HOW TO FIND TRUE LOVE By Pastor Bankie

A few years ago I was to preach in a midweek service, and that Wednesday was St Valentine’s Day. Because of the kind of day it was, everybody felt I should preach on love. In fact as I was preparing to go to church that evening my wife said to me, “Pastor, preach a message on love please.”It was a kind of sarcasm because my wife knew me too well to expect me to. Once my wife calls me Pastor, then know there is a kind of fun in the talk. I am the type that wouldn’t preach on the birth of Jesus during Christmas nor preach on the death and resurrection of Christ at Easter. I generally refuse to mark religious days. It is just my character. That was why my wife said what she said. I was not going to preach on love and she knew it; I did not care who St Valentine was and I was not planning to adjust my sermon to suit him. But I am not my own; I am a minister of Christ. As I was about to be called up to preach, a thought and a scripture dropped into my heart. I knew it was the Holy Spirit and I had to comply. I mounted the platform and declared that I was going to preach on How to find true love. Oh, my wife was pleasantly surprised. (The message is available in our audio library) This was the scripture I read. Your oils have a pleasing fragrance, Your name is like purified oil; Therefore the maidens love you. Draw me after you and let us run together! SOS 1:3-4 So how do I find true love? It is the last line above. Your true love is the person you can run together!   Love is deeper than a feeling. Feelings are so fleeting; they can change with the weather. Feelings are generated by all kinds of things. Entertainment stars generate feelings in young vulnerable people, and they start having feelings for people that look like those stars. Speak nicely and kindly to anyone persistently for some time and the person will start having feelings towards you, especially if it is woman.   A lot of loose people are so because they operate by how they feel. ‘It was the way he looked at me.’ One of the problems with godless and morally loose societies is that they let themselves believe that feelings are to be run by. The spirit that was to wreck the house of David acted through the feeling of Amnon, the king’s son. He was so much in love (he thought) with his half-sister Tamar that he arranged to have her by force. Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar. And Amnon, her half brother, fell desperately in love with her. 2 Sam 13:1-2 NLT But feelings are so fleeting that once he had his way the feeling turned violently. Then suddenly Amnon’s love turned to hate, and he hated her even more than he had loved her. 2 Sam 13:15 NLT   What he thought was love was just the feelings of the flesh. It is so subject to change and we must be careful not to base our sound judgement on it. You can’t run your life by your feelings; those who do eventually reap the bad fruit. In societies where people run by their feelings divorce is the order of the day. The problem is not first with the divorce but with the reckless way in which they get married.   People ask me sometimes, “Is it ok for a Christian to fall in love?” To this I answer that they should note that it is a falling, and anyone that falls should endeavour to get up. That the word is fall shows it is a failing and a weakness of the flesh. There of course have been times in which someone falls in love and the whole thing turned out good; however the concept of falling in love is too dangerous to act on. I do not think you should stay into anything you fell into. But of course a Christian can be in love, but they should please not fall into it. That is why there is absolutely nothing like real love at first sight. There is overwhelming attraction at first sight but that is not love. If your attraction turns out to be nurtured into true love, it is good but don’t confuse the generations after you about love at first sight. I was seriously attracted to my wife the first time I saw her, so affected that I ran to my dear friend and brother, Chuks Eke, asking him to come and see. Afterwards I dismissed it as just one of those things. It was months later that events made me remember, and when I half-seriously dropped her name while talking to the sweet Ijeoma (I.J), she did not rest until she made sure I did not let it slip again. I walked back with my eyes open and became so much in love that I was beside myself sometimes.   What I am saying is that it is true that sometimes we do fall in love but we should please get up, open our eyes well and consider. If Amnon had had enough sense to do this he would have realized that it was his sister and that evil spirit would have gone somewhere else. But he was a spoiled prince who acted by his feelings. Draw me after you and let us run together. You should only walk into love, not fall, with someone you can run with; someone whose life and yours are moving in the same direction. Your love is yours to set upon anything and anybody you so desire, even if it was an arranged marriage (I will share more this in a short while). It has to be someone who has the same spirit as yours. I mentioned earlier that opposites only attract when it comes to unimportant and shallow things. In the real things of life, only like spirits go together.   You may have fallen in love with an unbeliever, it is time get up from your fallen state and walk in the light. You cannot marry an unbeliever. You cannot marry a man or woman with the hope to change him or her. It is not the right thing to do.   I know it may be hard to get up out of the love you fell into, but there is the power of prayer to assist you. Talk to the Lord in prayer and pour your heart out before Him. Come knowing He will help you get out of it, not sincerely telling Him that you must marry the fellow. No. You want to come out but it is hard, ask Him to help you come out because that is what you want to do. If you pray that prayer from your heart, you will be amazed at what God will do for you. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need. Heb 4:16 So we see that a true love is not necessarily the person you feel so much attraction to, but one that you can run with. He or she is the person that shares your spirit. It is not the person who is rich and ready. True love is not even necessarily the one who makes you feels so special; these are carry-overs from Hollywood, things that are obviously not working for them. True love is about life’s principles; it is about vision and it is about destiny. Your true love is one with whom you can run in the same God-ordained direction. How you will get to know that person is another story.   Just as an addition, let me state that attraction can be useful if your senses are well trained. Also, apart from some cases of arranged meetings and people who events and duties brought together, invariably there will be some sort of attraction or feeling at the beginning to call your attention to someone. If your senses are well-trained through use, and you have learned to approve that which is excellent, there is a good chance you will only fall for a true love. Even then, it still must be tested with clear and open eyes.   Culled from the book, Should I Say Yes? By Pastor Bankie Note: You can download Pastor Bankie’s books and hundreds of messages free from www.pastorbankie.org

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Joseph Dinwoke

Chief Content Officer at Brojid World
Joseph 'Brojid' Dinwoke, Radio producer/OAP at Radio Nigeria Voice96.7FM, and publicist, is the curator of Brojid.com.
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