As I prepared for this writing challenge, I started reviewing the Fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 and started looking for them in my own life. Guess what? I had trouble finding them, at least in the way that “I” would like to see them. The way “I” would like others to see them in me. That’s I, me, and my way too much. That’s a problem. Wow! Sometimes the truth just smacks you in the face, but it’s the lasting sting that grabs and holds your attention. Ouch!
I was watching a YouTube video of Francis Chan posted in 2013 when he was speaking at a pastor’s conference. Please watch the video, as it is chock full of good stuff. In the video, Mr. Chan spoke about how he prepared to speak in front of that audience. Part of the preparation was prayer and he shared this, “I asked God, whatever giftedness I have, show me how to use that to love you.” Then I started thinking, What’s the roadblock? Why don’t I pray like Francis Chan?Praying with others in mind doesn’t come easy when your focus is mostly in the mirror. Help me, give me, answer me.
Self-centeredness = Self-centered prayers
Praying like Francis Chan, with others in mind and heart, takes a conscious effort for most of us. Ironically, his teaching was on pride but in it, I heard so much about love. Can there be a true love for others when pride is in the heart? Can we see past our own reflection long enough to focus on Jesus? Only with the help of the Holy Spirit. He will address the pride issue and bring about a willingness to love others. Love, that’s a Fruit of the Spirit and Jesus’ primary message.
Maybe it’s time to shift the focus toward Jesus, and let Him into the conversation. Francis Chan recognized that he, in fact, had God-given gifts and asked God how to put them into practical action for the sole purpose of loving others. Not to elevate himself, or his teaching; just to love those attending that conference. This is Spirit-led prayer chomping at the bit in full expectation and faith. Simple and focused. Love.
If you’ve experienced a “truth smack” lately and you’re still reeling from that attention-grabbing sting, as I am, let’s learn to be quiet before the Lord together. Let’s listen for His still small voice (1 Kings 19:11-13). Ask and allow the Spirit to work in you (John 16:13) to release this fruit of Love so that we can, in turn, take practical action to love others.
Of course, I’m using Francis Chan’s prayer as an example, but God modeled perfect love when He gave us Jesus. John 3:16 tells us this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (NLT)
Go to the Table of Contents to read more posts in this series as they go live.
It’s October so this must be time for 31 Days of Five Minute Friday Free-Writes. The event is hosted by Kate Motaung over at Five Minute Fridays. We write daily for five minutes, or maybe a bit longer. The point is to write. Kate provides writers with a one-word writing prompt each day. Today the prompt is PROBLEM.
Francis Chan YouTube Video posted on April 3, 2013: Think Hard, Stay Humble: The Life of the Mind and the Peril of Pride
About Francis Chan: Francis Chan is an American preacher/teacher. He is the former teaching pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, California, a church he and his wife started in 1994. He is also the founder and chancellor of Eternity Bible College and author of several books.