“We are lovers first and workers second.”
Tonight was the kick off for 24/7 prayer at ASU. It will go for three weeks, until spring break, then prayer in the evenings (7pm-2am) will go for another three weeks immediately after spring break. Our fusion group went tonight, and it was a good thing for all of us to be there. This statement was made during the few minutes of sharing, and it got me thinking. I wish that these were lessons learned, filed, and now unnecessary, but I find that I must continually learn this.
My first thought was that the statement sounds risky: “Of course, workers are needed in God’s kingdom, and if we are not first workers, will the work get done?” The fear is that if I were really to identify myself as lover of Jesus first and not a worker for Him, things would go out of control. That fear is based on a weak understanding and application of love, because there is no room in love for fear. Weak, worldly “love” that is a feeling and a conditional emotion is not the love we are called to as lovers of Jesus.
We are called to love out of the love of the Father. That love is a strong and unconditional love that is set and determined, following the example set for us. Love is expressed in service but it is more than service. (See 1 John 3:16-18 and Luke 10:39-42.)
As my primary identity becomes more and more that of a beloved child of my Father, my service can be pure and my work will naturally be better. As I pursue love first and pray for grace to love well, the rest will fall into place.
That said, love is inherantly risky. The call was already made long ago that this love was a risk worth taking; that’s why Jesus came. Maybe the more “dangerous” risk is not that the work may not get done, but that the loving relationship we were made for may be missed.