A Few Degrees off from God’s Love, Lands Us in Babylon

If the Christian church were going to take a sailboat trip from America’s west coast to Hawaii, we would want to make sure our compass reading was exactly right, or we would lose our way and possibly end up in Tahiti. When sailing, once we lose sight of land, we have to depend on an electromagnetic compass to keep us on the right course. The critical ingredient in an electromagnetic compass is the corrector magnets that have to be calibrated.

Christians then need to depend on the true reading of the Way[i] or we are going to go farther and farther off course. Satan is doing everything to influence us to be a few degrees off so we will end up in Babylon, a city of pride and idolatry. All Satan has to do is help us distort the biblical word, love, and we will unknowingly be a few degrees off. Satan is constantly fiddling with our biblical compass to corrupt our inner corrector magnets, hoping we will turn into “children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine…”[ii]

Many churches have lost their way by misinterpreting the word ‘love’. The result is condoning the evils of homosexual marriage and the murder of the unborn. Some even cunningly refer to the love chapter in Corinthians to claim the sin of debauchery[iii] is righteous. This shows when God’s love is miss-defined and distorted as a feeling; this worldly love becomes self-justifying, self-centered, and arrogant. Many accept Satan’s deceitful compass by telling themselves half the truths, God loves everyone, but ignore God hates evil.

The book of Romans provides the direction of God’s love in action. “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”[iv] Satan’s corrupt corrector magnet in ‘God loves everyone’ points us a few degrees away from hating and exposing evil that leads us to Babylon.

Proverbs explains what God hates. “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”[v]

In Corinthians Paul tells Christians the true compass direction. “…we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God.”[vi]

This is the reason Paul defines love as agape love, which is the correct calibrated biblical compass reading that points us in the correct way. Agape love is totally different and set apart from other types of love. Unlike the English word ‘love’, agape is not used in the New Testament to refer to feelings like romantic or sexual love. Nor does agape refer to close friendship or brotherly love, for which the Greek word Philia is used. Agape love involves the physical act of good will as presented in One Corinthians 13.

Corinthians states “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” ‘Love is’, is not a noun; it is a verb. It is Godly action, and it is not what you think or feel. God’s love is the product of what you say or do to someone! God’s love truly is a sacrificial action that voluntarily undergoes inconvenience, discomfort, and even death for the benefit of another without expecting anything in return. The Good Samaritan showed agape love through his righteous act of good will, but the Priest and Levite turned away from righteousness and are under judgement of Christ.[vii]

Faith in Christ enables us to be filled with the Holy Spirit, Who actively helps us be the Good Samaritan and witness the life-giving power of God into misfortune, conflict, and darkness. Galatians shows if faith avails anything it is defined by agape love. “For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.”[viii]

We conclude faith in Christ produces the inner spirit of Godly actions. James confirms this by saying, “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by (Godly) action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”[ix]

This is why in the book of Matthew Christ said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”[x] A peacemaker is the go-between who selflessly acts and speaks God’s truth into an unrighteous condition to install God’s compass to point the situation in the right direction. Peacemakers are called to stand in the gap between good and evil pointing evil in a righteous way. This is the person God “sought to …stand in the gap before Him on behalf of the land.”[xi]

To stand in the gap for God is the ultimate agape love, because our words and selfless actions              sponsor the life-giving power of the word of God through the intercession of                               the Holy Spirit of truth.

This is the ‘Sword of the Spirit’ Paul reveals in Ephesians, which is the word of God.”[xii] God’s word is what we so desperately need when “…Christ sends us out as sheep in the midst of wolves and tells us to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”[xiii] “Therefore, Christ gives us such hope that we use great boldness of speech.”[xiv] Boldness of speech is courageous freedom of speech, instead of being fearful, reluctant, and silent. When we are silent, we stop using the power of God’s love to identify the darkness we are commanded to expose.[xv] Then we cannot cling to what is good, because silence destroys our ability to identify and speak God’s agape love into the world of evil.

Therefore, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is ‘AGAPE’ LOVE.”[xvi]  Understanding, agape love is the critical ingredient in our biblical compass that keeps us going the right ‘Way’!

David Howard Foxhole Ministry, Billings MT

[i] Acts 9:2

[ii] Ephesians 4:14

[iii] Romans 13:13

[iv] Romans 12:9

[v] Proverbs 6:16-19

[vi] 2 Corinthians 4:2

[vii] Luke 10:30-35

[viii] Galatians 5:5-6

[ix] James 2:14-23

[x] Matthew 5:9

[xi] Ezekiel 22:30

[xii] Ephesians 6:17

[xiii] Matthew 10:16

[xiv] 2 Corinthians 3:12

[xv] Ephesians 5:11

[xvi] 1 Corinthians 13:11-13