The Spirit of Divine Love will set us free from Anxiety â€“ Anger â€“ Stress â€“ Disappointment
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
The following article written by Janet L. Smith uses excerpts from the book entitled “Freedom from the Self-Centered Life” by William Law and edited by Andrew Murray
The Spirit of Divine Love is defined by these characteristics:
â€¢ Patience: forbearance, perseverance, the capacity to accept or tolerate delay without getting angry or upset, serenity, imperturbability, staying power
â€¢ Meekness: the gentleness of restrained power (in this case, the restrained power of Self)
â€¢ Humility: rather than relying on the power of Self and acting independently from God, we make daily decision grounded in a mental, emotional, and physical state of utter dependence on God. We host a mindset and live a lifestyle that directly reflects an acceptance of who God says a person is in heaven and in the earth.
â€¢ Resignation to God: reverent submission to Jesus, the One who has the power to accomplish God’s will in us here on earth. The refusal to be double-minded which uses the will and power of Self along with the power of God to accomplish our own ends. Self is the power we resort to as a backup plan if God doesn’t answer our prayers or people don’t respond in the way we want them to.
Problem solving when presented with an “opportunity” to Love in union with the Spirit of Love:
â€¢ Sink down into and acknowledge my helplessness to solve this problem.
â€¢ In humility (i.e., in complete dependence on God and not on Self)
â€¢ And with patience (i.e., employ staying power and calmly embrace my helplessness to stop or fix the throbbing ache of the problem presenting itself),
â€¢ Resign myself to the Spirit of Love who has the only viable solution to the problem (i.e., refuse to think that I have to immediately figure out a way to fix this problem in my own strength).
â€¢ Turn to the Spirit of Love as the only true source for a solution and wait for truth from the Spirit of God to come, keeping in mind that part of the solution includes our personal transformationâ€”which means that I am bearing the good fruits of the Spirit of Love in the moment. “Good fruits” being Patience, Humility, Meekness, Resignation to God.
When we respond by the Spirit of Love in this manner, we are “embracing the cross” and “dying to Self.” And when we don’t respond by the Spirit of Love, we simply admit it to ourselves and, if necessary, admit it to others affected by our lack of it, and ask Jesus to help us increase in His Spirit of Divine Love.
Learning how to love in union with the Spirit of Divine Love has two stages:
1. Stage 1: Promise and Preparation. Intellectually we accept the principals and doctrines of the Spirit of Love, for example, taking in and accepting the information listed above in this article and below.
2. Stage 2: Fulfillment and Possession of the Spirit of Love. This means that what we have intellectually learned, we are employing in everyday life situations in union with the Spirit of Loveâ€”God himself.
3. Warning: Works of love, humility, benevolence, and prayer that are performed under obedience to rules and doctrines will produce a mixture of good and bad fruit because our humility will help our pride, our charity to others will nourish our self-love, and our increase in prayerâ€”our opinion of our own sanctity. Thus, these rule-based “to-dos” are grafted upon a corrupt bottom. The “corrupt bottom” is the belief that following outward instruction alone will produce a pure heart.
The fruit of Divine Love
The fruit of Divine Love is perfect peace and joy; it is a freedom from all disquiet; it is all content and mere happiness, and makes everything to rejoice in itself. Love is the Christ of God; wherever it comes, it comes as the blessing and happiness of every natural life, as the restorer of every lost perfection, a redeemer from all evil, a fulfiller of all righteousness, and a peace of God that passes all understanding.
Through all the universe of things; all of nature that is uneasy, unsatisfied, or restless, is that which is not yet governed by the Spirit of Love. It has not yet reached or attained the full birth of the Spirit of Love.
How do I transition from following outward instruction to possessing the Spirit of Love?
The difference between following outward instruction and possessing the Spirit of Love is that I have transitioned from assimilating information (outward instruction) about the Spirit of Love and, through a series of events, such as setting my heart to possess it, praying for it, employing the instructions and information, walking it out in my everyday “opportunities” and not quitting, I finally come to the end of my Self. That is when the Spirit of Love enters in such a way that I am finally possessed by Love itself. I can now operate from the truth of the Spirit of Love as it is rooted and grounded in my heart, not just from an information-based “to-do” list of “should’s” and “should not’s.”
The yielding of my independent Self to the Lordship of Jesus has over time, produced humility (complete dependence on God) and made room for him to dwell in my heart in an ever-increasing measure. In Romans 6, 7, and 8, the Apostle Paul described his own frustration with this same process. Thus, the times when we feel worn down and wearyâ€”painfully aware of our ineptness to ever get it rightâ€”we can be encouraged, we are closer than ever before. The power of Self is almost vanquished. We are approaching the end of ourselves.
Complete transformation is possible
“I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). Just as Jesus and the Father are one, Jesus prayed for us to attain to oneness with him and the Father when he prayed in John 17:22, “…that they may be one as we are one.” All of Jesus’ prayers will be answered. We can attain to the full possession by the Spirit of Divine Love. When the full birth of the Spirit of Love has been reached and attained, every hunger is satisfied and all complaining, murmuring, accusing, resentfulness, revenging, and striving are totally suppressed and overcome, just as the coldness, thickness, and horror of darkness are suppressed and overcome by the breaking forth of the light.
If you ask why the Spirit of Love cannot be displeased, cannot be disappointed, cannot complain, accuse, resent, or murmur, it is because Divine Love desires nothing but itself. Divine Love is its own good. It has all when it has itself because nothing is good but itself and its own working. For Love is God, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives [dwells] in love lives [dwells] in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16.
What complete transformation looks like
The fruit of being possessed by the Spirit of Love (i.e., living in the full birth of the Spirit of Love) is that the power it exerts is not as it was in the promise/preparatory stage (that of effort and strain with continual failure). The power of the loving nature, born of the Spirit of God, is that it cannot help but to love. The more opposition or ingratitude it meets, the more opportunity for proving its divine nature and power. Love is its own happiness. It is a joy to love. Thus, death to self does not precede the possession of the Spirit of Love, it coincides with it and is the result of possessing the Spirit of Love.
The difference between the Promise and Preparatoryâ€”Stage 1 and the Fulfillment and Possessionâ€”Stage 2 is that those who possess the Spirit of Love have paid the price that embracing the cross daily and dying to self has called them to pay. Without quitting or drawing back, they have paid this price until the transformation is complete and the Spirit of God has utterly replaced the prideful power of Self. As John the Baptist said, “He [Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”