Many years ago, before I got married, I had the opportunity to sit with one of my mentors for a one-on-one counseling session. I had requested to speak to her as I had many things troubling my mind. She listened intently to me as I went on and on about the issues that were of great concern to me at that time. After I was done talking, she said a phrase to me that was so simple and yet so profound; “Go And Love The Lord.”
That was it.
That was the answer that put a stop to all the agitations of my heart. How did that answer do that?
Before I answer that question let’s read about Simon Peter the disciple that had a similar question posed to him by Jesus.
Let’s pick it up from where Simon Peter had denied he knew Jesus three times in the courtyard, during Jesus trial and then the cock crew and he remembered that Jesus told him he would deny him. Peter became distraught and wept bitterly.
After Jesus rose from the dead, he appeared to Simon Peter and some other disciples, had breakfast with them at the beach and then separated Peter for a one-on-one discussion with him about his commitment.
Let’s read from John chapter 21 how the encounter went;
15 After breakfast, Yeshua said to Shim‘on Kefa, “Shim‘on Bar-Yochanan, do you love me more than these?”
He replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I’m your friend.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
16 A second time he said to him, “Shim‘on Bar-Yochanan, do you love me?” He replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I’m your friend.” He said to him, “Shepherd my sheep.”
7 The third time he said to him, “Shim‘on Bar-Yochanan, are you my friend?” Shim‘on was hurt that he questioned him a third time: “Are you my friend?” So he replied, “Lord, you know everything! You know I’m your friend!” Yeshua said to him, “Feed my sheep!
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
The first time Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me more than these?”
Peter replied, “…I am your friend.”
The second time Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?”
Peter replied, “….I am your friend”
The third time Jesus said, “Are you my friend?”
Peter replied, “…..I am your friend.”
Did you see the decrease in the progression of the commitment level in Jesus’ questions?
Jesus wanted Peter to confess that he loved the Lord more that these; other people, his career as a fisherman, cares and distractions in the world.
Peter confessed he was God’s friend.
Jesus was showing to Peter that loving The Lord more than these, was essential in his relationship to God and part of his healing and restoration process.
Peter’s commitment was not yet at that point.
He identified himself as a friend of God but not a lover of God. There is a big difference between the two.
A friend relates as an acquaintance.
A lover relates as someone that is intimate.
The closer you draw to God the more your love for God will be checked out, examined and brought into question.
This is a question you will be asked many times in your walk with God as opportunities will arise that will seek to draw you away from your love for God.
‘I Love The Lord’ Tees
Back to my counseling session. The answer, “go and love The Lord,” was the last thing I was expecting to hear, but it was God’s answer for me at that time and over the years.
What I understood from this answer was that the agitations in my heart was as a result of my not loving the Lord. It was as a result of my putting other things first by focusing on them and worrying about them.
I decided I was going to change that.
So, I asked myself these questions
“How can I show that I love the Lord?”
“How can I tell The Lord that I Love Him?”
My answer; spend more time in His presence worshipping Him.
I purposely set apart time to only worship The Lord, sing to The Lord, declare His greatness, and recount His goodness without asking for any request. I did this consistently and everyone of those questions and agitations of my heart faded away in His presence and eventually in my life they were of no relevance as God’s blessing showed up and overtook the concerns and questions.
Do you have areas of concerns, fear, doubt and agitation in your life?
Cast the cares unto the Lord.
Go and Love The Lord.
Love the Lord more than these.
Enjoy your day!
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