The Love God Wants

Father and Son love one another deeply in the love of the Spirit. So God does not need to move beyond himself to love and be loved. He is THE fullness of love within his own Triune life. Nevertheless, the God who loves us out of his own fullness of love wants to be loved by us in return. Just as he does not need to love us, he does not need to be loved by us. But that is what He wants. As our one and only true Lord, he wants our exclusive love. However, the love that God wants from us is the love that he works in us by his Spirit.

The indwelling Spirit does not create within us a love that arises out of fear. While true love includes fear of God as reverence and respect, it excludes fear as sheer dread. Terror may have once been a force which drove us to obey. But obedience freely expressed is our joyful response of love as those who are loved. And such love is worked in us by the Spirit.

Furthermore, the indwelling Spirit does not fix our attention on the gifts of God as rewards for loving him. True love to God in the Spirit is focused fully on God himself as the one we love. And this love is expressed in the desire that his will should be done. We are drawn into the circle of God’s love in Jesus by his Spirit. And within this circle of love, we respond joyfully and freely with willing obedience.

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