“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge….” Ephesians 3:16-19
In this day and hour, we as God’s people are taking our rightful position…dedicating ourselves to God, renewing our minds with the Word, setting ourselves apart from the carnal ways of the world, committing ourselves to walk in the love of God.
God has promised us the knowledge of His love. First John 4:16 says, “We have known and believed the love that God hath to us.” Believing that love is acting on it and putting it into operation. When we do, we reach out into areas that pass human knowledge.
Again, Ephesians 3:17 says, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love.”
We are to be rooted and grounded in the love of God. In His parable of the sower, Jesus said that those sown on stony ground had no root in themselves (Mark 4:15-17).They heard the Word with gladness, but when persecution and affliction came for the Word’s sake, they were offended. They didn’t respond in the love of God. They responded in the natural realm and Satan stole all the Word that was in them. They were not rooted in love.
God is declaring unto you and me that we can have a comprehensive revelation of His love—its height, its depth, its width and its breadth. To know His love is to know God because He is love. God is telling us: “I’ll teach you all there is to know about Me.” He has been wanting, since the beginning of time, to share Himself with us—not part, but all! Think about that! God is offering you and me understanding of the height, depth, width and breadth of Himself. It’s almost unbelievable, but it is true.
God has a spiritual capsule and this capsule goes into effect when you get into the Word and allow God to minister to you. God will, by His Spirit, build that capsule around you and protect you from all that is happening in the outside world. If you will walk in the Word, you can be protected at all times and the wicked one will not be able to touch you. That capsule is the shield of faith. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).
Faith works by love. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:16 that faith quenches all the fiery darts of the wicked one—not part of them, all of them. The first time I heard Brother Kenneth Hagin say this, I was thrilled! He spoke to Satan and said, “Satan, my household is off limits to you.” Then he put a sign in the world of the spirit that said, “Off limits, Satan. This means you!” Glory to God! I had always thought Satan held the key to my back door and could come and go as he pleased. Then I found out my authority as a believer.
Developing Faith in God’s Love
You might ask, “How do you know when your faith is developed in a certain area?” The same rules apply to the development of faith in every area of life. Faith is faith in any Bible subject—whether it is the new birth, the infilling of the Holy Ghost, right-standing with God, divine health, divine prosperity or some other area. It is the same spiritual substance. It works the same in every situation.
1. Put the Word first place. Don’t be moved by feelings.To develop your faith in God’s love, or in anything else from God, you have to learn what the Word says about it. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God(Romans 10:17). For instance, Psalm 23:6 says,“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” Put that Word first place. Don’t ever go by how you feel about the love of God. Don’t confess anything else. Be confident in the fact that God’s mercy and goodness follow you all the days of your life. You should read the book of 1 John over and over on a regular basis.
2. Meditate on the Scriptures concerning God’s love.Meditation develops the capacity for faith. As you meditate on God’s Word and your capacity begins to grow, you recognize the power God’s love can have in your life. Then the things of Satan will begin to shrink and lose their grip over you, as you realize the fullness of God’s Word.
3. Act on the Word concerning the love of God.First John 4:11-12 says, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.” By practicing this love on one another, the love of God is perfected in us.
The word perfected means “allowed to run its full course.” You can let God’s love run its full course in your life. Love never fails.Here we are reaching for that “zero failure rate.” It is possible, and it will come to pass! How are we going to do it? Not by becoming perfect ourselves, but by acting on the Word of God and allowing the love of God, which is perfect, to run its full course in our lives. Even though we make mistakes, that love force will be there to prevent failure.
4. Decide to live the love life. Make the quality decision to live by love. To develop your faith in divine healing, you have to make the decision to be well, or you never will be healed. A quality decision is a necessity in learning to live the love life.
What is a quality decision? A decision from which there is no retreat.It simply means this: “With God in heaven as my helper, He that is within me is greater than he that is in the world. I refuse to allow anything to hinder me from walking in love. I make the quality decision to walk the love walk, whether anyone else does or not.”
It is a necessity that we renew our minds to the supernatural power of the love of God. We must develop our faith and renew our minds so that we respond in love without having to think about it. We must learn to live in love, walk in love, talk in love and edify one another in love. Then when the pressures come, when the hard times come, when disasters approach us, we won’t have to stop and think. We will immediately react in love.
The secret to successfully combat Satan is to retaliate in the spirit, not in the natural.The love walk is 100 percent in the spiritual realm. This is where God wants the Body of Christ to walk. By developing our faith in the love of God, it will work and bring about that “zero failure rate.”
Now say this: “O God in heaven, I commit myself today to develop my faith in the love of God. I commit myself to Your Word, to be pleasing unto You—to walk in love, even as Jesus walked. I make the quality decision now to walk in love, talk in love, think in love and respond to all things in love. I renounce selfishness in the Name of Jesus. It has no part in me. I am born of love, so I will walk in love!”
The Power of God’s Love
By walking in God’s love, you release a force to work in your behalf—a force that has all the appearance of weakness but is stronger than any force in existence. To walk in love is to step aside and allow the power of the universe to come between you and the situation you are dealing with.
Romans 8:37 says, “Nay….” In other words, “No, you are not a lamb for the slaughter.” It says, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors.” You are more than a conqueror! It is one thing to conquer; it is another thing entirely to conquer and occupy! Praise God!
You are one spirit with the Lord. Glory to God! He paid the price, so you wouldn’t have to. You didn’t have to go to the Cross; He went for you.
You are more than a conqueror through Him who loved you—through the power of that love. There is an unseen power that goes into operation when a person is developed in the love of God and knows how to walk in it. When the world starts to run over you because you appear to be weak, they will run into the unseen power. It’s all around you. It’s in you—ever ready for whatever comes. God wants you to be full of the Word and use His Name without fear. It is yours to use, and God will back you with His power just like He said He would.
One of the most outstanding examples of the power of God’s love was manifested during Jesus’ ministry. In John 8, Jesus was confronted by some Jews as He was teaching in the temple. His words were so forceful in the face of their traditional thinking that they were angered. John 8:59 says, “Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”
Jesus just turned around and walked through the midst of the crowd. They were trying to stone Him and He walked off! They couldn’t even see Him! This verse says He hid Himself. He was protected by an invisible shield—the love of God.
I have known men who walked in that kind of protection, and I have walked in it myself from time to time. It is the protective shield of God’s love that every believer can walk in, but very few know how. Jesus said, “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14). But thank God for the few who do! And I have made up my mind to be one of those!
To walk in love is to walk in the very highest spiritual realm there is. Jesus walked in that realm. We have seen it operate in His earthly ministry. Another example of the power of God’s love is found in Acts 7. It is the story of Stephen as he stands before the high priest, accused of blasphemy. Acts 6:5 describes him as “a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost.”It says in verse 8, “Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.”
Stephen preached the gospel as his defense and his accusers were outraged:
When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord. And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep (Acts 7:54-60).
Stephen was demonstrating the love of God. He said the one thing Jesus said at Calvary: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Stephen showed he had the same capacity to love as Jesus. The love of God was perfected in his life. He imitated Jesus.
How did Stephen learn? By waiting on tables. By serving people.Through Stephen and his ministry, great miracles were done. Where were they done? Among the people.
First John 5:1, 4-5 says, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” God is love and we are born of love. Every born-again believer on the face of this earth is a world-overcomer. He is not in the process of overcoming the world; he is a world-overcomer. You can be a world-overcomer and never overcome. You can be a rich man and starve to death. You are a creature with a will and a choice. You may never realize it in your own life, but as far as God is concerned, you have already overcome.
Let’s read Romans 5:3-5, “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
We definitely know we have the same capacity to love as Jesus does because it is the love of God that has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Think about that. The love of God is shed abroad in your heart. God’s love is in you because He is in you. You are born of Him. You have been made one spirit with the Lord. What is that spirit? The Holy Spirit. Who is He? He is compassion and mercy and love.
Rooted and Grounded in Love
First John 2:5 says, “Whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected.”
There are two ways to perfect the love of God in your life—by keeping the Word of God, and by practicing love on others.
Love takes practice and we can practice on each other. You won’t operate perfectly in love at the very beginning; but as you keep at it, you will get better and better. If you fail, just simply confess it as sin, receive your forgiveness, and go on. Keep loving. Keep overlooking the shortcomings of others and look for Jesus in them!