“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ.” (Php.1:9,10)
This is a great prayer for us to be praying these days as we, as individual Christians and as the corporate Church, wrestle with the upheavals of our times. In times like these we must ask ourselves, what does it mean to love one another, to love our neighbor, to even love our enemies? We can have easy answers when we aren’t under pressure, but it is another story when we are confronted with situations demanding an answer.
That’s why we need to be praying more than ever. I think the church is being splintered by the enemy at the same time as being sifted by the Lord. These times are pushing me to pray the prayer that Paul prayed for the Philippian church, for myself and the Free Methodist Church in Canada. We all agree that we should love everybody, but what does that look like on the ground? Thank God we have the Spirit of God to open our eyes to heavenly knowledge and depth of insight, so that we can discern what is the best expression of that love…. And that includes when we differ with each other about what that looks like!
That is tough stuff, but because we have been given His Word and His Spirit to help figure this out, we can expect Him to teach us how to love and enable us to love in these days. While our love must include emotion, our own opinion on various matters, what everyone else thinks and the circumstances we are facing, we cannot let them have the final say. We must always come back to the revealed Word of God, as found in the Scriptures, for the final say. We must have our minds renewed by that Word so that we can be transformed by it. A transformation that, at first, may not be popular, but in the end will be recognized as true love.