The Fruit of the Spirit is Love

April 26, 2009 by Lisa Krempasky  
Filed under faith

There are many ways to judge “success” in the Christian life. But it all boils down to love. One of the greatest reasons we cannot move forward in our Christian walk as individuals, communities and nations is lack of love. Lack of love produces disunity and disunity produces weakness.

We have often heard messages about ourselves as living vessels of God. We need to get right with God so that we can be whole, an uncracked pot, that can be filled to overflowing with the Spirit of God. But as Americans one of our great blindnesses, and our great weaknesses, is that we see the Bible primarily as a book to the individual. It is true that we must absolutely surrender to the Spirit of God individually. However, that is not enough. We are not just individuals whose lives happen to bump into each other. The Bible was written to a community as a whole. Jews did not think in terms of the individual like we do. They thought in terms of community. Our family, our church, our city and our nation are each their own pots which must be an uncracked pot so that the Spirit of God can fill it to overflowing. And love is the glue that hold everything together.

God Himself provides the example of unity of love in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each is a distinct person. Each has a distinct role and mission. Yet they are so unified and One that our simple human minds have great difficulty grasping how three can actually be one. And the great manifestation of this unity is Love. The Father manifested it in giving up His only Son. Jesus manifested it by walking in love daily while on earth and in giving up His very life. The Spirit manifests it in passing it along…filling us with love.

But why is love so critical? Self is man’s great curse. And only in loving others and laying our lives down for them do we counteract and even defeat that curse. Surrender to God is hard enough. He is loving, all-knowing and infinitely concerned with our well being. Surrender to others is just down right scary. They are human. They are selfish. They may take advantage of our surrender and abuse us in it. But as in our surrender to God, our job is to love our brothers and sisters, God’s job is all the rest. The Holy Spirit’s job is conviction. Our job is to walk in love.

But how do we walk in love? As we surrender to God love becomes our nature. Areas where love is hard are areas that are unsurrendered. They are areas where we do not yet fully trust God. It is easy for a lamb to be gentle. Gentleness is its nature. Likewise it is easy for a wolf to be cruel and devour the sheep for that is its nature. Our born nature is self. It is easy for us to look out for ourselves. Our God nature is love and that becomes easy for us as we submit and let God transform our self nature.

“If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.” 1 John 4:20 We prove our love to God by loving our brother. We think great thoughts of love toward God. We worship and praise. Those are important. But how God judges our love for Him is against the standard of how we love our brother.

We pray for unity. We cry out for unity. But what we really mean by seeking unity is that we want the others to see the light and follow what we believe. What we really seek is victory. So I challenge you to start taking the other road. Don’t seek victory, seek love. Seek uncomfortable ways to submit to and love your brothers. Seek to do great acts in a hidden way. Seek not the easy road, but the loving road. There is nothing easy about love. There really is nothing easy about the Christian life. It is a life where we must do a 180 from the nature we are born with to the nature we die with. It is a life that is fully our own, but none of our own. Seek love!

This synopsis is taken from Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray.

Part 1 of this series looked at Absolute Surrender to God. Part 3 will explore how to be separated unto God and what that means in the process of surrender.