Saturday, September 3, 2016

Heaven's Arsenal - Part 4

Heaven's Arsenal: "The Power of Love"

 The Fruits of the Holy Spirit - LOVE

Someone asks you to list the Heavenly Weapons, which are not physical, but are mighty through God to the pulling down of demonic strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).  So what comes to mind? Prayer? Scripture (which is the Sword of the Word)? The Heavenly Armor? Anything else? Do any of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit make the mental list? It may come as a surprise at first, but actually the Fruits of the Holy Spirit are mighty Weapons in Heaven's Arsenal. 

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control..."  Galatians 5:22-23
For now, let's just focus on the Spiritual Warfare power of LOVE. Love is one of Heaven's greatest Weapons. You cannot be bitter, unforgiving, vengeful, hateful, or murderous, while you are filled with Heaven's Love. That means that while God-empowered Love is your motivation and basic operating system the demons of bitterness, unforgiveness, grudges, hate, revenge, and a whole spectrum of death demons have no power over you! Obviously love is a powerful Heavenly Weapon.

But love is such an over-used, and under-comprehended concept in today's society that just telling people to "love one another" doesn't mean nearly enough. But real love - Heaven's Love is nothing like the cheap imitations. Powerfully portrayed in "The Love Chapter" of 1 Corinthians 13; love is deep, life-changing, and beyond human. God, the Author of Love, has set the "love-bar" so high - in His "off-the-charts" demonstration at Calvary - that the human mind can't fully comprehend God's Love, let alone reproduce it.

So what hope have we of attaining Heavenly Love, since it is so other-worldly a blessing? And what good is a Heavenly Weapon which none of us can possess? Thankfully, we can attain it and possess it, by God's Grace. God is in the business of developing Heavenly Love in each of His Children. In fact, its presence in the life is the demonstration of true discipleship (John 13:35). 

When it comes to Christian character development, learning to love as God does is the college course. This is why love is listed as the last virtue in Peter's Ladder of Christian character development:

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness; love.”
2 Peter 1:5-7

Love is the very last rung on the "Ladder". This doesn't mean that God isn't growing us in love at each stage, but it does show that love, in its full realization and experience is the college course of Christian Character development. Clearly, there's a whole lot more to love than meets the eye... (more on love in the next blog - Heaven's Arsenal: Part 5)