Productive Wilderness Life Series (Part 8) – Integrating the Father’s Love
Matthew 18:3, 4 — “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
When I think of Fathers love practically expressed I think of childlike faith I think of being genuine and sincerely loving others. Masks of shame are the opposite of being genuine.
Shame is often taught in terms of masks we wear— ways we seek to appear acceptable, successful. Everyone has these at some level. None of us like to look bad.
Wilderness Life dismantles these masks and produces a deeper genuineness and simplicity. We go deeper in knowing we are loved by God.This in turn deepens our ability to love others who are also still in the process of maturing.
Learning to see others as equal brothers and sisters is the fruit of growing in a childlike faith. No dependence nor dominance, no outward locus of control, no legalism. Expressions of fraternity, brotherhood, community is God’s love walked out.
Romans 12:10 — be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Love gets communicated in everything you do and say. To help bring change through loving others, we first have to accept them, even with their differences.
Empathy – Gaining Awareness, Tolerance, and Acceptance
So how can we effectively minister to other people? God’s love is our base for integration, personal transformation, and for ministry.
Step one is growing in awareness of where your heart is really at and what needs to change. This process will begin moving you into greater tolerance and acceptance of others who are different and even difficult. When you can truly love people where they are at, it opens the door to minister to them.
Consider these main things to help you integrate:
- Where you direct your attention – Am I focusing on all the differences/immaturities I see in others in a negative way? Seeing past the external things we notice with our natural eyes to see with Father’s heart of love is the focus that allows us to minister to others.
- What you expect to receive – If I am going to exemplify God’s love, then I can appreciate the differences I have with others and not judge.
We can learn a tremendous amount of things about ourselves as we observe how we respond to others. Expect to be changed forever and learn to live as a son.
Next post will look facilitating a love environment.