Following the suggestion of a dear sister, I began to write blank-mindedly as usual another article of which I now only have the very next paragraph that was part of a comment I had written on her blog.
“So many think because they believe in Jesus, they are automatically indwelt by the Holy Spirit and would be able to do what Jesus did (love their enemies, for instance). However, it needs a very long time and countless anointings of His Spirit until we can love more and more people in more and more difficult situations. If there is no love in our hearts, then there is none, and we need to wait until the Holy Spirit fills us up to the brim.”
Just today I talked with someone who admitted that he was not able to love a woman who had often attacked him in the past decades. He said that he knew it was not “Christianlike” as he now decided to avoid her in the future and, maybe, he would change his mind any time later, yet currently he could not deal differently with her. Knowing that woman myself, I do know she has her issues as well and I understand both of them. Well, indeed, such are situations in which we might find ourselves again and again. Nobody of us is able to keep the law of Christ’s unconditional love and to only decide with his mind that he will be loving and kind toward everyone. I recall how often I was disappointed and discouraged when I found myself in that trap again, that is, when I had assumed I could behave differently toward particular persons, yet time and again, although I might have pulled myself together, I could clearly feel that I had the same negative attitude in my heart despite “better behavior”.
Indeed, God is not interested in our “pulling ourselves together”, especially when we draw near to Him. If I do not love God, I do not love God. Period. And if I cannot love my neighbor, I won’t ever be able to do so. Period again. The difficulties and trials begin when we try to solve such problems on our own by simply changing our behavior. Okay, okay, we might have prayed to God beforehand that He would change our hearts, and we might have hoped to turn out as a perfect saint in the twinkling of an eye. However, that is not what spiritual life is all about. Rome wasn’t built in a day, either, was it… 😉 The most important thing to me is that God loves me unconditionally and that I may tell Him whatever pops up in my mind. Although I do not understand it, I know and feel that He loves it when I am completely honest in every given situation. If I am mad at Him because He did not give me an answer as quickly as I had expected it, I tell Him about it. And I feel His peace. If I am mad at Him because I received a new revelation which He seemingly took away a few moments later, I complain about it. And I feel His peace. If He decides to change my circumstances so that I have more problems than ever, I pour my heart out before Him without any restriction. And, as you would have guessed, I feel His deep peace, and love (!), while doing so.
My brothers and sisters, that is what real love and intimacy with God is all about. We can be who we are! There is no natural necessity to wear a holy mask with the label “I am a loving Christian” on it. Actually, I have realized that God slowly enables me to love more and more people after hundreds (!!!) of anointings during the last 9 months. I had such experiences when He put His light and love into me often times before, but meanwhile those anointings happened so often that I cannot count them anymore. Nevertheless, although I see that there are more people I can understand and love, I still have my problems with particular persons and I do not know how to deal with them yet. Hopefully, after thousands of anointings by the Holy Spirit, things will get a bit better, still… 😉
Image © Susanne Schuberth 2021