Here’s another thing that draws the Holy Spirit towards us, rather than repelling and quenching him – it’s when we obey the command of Jesus and love one another.
It’s interesting (and you may have heard this pointed out before) that Paul’s chapter on love, 1 Corinthians 13 comes between the two chapters on the gifts of the Spirit. 1 Cor 13:2 says: if I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom great mysteries and have all knowledge …… but have not love, I am nothing.’ The desire for Holy Spirit power, without love for the body of Christ, brings no benefit at all.
From verse 4 Paul unfolds what love is: ‘Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy or boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.’ We need all these aspects of love operating in our lives if we want to be entrusted with speaking the words of God.
Paul goes on to explain that the gifts of the Spirit, such as tongues and prophecies are for this time only and will eventually pass away, but love is eternal. And when we see the Lord face to face the only thing we will know is love. Prophecies delivered in a judgemental way without love will not have any value. It is the Spirit himself who brings this love of God to us. We see this is Romans 5:5 where Paul writes: ‘God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.’
When we are called to love difficult people, we are not left on our own to try. God knows our own human love is insufficient, so he pours his love into us, so we can give it away to others. And it is a never-ending supply. As we keep on loving others and giving his love away, he keeps on pouring his love in, so we can love and feel loved all at the same time! What a wonderful way to walk with God by this action of the Spirit! Allowing God’s love to flow through us brings us into close communion with his Spirit.