Let us learn what it means. Yes, I am quite sure we would have plenty of opportunity of learning, plenty of opportunity inwardly, let alone outwardly, we have got to learn what it really means to love one another, really what it means!
What is love? Surely love is where self is dethroned. That nothing is left but love when we are out of it: "Love seeketh not its own, love taketh no account of evil, love beareth all things" (1 Corinthians 13). It is as though there is a treat to us of our rights or our feelings and we are just going to take it on and we say, 'No, love beareth all things," even that. Something evil happens and we are just going to resent it, but love taketh no account of evil, what a terrific thing love is! Just imagine if all of us were doing that. I do not think we would stay on the earth very long do you? I think that the gravitation upward would be too much, we would go. And just a little bit of love like that is heavenly, is heavenly. Yes, it is costly because we cannot make someone else lovely, or shut up to ourselves over this. It all begins with number one, does it not? I have got to go away and find out what this means and so have you.
But a tremendous thing that the Reality of God is bound up with our love together, will all things; the Reality of God. It is as though where love is not, God withdraws. And satan is always wanting to turn our most valuable and wonderful faults about the things of God into pure theory. He says, 'Yes, you have got wonderful ideals have you not, but as long as it does not work, I do not mind in the very least, I do not mind at all.' And we might leave this place this afternoon and say, 'Oh dear, I do not want to show love, I do want to be loving.' That is not the answer, the answer is to be strengthened with might by His Spirit, it is really the Holy Spirit that can do it, and I do believe that is the Gospel in this message, the good news in it. That we are in the dispensation of a mighty, living, powerful Holy Spirit, Who says, 'I will do in you that which you cannot do and make you love it.' And make that disposition which is Christ in you, which means: that self is dethroned. Self is dethroned!
(continued with # 27)