Interview With God Part 4
Updated: Feb 23
Over the course of 7 months, Jesus has been giving me new perspectives on fruitfulness and the importance of the love He commands us to give and partake in. Despite it being 7 months of learning, I literally had no words to articulate it, and it seemed like the things I understood 7 months ago, were only part of what God was trying to drive home in my lil noggin.
To be honest I didn’t think this blog post would be posted this Wednesday because I truly didn’t have an answer to the last request and question posed in Interview with God Part 3:
Me: I need practical steps to obey Jesus... I don’t think love is possible. 99.9% of people fail at it but you say it never fails. How can I experience your love?
In my journal in July, I wrote a cute list of ideas to share God’s love with others and a list of nice things people had done for me, but I didn’t find the answers to my questions there. Instead, I began to ask more questions.
What does God’s love look like?
Is "just being nice" superficial and if so how can we efficiently love ourselves and our neighbors?
How do we truly love and obey God fully?
I scoured the entire Bible for passages about love but they made no sense. I reread my past 3 blogs and read my past journal entries, yet still, no answer.
Then I felt God tell me to open my laptop and write. The more I wrote, the more I understood.
Now, I invite you into the chaotic mess of an interview God formed into order. The last in the series, won’t be as pretty and prim as the other parts so stick with me. I pray God speaks to your heart today:
Me: *Remembered Sunday, November 27th, 2022. The day I remembered my vow to God to write my interview, The Pastor read John 15:5*
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.”
Of course, for me, one little verse is not enough. I enjoy context, so I read the whole chapter. Lo’ and behold, the first 17 verses of the chapter are not only about fruitfulness, they're about love, obedience, and sacrifice. I encourage you to read all of John 15, but the verses John 15:10-13 stood out the most:
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this than to lay down one’s life for his friends. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love."
Me: *Reads journal, discovers the lists of kind acts towards others and kind acts toward me*
*Rolls over confused* “God you’re really gonna have to come through for this last post. Not my words, but yours.”
God: Open the laptop and just write.
Me: *opens the laptop. Begins writing.*
“Over the course of 7 months, Jesus has given me a new perspective on fruitfulness and has been helping me understand the importance of the love He commands us to give and partake in. The crazy thing is, God is not commanding something that He himself could not do in his human form. It is said that one of the greatest forms of love is sacrifice. He died so that we could experience spiritual freedom and life abundantly.”
Me: *Really reflects on Jesus’ whole life in the gospels and how he showed love to God, Himself, and others*
“The crazy thing is, God is not commanding something that He himself could not do in his human form. It is said that one of the greatest forms of love is sacrifice. Jesus didn’t only sacrifice His life on the cross so we wouldn’t be condemned for our sins. He did so much more. He sacrificed His time to teach the disciples, He skipped the time to grieve His friend's death to serve the masses, He sacrificed His own comfort in His 40 day-40 night fast, He sacrificed a career of craftsmanship, He sacrificed His own majesty and splendor to be born as a pooping, gurgling baby, and He put His heart on the line in relationships that would lead to #BETRAYAL.
God: John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
Me: *CLICK* Whoa~. The answer to all my questions - it’s sacrifice! Genuine love is sacrifice. And the fact your life leads to generations of people who would come to know you? You’re calling all of us friends?! Give me more strength to love.
God: Matthew 16:24-25 “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
Me: Even to love myself I gotta die to myself? Oh, my Lord. Cause you say that there’s life if we choose to lay it down. There’s fruitfulness in obedience. I really want to live the life you have for me. Jesus, help me.
I feel like God took me around the world to get to an answer so simple yet profound. But I’m more than happy He did. The journey helped me answer all of my whys, hows, and whats.
Jesus demonstrated sacrificial love so that we could know how to experience spiritual freedom and live more abundantly. God wants us to experience the fruits of His Spirit that is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22). God wants us to be like beautiful gardens and in a way, he’s creating little Edens inside of us and reconciling us back to intimacy and fellowship with Him.
Unfortunately, we can’t become fruitful, unless we submit, obey, and understand his command to love. In order to love, we have to go as far as denying ourselves. That’s our fear, our unforgiveness, our judgment, our self-pity, our self-righteousness, and our pride, just to name a few. I know this is true because the Bible talks about the difference between walking by the flesh and walking by the Spirit (Gal 5:16-25). We have to die to our own selves to fulfill the command to love, as well as be Jesus’ disciples. That’s a big sacrifice.
Oh Lord, your love is so great and wonderful. Thank you for your message, and thank you for your Word. Bless those who read it and seek to understand it. You've shown us your great love and you command us to love as well. Expand our heart capacity. Give us the strength to die to ourselves and be obedient to your command. Let us experience your love and understand the sacrifice we need to make in order to love ourselves and others.