Being Made Perfect in Love – By Michael Clark and Susanne Schuberth

"Be still and know that I am God." Coeur d Alene River at Cataldo

“Be still and know that I am God.”

Oswald Chambers wrote,

The true character of the loveliness that speaks for God is always unnoticed by the one possessing that quality. Conscious influence is prideful and unchristian. If I wonder if I am being of any use to God, I instantly lose the beauty and the freshness of the touch of the Lord. “He who believes in Me…out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). And if I examine the outflow, I lose the touch of the Lord.

Who are the people who have influenced us most? Certainly not the ones who thought they did, but those who did not have even the slightest idea that they were influencing us. In the Christian life, godly influence is never conscious of itself. If we are conscious of our influence, it ceases to have the genuine loveliness which is characteristic of the touch of Jesus. We always know when Jesus is at work because He produces in the commonplace something that is inspiring. (http://utmost.org/the-ministry-of-the-unnoticed/)

This is so true. We have found over the years that God best used us to impact others when we had no clue He was doing so. As soon as we put our mind to “doing great things for God,” He is not interested for as Jesus told the disciples, “Apart from me you can co nothing.” He taught them that if they simply rest and abide in Him, that they would eventually bring forth much fruit. But if we seek to make spiritual fruit for Him, all we will make is rotten apples. Likewise, those who think they are wise or beautiful are not! Conceit is ugly, but humility is something beautiful to behold and God takes notice. “Humble yourself in the eyes of the Lord and He will lift you up.” In Psalms we read,

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth. (Psalms 50:2 RSVA)

True beauty is found in those from whom our Father shines forth, not by our fleshly human efforts.

Imagine if fallen man and woman said about those things they had done that they were “very good.” What would we think about such “proud” people? 😉 We who have eaten from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, alas, are no longer able to see the truly good things which God has made or is doing because we are so impressed with our own doing and are suspect of those who do not do as we do. Looking at others, we have the fatal tendency to automatically search for the evil behind everything. This is so sad! Paul wrote,

Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. (Titus 1:15 KJ2000)

You have heard the saying, “Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.” Someone who really loves sees the beauty in the one who is loved, not their flaws. God who is the only one who is truly good (cf. Mt 19:17) can see the beauty in all that He has created. God who is love created what He loves and whom He loves. LOVE both changes the lover and the loved one from the inside out unless that LOVER is God who is already perfect in love and thus never changes. John wrote,

No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:12 RSVA)

We are perfected as we abide in His love for one another and we will see His beauty in those whom we love with His love.

And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother also. (1 John 4:21 RSVA)

T. Austin-Sparks wrote,

“…glory is God’s nature. And a state of glory is a state which corresponds to God’s nature. Glory, therefore, is the Divine nature in expression. If you have Divine love in perfection, you have glory. If there is a state of love, Divine love, among the Lord’s people, then it’s glory. Not necessarily something like a blaze of light which you see, but which you sense. You sense it.“ (http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/books/004310.html)

Dear saints, we are only made perfect in God’s love. If we are to show forth His glory we must be conduits of His love for those around us. When you meet a person filled with His love you can sense it and they are a sweet smelling savor to Him.

Striving to do “good works” for God will not perfect us in His eyes for only those things done in and by His Son are acceptable to Him. How can we ever hear our Father’s voice if we are so full of our own thoughts? How can we ever do the works we see our Father doing if our whole view of the world is filled with “our vision” and what we can “do for God”?  As His people all we can do is rest in Him and let His love flow through us. If we do, soon His love will compel us to do His will for those in need, not by striving but by loving. Remember, a labor of love is no labor at all.

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15 comments on “Being Made Perfect in Love – By Michael Clark and Susanne Schuberth

  1. Ken Dawson says:

    True Glory is evidenced by our creator shining out of us–using us–not by our trying to shine for Him–satan using us.But OH for us to realize that fact is so trying.Let us pray for each other to experience that reality.To God be all the glory and us to participate in the joy of it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Yes, Ken, His glory and love shining forth from deep within from where His river flows in each of who are His… that is a prayer He longs to answer as we turn our hearts over to Him. Oh, the joy of experiencing His love and glory within as it radiates from His broken vessels.

      Like

  2. Pat Orr says:

    Thank you, Michael and Susanne, for this beautiful blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for this post, Susanne and Michael.

    “But if we seek to make spiritual fruit for Him, all we will make is rotten apples.”

    More like road apples. 😉

    This past 9 months has been a real struggle to remain loving. My wife and I have been out of the Institutional Church (IC) for 15 years, but decided to attend a small independent country church last fall after moving cross-country. We met a number of brothers and sisters there with whom we have broken bread in our homes which is what we hoped for. The church on the other hand, has hired a new pastor who is preaching another gospel, and habitually grieves and quenches the Holy Spirit, together with bringing the brethren back under the law and oppressing / silencing them.

    In somewhat the same vein as attempting to “make spiritual fruit for Him” but making rotten apples instead, the pastor is promoting an old testament type of bodily physical worship to create an atmosphere of praise through which he maintains God will manifest, all the while citing “our God inhabits praise” (Psalm 22:3). It is, in my way of looking at it, a kind of “conjuring” or vain attempt at trying to manipulate God.

    Yet scripture says “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

    While working in the kitchen last night, the Lord spoke the words “strange fire” to me and I spent the rest of the evening reading the account of Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 10, who were struck down by fire for their drunken and casual disregard for the Lord’s Holiness, offering the Lord incense with man-made fire instead of holy fire. I’m uncertain the context the Lord intended the word He gave me, whether a confirmation or a word of warning about what is going on in that little church.

    And so I find myself dealing feelings of hurt and frustration for myself and the brethren together with a grieving in the Spirit that has been expressed through travail. Many times I’ve had to take it all to prayer and ask God to be protect the people from the false teachings and to show mercy to the pastor who is misleading the brethren. Remaining loving in the midst of a torrent of feelings is difficult to do, especially when my “natural man” wants to take matters into his own hands and bash some skulls together. The old man needs more crucifying I’m sorry to admit.

    God disciplines those He loves … so, love doesn’t always feel good. And so I reckon for the prophet, love must be expressed in hope and prayer for mercy.

    Jack

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Dear Jack, it is so good to be in touch with you again and that you have found our blog. I am sorry that you have had another bad encounter with the institutional churches of men. Any time a man rises up and takes control of the people of God, folly is not far away, What pride to stand before people Sunday after Sunday thinking that you are the only one that can hear God and are the only one that knows HIS will for the sheep of His pasture.

      As for God inhabiting the praises of His people, this is true. But in the New Covenant worship was defined by Jesus as not some “service” that is done in Jerusalem or in some holy mountain, but it is an act that comes from our individual hearts that have been transformed and live in HIS Truth, Jesus Christ! Those hearts lead by His Spirit’s love and praise for the Father and the Son are the ones that HE inhabits.

      Yes, I have been tempted in the past to “bash sculls” as you put it, but Jesus told me to let it run its coarse. When blind guides lead their blind followers Jesus said, “Leave them alone and let them fall in the ditch.” Ditches can teach us lessons when we are blind that the Spirit can not. They prepare us to acknowledge that we are bind when we thought we and our leaders could see. It is then that we are ready to seek out the ONE who can heal us and give us spiritual sight. Yes, He rebukes and chastens those who are His sons because He loves us. Aren’t you glad that ALL things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to HIS purpose? Meanwhile these three remain, faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks Michael, the foray back into the IC was not without benefit. The Lord fired my writing again which produced several new articles. I had joked to a friend that since discovering the freedom and contentment of simply BEing in Christ, my writing had slowed to a crawl so perhaps “stirring up some trouble for myself” would rekindle the fire. Apparently the Lord agreed and sent me back to the IC for a few months. So, the fire is back. 😉

        What truly amazes me, Michael, among those the Lord has called out of the IC, is the similarity of our stories. The Lord told you “Leave them alone and let them fall in the ditch”; He told me “Get out of the way and let it fail”. Sadly, I had forgotten that word. So 2 months ago the Lord came to my elderly father in a dream and gave him an emphatic warning for me: “Do not repeat the mistakes of the past – do not attempt to prop up that which I am tearing down”. I had never told Dad about the similar word God had given me 15 years prior, so naturally it hit me like a truck. We left immediately and have not gone back.

        Thanks also for your article on Spiritual Adultery, Michael. That was so so timely for some of the strange goings on at that church …

        Liked by 2 people

      • Michael says:

        Jack, I am glad that something good came out of your latest foray into the IC. Do you have a blog or what? I would love to read what He is giving you. The Lord giving that word to your dad is amazing.. You can not put new wine in those old wine skins… same principle. God makes ALL things NEW and the old things He walks away from and let’s men prop up what has become their idols called, “My Ministry.” I am glad that my article on “Spiritual Adultery” was helpful for you. Yes, deception comes in some mighty tempting wrappers that appeals to our flesh. It is good in this late hour to pray as David did,

        “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalms 139:23-24 KJ2000)

        Jesus could say, “The Prince of this world is come and he has found nothing in me.” Can we?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Deborah says:

    So good Michael and Suzanne! I remember Charles Stanley once saying that if we concentrate on the fruits of the Spirit we will never exhibit them. We must concentrate on Jesus Christ and abide in Him and allow Him to work out what He has put in!!
    Abide in Christ!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Hi Deborah, Yes, the fruit belongs to the Spirit and as we abide in Christ, the Vine, and rest there we will experience pruning by the Father, but fruit will also come forth as HE wills and it will have HIS DNA in it not ours. Good to hear from you. Keep abiding, dear sister!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Herbert Orr says:

    MICHAEL, I APPRECIATE WHAT YOU SAID ABOUT EVE.S GOOD FROM THE TREE VS GOD’S GOODNESS. THIS IS WHAT JOHN BEVERE TAUGHT ME RECENTLY. ALSO FALSE GOOD WAS THE RICH YOUNG RULER WHO DID “FALSE” GOOD ALL HIS LIFE. GOD’S GLORY IS ALL THE GOOD THINGS ABOUT HIM IN THE BIBLE. WHEN, HE CREATED THINGS & ADAM HE SAID IT IS GOOD. YOU CAN EVEN SUBSTITUTE GOOD IN ‘ALL THINGS WORK FOR GOOD(FOR GOD) WHO YOU LOVE GOD AND ARE CALLED TO HIS PURPOSE. THIS PURPOSE IS TO RECOGNIZE AND LIVE TO BECOME HOW WE ARE MADE: (IN HIS IMAGE), SONG: “JESUS, I WANT TO BE LIKE YOU! I WANT TO BE A VESSEL YOU CAN USE!: OR KINGDOM COME IN YOUR HEART. LET ME PURGE FROM YOU EVERYTHING THAT IS KEEPING US APART!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Michael says:

    Yes, Bernie, As Jesus’ prayer that we might be One just as He and Father are one it was preceded by Him telling us that we must abide in HIM as our Vine and submit to the Father’s pruning. His fan is in His hand and HE will thoroughly purge His threshing floor as we submit to Him, but it is worth it. I am starting to find comfort in the stripes laid on me by my Father for I know that it is a sign that I am one of His sons for it is by His stripes that we are healed.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. THE WIND! says:

    Michael and Sussane, its nice connecting with you again. I am blessed by this article. Abiding in Christ is the only genuine way to influence people without being conscious of it. Because, we can plant and water, but only God can give the increase to our labor of love…Agape brother and sister.

    “After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us.” (1 Cor 3:7)

    Hosea Fwangmun
    Jos – Nigeria

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Hosea, it is so good to hear from you again. I am glad that you were blessed by what we shared. Yes, abiding in the Son is how it is done for apart from Him we can do nothing. “Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.” (1 Corinthians 3:22-23 KJ2000)

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Pamela says:

    Along these lines I believe, Jay Ferris used to say quite a lot, “I do my best work stupid”. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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