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About four years ago, I sat in my small women’s group and received a personal prophetic word. (For any skeptics out there, let me assure you it’s not weird or frightening with clouds twirling above your head or anything!  New Testament prophecy is all about building up, encouraging and consoling people with your words…check out 1 Corinthians 14:3!)

The lovely lady who spoke to me was describing a gift she perceived I had and, with great care and gentleness, she said that that gift needed to be covered in love…I needed to basically get a Masters degree in love so that God could most fully work through my life and transform others.

And…by the way…the beautiful woman speaking to me was our very own Jan Greenwood. (Thanks again, Jan!)

Jan knows quite a lot about living a life rooted in love, but I also very much relate to her initial frustration in hearing about living a life of love and the fruit of the Spirit instead of placing that focus on power.  With power, we could do really BIG things, right?

I love how Jan described living a life that is full of the fruit of the Spirit: “It creates an atmosphere where there is potential for God to move in power.”

Ah!  Not MY power, but HIS!  His power to move and become more in an atmosphere that is surrendered to Him…one that puts more emphasis on the fruit rather than the power.

“If I focus more on God’s power than on the fruit of the Spirit, I end up traveling in circles, missing the access ramp to the destination I’ve been dreaming about. But when I let go of my need to be the deliverer of power, I become a highway of love upon which God’s presence and power can move.”  -Women at War

Let’s take a look at a few questions from the end of chapter 9.  We want to hear your thoughts! Your voice matters and we’d love you to join the conversation!

1) Define “love” in your own terms.

2) 1 John 4:16 says, “God is love”.  How does that statement make you feel?

3) Read your earlier definition of “love” and compare it to the passage from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. How do the two match up? 

I encourage you to take some time thinking through the other questions at the end of this chapter as well.  See what God has to show you about what He wants to do in YOUR life!

 

WomenatWarcover

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6 Comments

  1. I’m finally back from vacation and getting back into the swing of things. I love your story and thoughts on this chapter Courtney! It seems a little intimidating to define love in my own terms but I’ll attempt it.

    Love is security, encompassing and overwhelming. It is powerful and trans-formative. It is truth, justice and grace.

    When I think of God as love it is overwhelming and amazing. I can rest in knowing that He never changes and will never quit loving me or abandon me due to anything I do or don’t do.

    I so loved this chapter because God has been speaking to my heart so much about the fruit of the Spirit lately and transforming the way I saw it. In His presence I am filled with more of Him and the fruit that my life yields is the evidence of my time with Him. It’s been amazing!

  2. I am so honored to be reminded about that initial meeting with you Courtney. It’s funny to me how things often come full circle. You are full of love and grace – and a sweet minister to many. I am so proud of you.

    You already know that I think love is the answer to every real problem. If I could love more, I would be more effective as a representative of Jesus. The people I “loved more” would feel my care, compassion and interest. No telling what Christ could do with a woman who “loved more.” I really do believe that love is powerful!

    If I can understand that God is love…then I will even understand everything in my life through a different lens. It will settle for me any question of God’s character or heart toward me. I will be able to “leap over tall buildings” of doubt, confusion and despair by the simple understanding that He is love.

    Just a reminder to myself – the only way to know to actually experience love – is to ask Him for more of it. I can talk about love all day, study it’s qualities, understand it’s power, but still fail to love more. I need a pouring out of God’s love into my own spirit in order to truly love more. We must receive love before we can give love.

    Thanks for all your leadership! You are the best!

    Jan

    1. Thanks so much, Jan, for your encouragement and always-uplifting words! It’s amazing that things can be moving along well and then you hit a bump in a relationship…you think back and wish you could’ve covered that in love more and how that would’ve helped prevent the bump in the first place! (My personal lesson of the day!) Yes, more of God’s love is always what I need! I will absolutely dry up in my ability to pour into anyone else without His love moving freely through me!

  3. I’ll get things started…and I look forward to seeing what you all have to say!

    1) Love…It’s selfless and considerate…It pays attention to the needs and the ups and downs of others and helps where it can…It speaks truth from a spirit of gentleness rather than arrogance…It’s committed to stick things out in the difficult times…It’s unconditional and unwavering, even and especially when “liking” is hard to do.

    2) I love this verse! It’s such a comfort to know the source of love and the embodiment of it!

    3) More verses I love! Lots of similarities to what I put above…mostly because I’ve read them so many times and the Word of God (thankfully!) takes what is skewed and reshapes/renews! It’s definitely not an easy thing to put into practice in life, so I’m especially grateful that the Holy Spirit can work in me and through me and make up for all my lack!