As I continue my journey and daily pursuit towards understanding LOVE- as God intends, I am blown away with what God is revealing to me. My first blog, “What is LOVE and What does it mean?, is about my revelation on the greatest commandment to us as Christians and followers of Jesus.
(Mark 12:30-31) 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
If I am pursuing the first commandment to LOVE God with all my heart, mind and strength, then LOVING my neighbor as myself should be easy! So, why does it seem so hard? I have always known 1 Corinthians 13 to be the LOVE chapter, but I had to ask myself: Do I understand everything there is to know about each characteristic of LOVE- as God intends? Am I showing God that I love Him based on what He says the characteristics of Love are? The answer is NO, which began this weeks study on Patience!
#1 LOVE is Patient. I have heard “Love is patient” said so many times but I must be honest, I have never studied what being patient really means. I don’t know how to obtain patience or instill the practice of patience in my life. Nor, have I ever fully grasped God’s patience for me as His child! When I thought of being patient it always seemed to just focus on the negative going on in my life or in someone else’s life, that I knew. When someone makes you mad “be patient”, when your marriage is failing “be patient”, when you are sick and dying “be patient”, when you loose your job “be patient”, when your life SUCKS…well …just “be patient”. Being patient to me meant weakness, standing down, lower my head, while tapping my toe, as I resentfully tell God that I am being “patient”, at the same time asking Him to hurry up, answer my prayer and “fix my life!”
Well…What if patience, (which is LOVE), only comes by fully surrendering our lives to God? God began to reveal to me that patience, (which is LOVE), will only come when my mind, will and emotions belong to Him, NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS TO ME! Patience works hand in hand with peace.
As I look back on the past 10 years it is very obvious that I was in control of MY life. Every decision I made was impulsive, selfish, emotional, based on fear, doubt, worry, un-forgiveness and resentment. I was steering the wheel of MY life and God was just supposed to be in the car somewhere and join me for the ride! You know what God says about someone like that? They are foolish! Yes, I admit I was and had been acting like a FOOL! It makes sense to me why I never could find peace and why my life stayed in chaos.
The moment I chose to surrender my life COMPLETELY to God suddenly all the negative feelings, thoughts and emotions that tormented my mind and caused a life full of stress started to disappear! I began to express patience, (which is LOVE) , not only to God but to everyone around me and through the circumstances of life that came my way! I felt strong, confident, capable, wise, without worry and without fear. It’s amazing how GOOD you feel when you surrender to GOD! Through my surrender I had all the patience I needed. When I allowed God to be in control of my life I began to stand firm on His promises to me! I started focusing not on the labels and opinions of what man said about me, or my circumstances but on what HE says about me, who I am in Him and His promises. Which is the ONLY TRUTH, anyway!
I know that it doesn’t matter what I face or encounter because if God is for me, then who can be against me? (Romans 8:31). No weapon formed against me shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17). I am the head and not the tail and I am above and not beneath (Deuteronomy 28:13). I can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens me (Phillipians 4:19). For God knows the plans that He has for me, they are plans for good and not for evil, to give me a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
So, as I stated in the beginning, if we FULLY surrender our lives to God then expressing patience to everyone around us, regardless of their actions and in all circumstances should come easy! He He…… Well, it’s NOT easy and is a daily surrendering of our mind, our will and our emotions to God and His will! Jesus is a perfect example of this kind of patience, as He went to the cross. (Hebrews 12:2). As we carry our cross and surrender our lives to Him daily, then we can allow the LOVE of God, (which is patient), to flow freely through us, in a way that is only possible through the Holy Spirit! As we surrender everything to God then we can begin expressing, in all areas of our lives, LOVE- as God intends.
“Patience is surrender. What are you surrendering to, the opinions of man and the issues of life, or God?” When you surrender to God you will not only receive patience, (which is love), but you will rest in peace.”