God always gives all answers and blessings within justice according to the spiritual law. The law of justice applied here refers to the measurements of the seven Spirits. They assess all aspects including one’s heart, thoughts, and actions in seven aspects without the slightest error. In the previous lesson we looked into three of these aspects. They were faith, joy, and prayer. Now we are going to delve into the remaining four standards of measure by the seven Spirits.
Fourth Standard of measure of the seven Spirits is one’s thankfulness
If men have true faith, they can give thanks from their hearts under any circumstance and in any situation. They cannot help but show heartfelt gratitude because they had been destined to eternal torment in Hell, but gained eternal life through the grace of the Lord without firsthand paying the price for it, and they will now go into to Heaven.
Additionally, if you believe God of love is your Father and leads your way step by step, you cannot but feel thankful all the time. God’s children who have been saved must appreciate everything even if there is no specific reason for giving thanks.
To the extent that our faith increases, God gives us more blessings. So, the reasons for thanksgiving become more numerous. Even in a ‘not so good’ day, we have many things to give thanks for. How grateful we are for being protected in this world overflowing with accidents and disasters! There is nothing to worry about for us. How thankful we are to be guarded from evil forces! In the world there are innumerable diseases, but if we do not commit sins before God we will not come down with any of them. How indebted we should feel to God! Aside from these reasons, if you give a little bit of thought, you will find there are an infinite number of reasons for thanksgiving.
How thankful do you feel in each and every step of your life? I hope your thankfulness will satisfy the standard of the seven Spirits by offering up thanks to God in faith even when you are faced with some difficult situations. If you say thanks only when you have reasons for thanksgiving but complain when something happens that seems unbearably difficult, the seven Spirits will have no choice but to say that you fail to meet the standard.
Philippians 4:6 reads, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” No matter how tough your surroundings may look, I hope you will give thanks in everything with trust in God. Then, He will be delighted with such deeds of faith and cause all things to work together for good.
Fifthly, the seven Spirits measure one’s compliance with God’s commands
Many parts of the Bible tell us to do, not to do, to keep, and to throw away something. All such commands in the Bible are condensed into the Ten Commandments. God’s seven Spirits assess believers’ compliance with the Commandments exactly. To those who keep them well, God gives answers.
Then, why is this aspect included in the conditions to bring down answers to our prayer? If we receive answers and blessing, it means that we are loved by God. God works only in justice, so He does not give answers and blessings to just anybody without consideration. God gives grace and love only to men who abide by the Ten Commandments and are eligible to receive His love in light of justice (Ref: Exodus 20:6). That is why Proverbs 8:17 reads, “I love those who love me; and those who diligently seek me will find me.”
Keeping God’s commands is the solidest evidence we have that shows our love for God. John 14:21 says, “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” Namely, if you truly love God you naturally take pleasure in keeping His commands.
However, believers with little faith find it hard for them to conform to the Commandments and they sometimes cannot keep them all. But God deems it faith for them to try to practice them. Even though they sometimes violate the Commandments, if they try again to live in the Word of God, He considers their efforts a proof of faith and answers their prayer.
Sixthly, the seven Spirits measure one’s faithfulness
The seven Spirits appraise one’s faithfulness; how faithfully one fulfills the duty allotted to their titles in church and all their other duties in the sight of God. The duties include not just God-given duties assigned by church but also those at home and in workplace, so the faithfulness refers to the faithfulness in all aspects.
When they have to choose between the work for God’s kingdom and the worldly business, faithful believers will choose the former. However, it does not mean it is acceptable to be deficient in paying attention to your business or workplace. Ultimately, we need to do everything well for the glory of God within the way of the truth and without being partial to one side or the other.
We sometimes hear about people who have come up against great troubles although they have been Christians for a long time and they have titles in church. Most of them admit that they once performed their God-given duties passionately, but they forsook some of their duties and became lukewarm in faith.
Others became preoccupied with the expansion of their businesses so they began to neglect their God-given duties. Still others saw their fervor to be faithful for their duties cooling down as they compromised with many things due to their economical burdens or family’s persecution. In the end, they felt they were coerced to fulfill their duties. They barely managed to participate in duties they were responsible for and were supposed to do. Some of them did not take part at all anymore.
Then, why did their heart change though they were once faithful? This is because they failed to attend to spiritual faithfulness even though they say they once worked enthusiastically. ‘Spiritual faithfulness’ is achieved by our unceasing circumcision of our hearts by casting away evil from our hearts. One who is spiritually faithful unchangingly remains faithful in performing his duties, and he will not abandon them no matter what the hardship might be.
If you have not circumcised your heart, however, if you are faced with things that are tough to bear in fleshly sense, the attributes of the flesh within you that are forms of evil will arise and you will not be able to keep your heart. Some of you may reject the promise you had with God, deeming it to be worthless. Only when those attributes are cast off, can you offer up unchanging and perfect faithfulness to God and then you be faithful spiritually as well.
Lastly, the seven Spirits measure one’s love
Here, love refers to spiritual love that never changes eternally. Love acts as a cord that wholly binds the other six features of the seven Spirits together. Love weaves faith, joy, prayer, thankfulness, compliance with the Commandments, and faithfulness into a whole. What does it mean? It indicates that the six aspects including faith, prayer, thanksgiving, and faithfulness are of no use if they are not accompanied by love. That is why 1 Corinthians 13 says nothing that we do without love profits us.
For instance, if one rejoices seeing others suffering from some troubles, how evil this heart is! When we pray, we have to pray with love. Prayer without love is very difficult to be reached to God as fragrance. The same applies to loveless thankfulness. It can never move men as well as God the Father who looks at men’s hearts. When we keep God’s commandments, it is right and true to enjoy keeping them with love for Him. God wants us to work faithfully out of love for Him.
In this way, love interweaves the six aspects above into a whole in a perfect manner. That is why love appears as the last feature that the seven Spirits assess. The seven Spirits of God examine how much truthful our love is in everything. Therefore, I hope you will do everything with love, satisfy the whole standard of the seven Spirits, and let all your hearts’ desires be fulfilled.
The seven aspects of the seven Spirits can be likened to parts of an electronic product. If a part is missing, it does not work although the switch is on. In the same manner, even when one of the seven features is lacking, the answer to your prayer will not come upon you. You need to remember it.
However, as mentioned at first, God of justice and love measures faith first of all and sets the standard according to each one’s measure of faith. It is not because He has not established a high standard that nobody can meet so that he may not receive answers. But it is because He wants to answer our prayers by considering the measure of our faith and building up the criteria in accordance with the measure.
The reason that God specifies the standard for answers through the seven Spirits is that He desires to give as much answer as possible. Thus, I hope you will pass all criteria of the seven Spirits뾣aith, joy, prayer, thankfulness, and observance of the Commandments, faithfulness, and love뾞nd by doing so you will receive answer to your prayer and enjoy abundant blessings.