We’re talking about the normal Christian life and I’m pretty sure that there are some of you who are wondering why we’re not talking about healings and miracles and things like that just yet. So far we’re talking about love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; we’re talking about the character of Christ (fruit of the Spirit). Many people overlook the fruit of the Spirit because they’re looking for the hype of the power of the Spirit, but you have to realize that the fruit of the Spirit is also 100% supernatural. Far too often we’re looking for supernatural power and not supernatural character because the church (by and large) has made living in supernatural miracles, signs and wonders to be “all up to God”, while they make living in the fruit of the Spirit “all up to us”! Too many believers don’t see the fruit as supernatural; they see it as something that they need to obtain or achieve when the Bible says it’s a fruit or natural by-product of having the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Many well-intended believers are trying to be like Jesus by seeking to operate in the power and gifts of the Spirit: healing the sick, prophesying and working miracles, but they aren’t too concerned with operating in love, self-control, patience or any of the other fruit of the Spirit. To try and operate in the power of Christ without operating in the nature of Christ is like a bird trying to fly with one wing! The Bible tells us that operating in love is “more excellent” than operating in the miracle-working power of God (1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13). If miracles, signs and wonders aren’t rooted and grounded in the supernatural love and compassion of Christ in us, then it doesn’t matter how powerful we are, we are not truly being like Jesus. You can heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers and cast out demons, and still not be doing it like Jesus if you’re not flowing in love, too. The normal Christian life is about loving people – Jesus came to earth because of love (John 3:16) – we need to love people so much that we are moved by compassion to lay hands on them so that the power of God flows towards them and they are healed!
There is more to the supernatural than the power of God manifest through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and if you know me then you know that I am all for healing, for signs and wonders and miracles. Even last week I ministered to someone and saw the power of God manifest a miracle! I am not against the power of God and it is 100% a part of the normal Christian life but we’ve got to make sure that we are desiring to flow in the love of God and not only the power of God.
Matthew 5:44-45 New King James Version (NKJV)
44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
This is the normal Christian life! “Love your enemies and bless those who curse you… do the good to those who hate you and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…” If you want to be like Jesus, if you want to live like your Father in heaven, then you shouldn’t treat people as they deserve but you should treat others better than they deserve. Scripture says that “God causes the sun to rise on the good and evil… and rain to fall on the just and the unjust…” See? God treats people better than they deserve! We should also treat people better than they deserve! This is supernatural! The world does not treat you better than you deserve but they treat you exactly as you deserve! In the world’s system, you get what you deserve! Most people treat others as they deserve, but as believers, we are empowered to supernaturally love those who hate us – that’s huge! The Bible says, “if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?” Do you see? It’s not enough for us to just love people that are like us or like us. It’s not enough to do good to those who do good to us.
Luke 15:1 says that the sinners and tax collectors came close to Jesus and hung out with Him because they wanted to hear what He had to say! This one of my favourite scriptures! The lowest of the low; the scum of society drew near to Jesus because they wanted to hear what he had to say! Imagine that! The Bible continues and shows us how He taught them, He spoke to them, He fellowship with them… that is amazing! Most of us only hang out with people that like us. Most of us are generous towards people who are generous towards us. If we want to start living supernatural lives (the normal Christian life) then we have to accept that it’s also about having love and compassion for people that are not like us, do not like us and even those who are difficult to get along with.