Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither — whatever they do prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3 NIV)
When Father does something in our heart we need to find ways of guarding the treasure which has begun to grow. It is like a young plant, it needs protection and nurture to enable it to grow.
One way for us to do this is to keep coming back to the truth. What has he said to you? What has he done in your heart? Like the Psalmist, keep feeding yourself with words of life, they are like water on dry soil.
Our heart is very sensitive, fragile and easily wounded. It is either because of the wounds or pain we have suffered or because of the fear of more pain that we shut off areas of our heart. We do it for self protection and self preservation.
There is a battle for our heart. Just as Satan attacked Jesus’ heart so he attacks ours. He is a thief with one intent and that is to kill and destroy everything that Father is doing in us. He does not want us to enjoy relationship with Father, nor does he want us to walk as Jesus walked. He does not want us live in the centre of the Father’s heart knowing that we are the beloved.
There is a battle, but we are on the winning side. Jesus has paid the full price in order that we can enjoy our full inheritance as sons and daughters and also that we can live loved. He came to give us life and life to the full. Let us be open to receive more of his love so that we are transformed and enabled to live from a free heart.
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5 NIV)
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22 NLT)
Self-control has to be a fruit of the Spirit. It is pretty impossible to generate it ourselves - maybe we can for a day, a week or even a month, but can we sustain it? Without the Spirit of love in our heart it is very hard to.
As we live in love we discover that self-control is not an act of the will, or a conscious decision, but it is a heart response. It's the desire to see love triumph, to be silent when we would otherwise judge or condemn, to raise another up rather than push them down.
In our strength it's impossible, but as we live by the Spirit we find we are 'given desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires' (Galatians 5:17 NLT)
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. (Matthew 23:37 NIV)
Instead, we were like young children among you. Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you.
(1 Thess 2:7-8 NIV)
These two verses show us something important about the heart of the Father. He is gentle and he gathers us to himself. His instruction does not push us away but rather seeks to be intimate and close to us. In Isaiah 40:11 we read that God is like a shepherd who gathers the lambs and holds them close to his heart. His gentleness is a strength and security for us as we are drawn into the shelter of his love.
He always deals kindly with us.
The fruit of living in love will produce the same within us. Love will seek to draw people to a safe place, it will not push away nor will it deal harshly with others. It seeks redemption and healing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV)
I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth. (Psalm 57:9-11 NIV)
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV)
Faithfulness, like goodness, is an inherent quality which is the outworking of love. The Father's faithfulness is a great security for us because, despite our sin and failings, he does not destroy us but he continues to love us with an everlasting love. His love always seeks redemption and restoration, no matter how long it takes!
His faithfulness holds us and carries us all the time. When things are tough, when we think we are struggling on our own, when we've failed. He is always there for us and his love never changes, it never ceases. It is the only constant in an unsettled world. His faithfulness makes him totally dependent and reliable, never changing, always there for us.
The fruit of living in love is faithfulness. Faithful to the One who has saved us and redeemed us. Giving our whole life in grateful service to the Lover of our soul, truly understanding what it means to walk as Jesus walked. Faithful, also, to one another as we travel the path of life, supporting and encouraging our family and friends, being with them through thick and thin.
A Father to YOU is a signpost to the heart of the Perfect Father. When we became Christians we were given the right to become children of God (John 1:12). Sadly, many of us fail to take up that right and instead continue to live as slaves or orphans. But our true destiny is being sons and daughters who have a permanent place in the Father's family. This blog is an encouragement to help you know who God really is and who you really are.