“But if you are lead by the Spirit, you are not under the Law?” (Gal. 5:18, NASB)
Have you ever heard someone say, “She just sees through rose colored glasses!”?
This idiom expresses that a person sees things as better than they actually are.
Interestingly, the Bible says that how we live has everything to do with how we see.
The truth is, by nature, and from Heaven’s perspective, you and I are blind. This means that every one of us is in need of a guide.
Galatians 5 tells us that humans have two guides available to them: the Law and the Spirit.
It almost goes without saying, but that which guides us determines the fruit we bear.
LIFE BY THE LAW
You and I were literally created for perfect love. Because we were created for it, we crave and seek it. But because we were born into darkness, we need help finding it… finding him.
When rules and regulations (Law) act as our guide to Love (to God), we focus on how well we’re performing. When we follow law, our tendency is to translate performance into a means to ascertain love. We think love is a result, not a cause:
- We compare ourselves because we think that better performance results in greater love.
- We judge because someone else’s performance doesn’t seem as love-worthy as ours.
- We’re jealous because we think someone else has achieved more love than us.
- We hate because we think our performance should have gained us more love.
- We covet because we think that someone else is more loved based on what they have.
- We lust because we want to feel wanted… which is the same as wanting love.
- We compete because we think that love is a result, not a cause.
LIFE BY THE SPIRIT
Because we see love as a result, we tend to think God does too.
We think that based on our behavior God would, could, and/or should stop loving us. Or we think God loves us in spite of our behavior, even concluding that for this reason his love is great. But in both cases, we see his love as it relates to behavior. We see his love through the lens of Law.
But God’s love has zero connection to Law. It is completely other than law.
This is why we need a new guide to walk by. We need new eyes to see for us in this darkness. To guide us to life with and in God. To guide us to the Love we were created for.
This is why we need the Spirit.
FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
The truth is, God loves us perfectly because we’re his counter-part. Humans were created to fit together with God. We’re loved because of what we are, not because of what we do. Simply by being born human, we are chosen and loved with perfect love. (Rom. 8:16-17)
The Holy Spirit’s job is to guide us into this truth. To guide us to the love we were created for and crave. (John 16:13)
The fruit of the Spirit, then, is the result of this guidance. It’s the natural by-product of having discovered what our hearts were created for. It’s not a call or a standard or a rule to live by. It’s what happens naturally as the result of living loved… as a result of abiding in his love. (John 15:4,5,8,9)
We naturally love, have profound joy, unfathomable peace, inexplainable patience (and so on) when we know and believe we’re loved perfectly. (Gal. 5:22-23, 1 John 4:16)
From Heaven’s perspective, love is cause, fruit is effect. Never the other way around.
So today, friend, would you see life through the Holy Spirit’s testimony that you are perfectly loved by God? Would you ask God—over and over again—to reform your thinking and expose his perfect love in every circumstance and facet of life?
See, our pursuit of love as a result clouds more of our life than we realize. You and I need the Holy Spirit, time and again, to disperse that cloud, so that light can shine on what is already ours… So that perfect Love can finally cause his effect in our lives.