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The Power of Relationship 4

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Of all things that influence the behavior of man, his relationship with God is the most important. This is because the relationship that a man has with God will affect all other factors in him that affect his behavior. Once a man has a true relationship with God, he is no longer in control of his character but God becomes the Lord over his life. Such a man no longer lives to please or in obedience to the flesh; he has overcome the human nature in him.

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Rom 8:1).

Of course, there is a different between relating with a church or church leader and relating with God. Many are so close to the church and her leadership but far from God; many are very familiar with church people and her traditions but are complete strangers to God. From the scripture quoted above, the principal hallmark of relationship with God is change in walk. Before the encounter with God, the man walks according to the flesh, but after the encounter, he now walks according to the Spirit. Meaning that, before his encounter with God, he is under the complete control of the flesh, but now in God, he is under the complete control of the Spirit of God. That is what the Bible means in 2 Cor 5:17:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new

The evidence of this new life is the fruit of the Spirit. This is the manifestation of the character of the Spirit of God in the life of a true disciple of Christ. Look at these elements of the fruit:

“Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”

If you look critically at the nine, you will agree that they all have to do with relationship. Imagine a man whose life is characterized by love, joy, longsuffering or endurance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control! Such a person will definitely be wonderful to relate with!

The first of all the manifestation of the Spirit of God in a disciple is love. The nature of love is also explained in 1 Cor 13:4-7. These are, longsuffering or endurance, kindness, absence of envy, absence of self-parade, absence of pride or arrogance, absence of rude behavior, absence of selfishness, absence of anger, absence of evil imaginations, no rejoicing in evil, ability to bear with others, being hopeful and endurance. If a man is seen with all these attributes of love, he will be a wonderful person to relate with.

Beloved, the Holy Spirit is not in our lives so that will can brag about the number of hours we can “blow tongues”. Speaking in tongue, good as it is, is the least of all the works of the Holy Spirit in the life of a disciple of Christ. Of what use is the “blowing of tongues” which does not affect the character of the individual? When the Spirit of God has no influence on our character and we are making serious noise in tongue speaking in the church and in our homes, we are hypocrites. The beauty of our character is what proves that the Spirit of God lives in us. That is what makes us light and salt in the world. That is what will attract unbelievers to our Jesus through our lives. Our character is the proof of our relationship with God. If God is truly in us, He will not be hidden to the people around us.

If a man cannot relate well with people around him but he goes about bragging about his relationship with God, he is a liar and a religious hypocrite.

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (1 Joh 4:20).

May the life of God be real in us in Jesus name. May we be true reflections of who God is in our world in Jesus name.

Have a blissful day.

Shalom!

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