October 13, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13:7
God's love should find abundant expression in every phase of our life. Unfortunately, many believers categorize their spiritual life into pigeonhole segments, thinking they should only exercise their spiritual thought and activity at certain times and in specific places. God wants to so fill our life with His presence and the virtues of His life, so it will be manifested naturally in the "whole of our life."
These positive qualities of love should be an intricate part of all that we are engaged in. We have been made a new creation in Christ. God has given the Holy Spirit to dwell within our life to minister to us in unique and significant ways, that we may "be conformed to the likeness of His Son" (Romans 8:29). This, "we" cannot do...but God can.
One of the beautiful characteristics of God's love is, it is "spontaneous." It does not mathematically react or respond according to a prearranged formula. We do not look at a situation and say, "In this, I will manifest the love of God." His love should so permeate our hearts; we react without hesitation, debate, or deliberation. When the Holy Spirit has free access and liberty in our life, we respond as only love knows how...freely, fully, naturally.
During the first years of our marriage we made adjustments, and there were times of much give and take. We became "acquainted" with each other in a new dimension of life. Then, after this time of being reconciled to each other, we became "as one." We didn't have to do things to express our love, it simply flowed from one to the other naturally. We reacted and responded from a love so embedded within each of us that there was no effort, no deliberation, no need to inquire with each other concerning our love...we were merged into a unique and blessed relationship that was permeated with a depth of love one for another.
God wants us to experience such a depth of His love in every phase of our life. He wants an "intimate relationship" that embraces the whole of our being and responds naturally to everything we encounter. When we have to question our concern as to whether we should respond in some manner that would be pleasing to God, it only reveals our spiritual immaturity. We have not yet reached that "oneness in Christ" that reacts without question or consideration to any given situation, according to His love within.
This is the "love of God" which is initiated by the Holy Spirit. He brings to our understanding those things that hinder and restrict this blessed relationship. We must "respond" in surrendering our will to His, so there will be the joy of a "oneness of heart and life," not a self-willed determination to be godly. Such an endeavor only reflects "our effort" in trying to do what "only God can do."
The instilling of His love within our life, and the active function of His love through our life, is the result of HIS GRACE AND LOVE, NOT OURS! Oh, that we may open up our hearts, our will, our all, to the complete manifestation of His love in us, that will be the result of an unconditional surrender to His lordship.
The Lord's prayer to the Father so beautifully illustrates what He wants manifested freely and naturally in us. Christ prayed, "That they all may be as one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us" (John 17:21).
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-10-13
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