If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
-John 14: 15-17
Today, I want to talk about love. We all love different things in life. We love our mates, we love our parents, and we love our new pair of shoes. I have been reading a lot about love lately in the Love Dare book. Love is patient, love is kind, love is a choice that people make to stay together forever. On the human scale of loving someone, I can't imagine ever loving anyone more than I love Raleigh. And my family. I would do practically anything for them out of love. That doesn't mean I always agree with them or like them, but I do love them and I make a choice to love them every single day.
Another thing I love is being outdoors. This morning, as I am typing, I am looking at a crystal blue sky and autumn leaves. What a glorious day! The sound of leaves crunching under my feet, the deep breaths of fresh air I inhale; all of these things are a gift given to me from my wonderful Creator.
The verse that we opened with was spoken by Jesus and how he promises for us to have the Holy Spirit when we accept him into our hearts. *Faith is believing that Jesus is one with the Father and the Spirit and that the Spirit will always stand by Christ's people.
I don't know about you, but I desperately need the Spirit to be in my life every day. This verse calls the Spirit to be our Counselor - someone we can go to with our problems and our needs. He is our confidant, someone we can trust with our problems every single second of every single day.
Do you want to know why we can trust our Savior? Because he is righteous and just. See for yourself in this passage from Psalm 85: 8-13:
I will listen to what God the Lord will say; he promises peace to his people, his saints - but let them not return to folly. Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest. Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps.
Some of the key words that stand out to me in this verse are peace, love and faithfulness. All of these things are promised to us because of our righteous Lord. I love the imagery of 'righteousness looks down from heaven.' It makes me think about how throughout the day, usually in the early morning or just before the sun begins to set, we see these beautiful beams shining down from the sky. Next time you see this ray of sunshine, think about it as God smiling down on us from Heaven because he knows that we are choosing what is right.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord or fully declare his praise? Blessed are they who maintain justice, who constantly do what is right.
Psalm 106: 1-3
So, if we as Christians are promised to have peace, love, and justice for what is right, why are so many things wrong in our life? Why do we feel so desperate sometimes and like we keep taking all left turns instead of right? I think it is two main things:
2. Not completely trusting God to take care of us
Hear me out on this one. I feel like this earth is a constant battle ground. Somebody or something is always going to be an obstacle that Satan throws at us to make us not trust that God is going to fix it. A lot of times, we rely on our own decision making skills or the thoughts from our mates and family members to get us through the tough stuff. Or, we do take time to give our worries to God but we are still anxious and don't trust that He is actually going to take care of them.
When we desperately seek God, our Counselor, we will realize that all we need is him. It is okay to tell your problems to your loved ones but honestly there is only so much that they can do or say to make it better. God, our Wonderful Creator, Beautiful Savior, the Name ABOVE All Names is reaching out his hand as we are hanging from the ledge saying "Grab my hand, Trust me, follow me!" When we have faith in Him alone, we will be living in his righteousness.
Friends, I think a lot of us are swimming in the middle of the pool. We can't really touch the bottom but we can still swim back to the shallow end if needed. God is waiting for us in the deep end, asking us to take that leap of faith off the diving board to completely and utterly trust him that we won't sink.
I will tell you one thing: Satan is not going to like this and he is going to try really hard to drown you in the deep end. When you feel like he is getting a hold of you, just tell him to go away and hold on to Jesus, our lifesaver.
Because he loves me, says the Lord, I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation. -Psalm 91: 14-16
Till next time, let your light shine!
*Zondervan NIV Study Bible