Matthew 24:12 ~ And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
I know I’ve referenced this post before, but a post on my previous blog called “When I’m not doing the Breaking” takes this thought in a different direction, based off different scriptures. Here right now, as part of how God’s working in my heart this year through the word “love,” my attention was drawn to the verse in Matthew 24:12. What I found interesting, when meditating on this verse, is that it doesn’t say who the love is for.
How can iniquity cause our love for God to wax cold? When our eyes dwell on the sins of others, we can grow resentful…resentful towards the sinners, and resentful towards God for not interfering with their choices. Psalms 73- “But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment. Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth. Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out of them. And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High? Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches…When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou casteth them down into destruction. How are they brought down into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors…Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee. Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.” Having our eyes on iniquity, or sin, whether others’ or our own, will only rob us of our joy in our God. It will cause our love for Him to wax cold through resentment, and through depression.
Another way that having our eyes on sin draws us away from God, is that it is a temptation for us. Just as the false idols of the surrounding nations led the Israelites astray, so the allurements of this time draw us away, even though we may start out condemning them. God is greater, worthier, and more fulfilling for our minds than anything the world could seek to entice us with. Even when we are looking out of a sense of wrong, we are still taking our eyes off of His goodness. There will always be a part of your flesh that enjoys the danger, even while your spirit is convicting.
How can iniquity cause our love for other people to wax cold? Whatever form that sin they have is in, it causes a lack of trust. We put up walls around our hearts because we don’t want the pain that comes with the sin of that person. So because iniquity increases, so also the walls around our hearts get thicker, higher, harder. Selfishness breeds more selfishness. The more others hurt us the more we withdraw, causing an endless cycle of hurt and resentment as we each pull farther away. God tells us to choose love. Love is what breaks down the walls, and bridges the gaps. Take your eyes off of the iniquities, and set your eyes on Almighty Love. Be filled with the Spirit and grow by spending time in His word, and you will rest secure in His love for you and your love for Him, regardless of how others may hurt you.
Love is what breaks down the walls, and bridges the gaps.
When we allow these outside influences to interfere between our love with God and our love with others, Satan wins. Love is what Satan craves to stamp out. When we put up our walls and let our love grow cold, Satan is delighted. Even in our sanctified state, he can still get to us by distracting us with sin. Whenever he brings sin before your eyes, turn it to love by praying over the sinner, even if that sinner is yourself. Turn it to love by thanking God for His mercy and graciousness. Turn it to love by trusting Him regardless of the circumstances.