“The Women At The Well” single ladies group has been on for 8months running so far and though the ladies on the group say that they have been blessed, I think I out of everyone else have been the most drilled by God.
By drilling, I mean the removal of stuff from my character, attitude and behaviour… some of these stuffs I didn’t even know were there in the first place.
So I have a bit of a pushful personality… or is that the wrong word?
I am very – what’s the word – opinionated and sometimes though I have good intentions, the way I speak/write may make the words come out really pushful or like a “you gotta compulsorily do this and that”.
I also have a past track record of having a sharp mouth and a ready retort in my fingers to anyone I feel speaks out of turn with me… before I became born again and even when I was a new believer, I would spin words together to give a worthy retort to anyone who dared to speak out of turn with me.
That was one of the deal I had with red lips here.
So one of the lessons God has been teaching me is that LOVE SHUTS UP.
God has been using TWTW to drill me on what love really is.
God has been using this blog too but for the purposes of today, I would just focus on TWTW.
So ofcourse the group is on whatsapp so that means we share words on there.
And we have questions being asked by everyone.
So we get a question and everyone answers including opinionated me. My fingers fly off the keypad and yes, what I am saying maybe right and I actually have the right intentions to just really share the Word but sometimes it may not come out the way it is in my head. It may come out as pushful or forceful.
And then sometimes questions are asked that make me wonder, erm, where is this coming from?
So it has been a full school on God trying to get me to apply love in this little place He is using me as a tool for Himself.
On Saturday I was really worked up a bit with a situation and all I kept hearing was that “perfect love casts off fear”.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
-1 John 4:18 KJV
I won’t go into what my fears were but God was essentially telling me that the only way to overcome them was to love.
Most times when I am frustrated, I ask God what do you want me to do and the only thing I get is LOVE.
So I have resigned myself to instead ask God to give me a heart of love (I already have this by the Spirit) but to be able to exercise it.
And while I was in the bathroom the next day Sunday after continually meditating on “love casts off fear”, I also got that the requirement for every leader who God can use in charge of any work of His is LOVE.
Absolute love for the ones He places us in charge of… and if we do not walk in this requirement of love then we basically are not qualified to be leaders in Christ.
So as usual the Spirit was tugging on me to get me to walk in line with God’s heart in TWTW, God’s heart is love and aside from all the studies and all He is doing with the group, He wants to work love in my heart for people.
Love that will constrain me from speaking out of turn and love that will actually make me keep quiet sometimes and just SHUT UP.
And on questions that I see sometimes that make me confused, God put this scenario Jesus had with His disciples in my heart.
“And you know the way to where I am going.â
âNo, we donât know, Lord,â Thomas said. âWe have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?â Jesus told him, âI am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!â Philip said, âLord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.â
Jesus replied, âHave I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still donât know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? Donât you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.”
-John 14:4-11 NLT
So Jesus had beenÂ with these His disciples for the last 3 years, teaching them things from the Word, showing them the truth, and then it was coming to the end and Phillip came up with a question that would have broken any human being’s heart who had invested so much in anyone.
I put myself in Jesus’ shoes and I wonder how I would have replied Phillip.
Like Phillip, I don’t understand, so what have I been doing with you all for the last three years?
Where is this question stemming from?
But Jesus did none of that, instead His answer was a gentle rebuke and a gentle explanation all over again of who He is.
But I think, wasn’t His heart broken at this show of disbelief from Phillip?
From the human side, yes.
But then I am sure that Jesus also knew that Phillip would be a spiritual force to reckon with soonest and so He just walked in love.
Which is what He is requiring me to do.
Walk in love.
Walk in Him.
So I have been camping out at 1 Corinthians 13 for a while, asking God to help me and teach me to love like He does.
I have no strength of my own to do so and I truly desire that I love like He does.
That His love constrains me even when I do not understand things and helps me to see with His eyes which is to see the best in everyone He brings my way.
So this is where I stand right now, in 1 Corinthians 13…
“IF I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God’s love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God’s love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody). Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or in order that I may glory , but have not love (God’s love in me), I gain nothing.
Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly.
Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].”
-1 Corinthians 13:1-8 AMP
Of course in my power this is unattainable but in God and through God, this can be done.
So are you a leader over something God has placed you in charge of?
Have you been struggling with loving others with your words and actions?
Have the Spirit been teaching you that the requirement/what qualifies you as a leader is love – the God kind of love?
Maybe we can pray together?
Father I thank you that you find me worthy to be taught by you.
Those who you love, you chastise, correct and train…
Lord I ask that you continually teach me how to love like you do.
Help me to exercise the God kind of love that you have placed in my heart.
May it flow to everyone you bring my way and may my flesh be subdued in this walk of love in you in Jesus name, amen!
I pray we all grow in love and may our love overflow towards all people in Jesus name, amen.
So any tips on how to love as a leader in Christ Jesus?
I would be glad to hear it as this love deal is practical oh, not just in theory.
Do share with us below in the comment section.
Till Our Next Bible Study,
PS: The Women At The Well will be having her meet on Saturday July 30th.
You really shouldn’t miss out on this.
Send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm attendance and for further details to be sent to you.
P.P.S: Please hit the social media buttons below and share to everyone, would you?
I know we are taken by spiritual gifts these days but LOVE is an area Christians struggle with and this just might help someone out there.
aj blackJuly 15, 2016 at 9:12 pm
I just love the love theme. I think no Christian can get enough of it. As a matter of fact it should be the essence of what we are- who we are. Reason is of course obvious- our Father is love.
We are told it is all the law that binds Christians and the awesome thing about it is that it is more than sufficient. It is one ‘impossibly’ tough maxim to follow.
I often kid myself that I do plenty to practice what I teach and every time I apply that Corinthian checklist, I am found wanting.
Last fortnight at our workplace fellowship I went off at a tangent and roped love into the discourse. Yet by the end of last week, I considered how I had treated every member of that fellowship and I found that I failed because I kept getting irritated at the very bad attitude of one of my junior staff. Mind, she has a decidedly negative attitude. But that is just the point. My love is meant to accept all things-endure all things-remain positive in all things. Tough. Impossible.
My joy though, is that He knows our plight and His grace is sufficient for all things and I’m sure that if we consistently strive, one day we can joyfully say we are within reach of it.
Frances OkoroJuly 15, 2016 at 11:13 pm
Even after writing this Aj Black, I was faced with a very real test in front of me, and was asking God to please put love in my heart for someone… because with my own self, I see no way to do so.
but like you said, we keep striving, and praying and exercising love even though its still HARD like HARD for me oh, I pray it gets easier. or not? because this is dieing to flesh and its a good thing.
I wrote in my journal that the journey to love is actually a journey to God because God is love, so He keeps pushing me on to get there because He wants me to get to Him but on my own I cant get there, I have got to dig into the Spirit.
The good thing is my heart is willing to increase in Love, hence my prayer always for Father help me, Spirit of love, fill me up with the God kind of love.
God help us all ohhh