Everyone enjoys solitude at one time or another, but loneliness is hell. Before anyone criticizes me for “loose language,” this statement is not cursing; it is stating the fact. Jesus described the final estate of the wicked in Matthew 8:12 and again in Matthew 22:13 as a place of “outer darkness,” where the only contact with others is hearing their lonely torment, but there is no light; there is no community; there, one is totally alone. (note, NIV translates this only as darkness, but this is an incomplete translation of the original Greek; like a friend of mine says, “Don’t be impressed; you can look this up.” 😉 )
We are made in the image of God, a point I have made often in these blogs, and what I want to point out is how this means we are made for love. First let us be clear, the love we are speaking of here is not the erotic type that is appropriate between a husband and wife, nor the brotherly-friendly type which we should have for everyone we meet, but the self-giving agape (u-gop-ae) love that God has for us. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10) Last year, in the month of February we explored this love more in depth in a four-part series, Marked By Love, ending on February 22, 2015.
What I want to point out this time is the Source of that love and how being created in God’s image has made us for love. Apart from love, we will be in hell, whether literally at the end of this life, or figuratively in this life, if we do not experience love.
Remember that The God Who Is There is much greater than we are. The only understanding we can have of Him is what He reveals of Himself to us. We Americans have a saying, “It’s lonely at the top,” but in God’s case this is untrue. We cannot get our heads completely around the nature of God just as a computer cannot explain its functions.
Take a simple calculator; it can return an answer for every calculation you enter into it, but it does not have the capacity to show its workings, i.e. it cannot mathematically explain how it reaches its conclusions. To do that one would have to make a more sophisticated computer that could explain how addition and subtraction works, how squares and square roots are derived, how sines, cosines, and tangents are geometrically calculated.
Each calculator, each computer, comes as only a “black box” that takes an input and produces an output, but the why and how of the function can only be explained by a more complex machine. The “ultimate computer” is the human brain, but no one can explain fully how the brain works. Each calculator needs a “higher brain” to create and explain the functions it follows. As created beings, only God can explain the why and how of our “functions,” and as He is really the Ultimate Computer, we cannot explain Him; after all, we are just little calculators.
Since God has revealed Himself, we must ask what has He revealed about Himself. Some of the earliest words He spoke during creation were, “Let us make man in our own image.” (Genesis 1:26). There is no one verse of the Bible that states the triune nature of God, yet it becomes clear as one reads the Bible that each person of the Godhead is distinct yet unified as one being. This is a mystery to us, but remember we are only little “calculators” and cannot explain the highest functions of Who God is. The problem most people run into in accepting the teaching of the Bible on this is because in our experience one being equals one person. However, God is much greater than us and exists as three persons in one being. An excellent chart on what the Bible teaches about this nature of God is available at https://carm.org/trinity.
“God is a trinity of persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father is not the same person as the Son, the Son is not the same person as the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is not the same person as the Father. They are not three gods and not three beings. They are three distinct persons, yet, they are all the one God. Each has a will, can speak, can love, etc. These are demonstrations of personhood. They are in absolute perfect harmony consisting of one substance. They are coeternal, coequal, and copowerful.” (Matt Slick)
It is important to note that we are not polytheists, believing in three gods! Unfortunately, sometimes we Christ-followers may present The God Who Is There as though He is three Gods, but that is due to our limitations in mentally grasping at all times His divine nature. And there are times certain aspects of His nature are more important to us than others. We may at times need the guiding hand of a Father who is wiser than we are; we may at times need the brotherly love of one who can “empathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15); at other times we need to be aware of a Spirit who is everywhere at one time. While there are many illustrations of God’s triune nature, remember each is only an illustration and will fall short of clearly representing all that God is.
Understanding (to what degree we can) the triune nature of God, then we can begin to understand how we are created for love. You see, God was never alone in the same way we can be alone. He always existed in this condition of Three-In-One. Father’s love for the Son did not begin when Jesus was born. Eternally coexistent, they always loved each other (John 5:19-20). The Holy Spirit did not develop on the day of Pentecost; He was always “proceeding from the Father” (John 15:26). So when He created us, He created us for love! He created us so that He could lavish His love on us, not as though He needed us, but His nature is to enjoy giving love, and He delights in giving it to us!
So The Question You Need To Answer is, “Where Do You Find Love?” If you only look to another human, whether spouse, friend, parent, offspring, or sibling, each of them will let you down, as good as they may be. If you look to pornography or immorality, these options will only leave you taking a “walk of shame” when you come away empty and still unsatisfied. Only The God Who Is There can provide you with love that never fails; He alone can show you what real love should look like. After all, He’s been loving for all eternity past, and knows best where you can find love. Just ask Him.