(photo credit: Karen Peeler)
I love early mornings with the Lord. Sitting outside, listening to the birds chirp as the cool breeze rush across the yard opens my heart to renewal. I was not always this dedicated to time with the Father. In my younger days I ran to him when I needed something and then immersed myself back into the world. Double minded and destructive are two adjectives to describe this time in my life. Looking back, I am grateful for a compassionate heavenly Father who pursues His children and constantly invites us back to the table of love. “When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11)
1 Corinthians 13 is referred to often as the chapter of love. It is a beautiful passage challenging each believer to understand the fruit of love in daily life. Using our gifts on Sunday and not walking in God’s love each moment reflects poorly on the cross. The Father’s love is meant to pour into every area of life. And love is relational. Jesus said it this way “If you love me, keep My commandments” (1 John 14:15). This four letter word was and is important to heaven. Our Savior said “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind” ( Matthew 22:37).
While reading chapter thirteen this morning, I was reminded once again that God’s love is supernatural. In contrast the world’s love is superficial. What does this mean? First, I am flawed. Because I am born into sin, it is only through God’s power that my weakness becomes strength in daily life. And there is no way I can truly love without limits if I am surrendered to the ways of the world. Earthly love cannot comprehend the greatness of God’s love. It is only through supernatural partnership with an all powerful God that allows us to embrace His ways and obey His voice.
Holy Spirit empowers us to walk in love daily; not based on our feelings, convenience, or comfort. Human reasoning kills God’s love. The flesh hinders. Supernatural according to Webster is when something is beyond explanation or scientific understanding. Another words, through obedience and submission, we partner with the power of God and respond with love in daily life. Walking in God’s love with kindness, long-suffering, patience, joy, hope, goodness, and endurance is not possible in the flesh. Only through the Holy Spirit can we push past our feelings and love people the way God designed. The world’s love throws people away when times get tough. God’s love partners with Jesus in intercession and stands in the gap carrying their burdens to the cross.
In contrast, the world’s love is superficial. Google says this type of love is fake and limited. At first, it is exciting and fulfilling. Because it is designed to soothe our sin and justify behavior it fills our empty spots for a moment. Seemingly adventurous, it mimics the fulfillment we are designed to receive from God. But then as we examine it over time it is not real, truthful, loyal or good. Fleeting, it feeds us at first but is then found lacking. The world’s love is founded in the flesh and is momentary. If we love based on the earth’s definition our life becomes a revolving door of dysfunctional relationships. Unfortunately this earthly love is readily available and easy to find. But it is not God’s will for our life.
Our pursuit is to walk empowered through the Holy Spirit and in response to the Father’s love. 2 Peter 1:3 is clear; through the power of Holy Spirit we have access to everything we need to live a godly life. Essentially, there is never an excuse to walk mirroring the world when we are designed to be reflections of Christ. Today, I challenge you to open your word, turn to 1 Corinthians 13 and do a little self evaluation. Check the fruit. Our adversary the devil is seeking to kill our influence in a lost and dying world. One way he does this is tempting us to live life following the norm. We can interact and build relationships through the supernatural love of the Father, and Satan does not want this to happen. When we surrender self and pick up the cross, our feelings become second and obsolete. As children ,we reasoned through immaturity, but as followers of Christ, we have access to the mind of Christ. Will you open the door to supernatural love or continue in the superficial longings of the world? God is knocking. Forgiveness is faithful. I believe we can shift culture soaked in the Father’s love. Join me. Let this be our prayer. Father, empower us with your supernatural love as we respond in daily life.