What a strange title! Agreed, but today’s post is a bit of a break in the study of Colossians only because I was “arrested” in my spirit this morning as I became aware of the need to keep the first thing – the first thing.
The cry to be “right” in our beings is huge. Most of us want very genuinely to be correct in what we believe and how we express our walk in Jesus. This need to be “right” actually works against us in expressing our Lord as we often forget that to love the Lord and to love one another is to be our overall expression in Him. That does not mean we do not warn; it does not mean we do not correct when that is within our sphere of authority (more on that later), but it does mean that our motive must be one of love – regardless. If love is not the core motive, then every “right” thing we write or speak ends up being much less than God’s best and desired outcome, and that includes this post.
“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 KJV
This fruit (singular) has nine characteristics. In context, this passage is placed immediately after the “works of the flesh” and is quite the opposite of that. We know about the works of the flesh (at least a beginning understanding), but at times we remain quite uninformed about this “fruit of the Spirit.” We probably know about it and may have been consciously aware of it and studied it but this fruit is only developed in fellowship with the Holy Spirit. He dwells in every believer, and He desires to grow from Himself each of these beautiful, emotional expressions within the believer. These are to be our motives in living and working in His heart. As we choose to love Him (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), spend time in Him, hunger to know Him, delight in His Word, relish His presence, embrace all He is for us and in us, these characteristics find expression first in our devotion to Him and then in His love to those we walk with on this dimension of life.
This has no short-cut. It takes time, devotion, and a being that desires, not to be right, but to be made right in Him. There is a world of difference in Him with “right.” The desire to right inevitably pit us one against another. The motive of love and longsuffering places us alongside each other learning to love Him and others through Him.
He loves us deeply and longs for us to begin to return that fullness of love. In that, His will finds expression on earth as it is in Heaven. May loving Him become the passion of our heart and the expression of our worship every moment. In this, we fellowship and become.
“18 I will not leave you comfortless (orphans): I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” John 14:18-21 KJV