Living like a believer isn’t only about walking in the supernatural power of God, it’s also about living in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc. and all the fruit of the Spirit. Yes, we desire to see the supernatural power of God in manifestation with signs, wonders, miracles and healings – I’m all for that – but we shouldn’t seek to operate in the power of the Spirit without operating in the fruit of the Spirit. Trying to operate in the power of God without seeking to operate in the love of God is like a bird trying to fly with only one wing; it cannot work! You could work some great miracles but if you’re not doing it rooted and grounded in love you’re not doing it like Jesus did because everything the He did was rooted and grounded in love. 1 Corinthians 13 shows us that with we can have miracle-working faith – faith that can move mountains – but if we don’t have love, it’s empty!
A lot of people will take what I am saying and start trying to love people, and that’s not what I’m encouraging you to do! You aren’t truly loving someone if you have to force yourself to love them. Love is not a work, joy is not a work, patience is not a work and self-control is not something that you have to work at either! Religion makes the fruit of the spirit into work but it’s a fruit! When you’ve got the spirit you’ve got all of the fruit as a natural result; it’s not something that you have to force. Fruit should be effortless in your life! The power of God should flow effortlessly in your life; we don’t have to manufacture the power of God – we release the power of God!
Matthew 22:34-40 New King James Version (NKJV)
34 But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
This expert in the law of Moses was asking Jesus a question for the purpose of testing Him. He wasn’t asking a question for the purpose of learning and growing or seeing what Jesus had to say about it. He wanted to trap Jesus because they wanted to try and get rid of Jesus. Jesus answered the man’s question but we have to read and interpret the question realizing that in context Jesus is speaking to people who are stuck in legalism! These people couldn’t see that the law points to Jesus. They couldn’t see that Jesus is prophesied of in the Old Testament Prophets. They knew the scriptures, but they didn’t realize that it was talking about Jesus! And so, Jesus answers them by saying, “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind, this is the first and greatest commandment and the second is like it, you shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Jesus is answering legalistic Jews in a legalistic way and if I was to simply just teach you saying that you need to operate in the love of God, you need to love God with everything, you need to love your neighbour as yourself… it would only be putting a performance burden on you! I’m here to liberate you through the message of the true gospel, and help you to walk in the freedom, the power and the fruit of the Holy Spirit! This can only happen as we realize what Jesus is saying this is passage, and this is one of the keys to walking in the fruit of the spirit and to walk in the power of God!
“On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” That means that these two commandments to love God with everything and love your neighbour as yourself fulfil all the commandments from Genesis to Malachi. We don’t have to fulfil the 10 Commandments or everything that’s laid out in the Old Testament because if we’re just walking in these two new commandments, then we’re fulfilling all the commandments!
The legalistic approach to “love God with everything and love others” puts a huge burden of performance on us, and if we’re truly honest we’d have to admit that it’s pretty much impossible for any of us to do it. 1 John 4:19 says that we love Him because He first loved us. This scripture didn’t become a truth when John wrote it. Jesus knew that truth when he spoke in Matthew 22. Loving God passionately and with everything starts with letting Him love you! When His love impacts your heart, then you will overflow in love towards Him – you will love Him because you see how much He first loved you! Truly loving God starts with experiencing His love!
The command is to “love your neighbour as you love yourself.” This is impossible and we’ve all failed in it to some degree or another. But if we start with letting God love us, then His love for us will impact our hearts and change our opinions of ourselves – you will start to love who God loves (you!). As you start to love yourself, and only then, will you be able to truly love others! You cannot love anyone more than you love yourself! Loving others shouldn’t be a challenge. Loving others should be effortless, and it is when we’re receiving God’s love and letting it flow out of us towards those around us; it will result in us loving People the way that we should.