Discovering what love is one day at a time
I am constantly reminded of how needy I am for the grace of God and His transforming and redeeming grace in every part of my life. Also, I am reminded how important it is to be watchful, diligent and guard what has been entrusted to me.
Daily, I am reminded how easily my flesh desires to hide in a place other than God when the heat gets turned up; and how I have to choose to remind myself that God is my hiding place.I am not one that is easily offended….now. That was not so much the case growing up… and still today, I know the Lord is and will continue to break down judgments and walls in my heart that are places that do not belong in the heart of one who says she follows Christ… I am amazed at His love for me, and how my human love just does not cut it. But His love…it is so…..encompassing. Which just got me to be thinking about where we “hide” when the going gets tough, and how it is different for all of us; the instruction God has for us so that we won’t be taken “hostage” when we run from Him, and “hide”; and simply how we may have gotten there in the first place…meaning the lies that drew us away from His peace and rest and shelter (hiding place). He is a Holy God…and I realize as I draw near to Him…my flesh is really scared, but my Spirit is jumping up and down with joy!!... I want to “step up” closer to “see” Him even more…but my flesh is like…”ummm ya…it's ok...I will wait right here."
It’s there in that place where our flesh is like,” that’s ok…you go ahead I am ok. I am good right here”.…that we have to choose to look back and say…”yes that belongs to me, that’s my flesh, that’s what I have been holding onto, listening to, agreeing with, and if so speaking and living out. Yes, that is my sin. I do not like it. I do not want it...and Lord I am sorry, I repent. I am done with it…I do not want to live that way anymore.”
His love shows us how lacking our own love is. But God…He knew that from the beginning and made it possible for us to clothe ourselves with His love, (by the shedding of His blood, and His resurrection) and by the power of the Holy Spirit. He knows our needs and has supplied them all in Christ. He has made a way for us, and has unlimited provision for us.
So…how important is it for us to remember, that Jesus came to give us life, and the enemy wants to steal kill and destroy? How important is it for us to know what God’s love looks like…and what it doesn’t?
It’s really important, because when we agree with God, we truly experience His redeeming grace, and healing in our own hearts and relationships, and when we disagree with God and rebel against His love for us we experience the pain of turning our backs on Him and the pain of our own actions.
The enemy is a sneaky liar, and he likes to make us believe that everyone else is responsible for our irritation, or our hurt, or our problems. Yes, people sin against us, however, we are responsible for ourselves and our responses, and how we steward the great and awesome provision that has been entrusted to us as believers. For we have been given all things that pertain to godliness. He has given us His Holy Spirit…this is the power that raised Christ from the dead and we are to depend on His Spirit…It’s God in action on earth.
For example, how often do you hear from your kids he/she is annoying me…he/she makes me so mad…or is it something you say?What is the truth?
Can we choose to love past noise? Can we clothe ourselves with His love and compassion to see past someone else’s actions? Or are we going to choose to wear anger, disrespect, reproach, loathing, or contempt?
The word annoy means to harass especially by brief attacks or to make loathsome.
Is being irritated, annoyed or full of anger clothing ourselves with love? And if we choose irritation, offense, annoyance and the like, who are we agreeing with?
Why wouldn’t the enemy of our souls try to annoy and upset our composure, vex us and find a way to wear down our spirit, and bother us? Why wouldn’t he want to interfere with our comfort and our peace of mind? Why wouldn’t he try to unsettle us and provoke us…He certainly is not for us and He will use anything that we are withholding, anything that is hiding under any emotion or hurt that we have not surrendered to Christ to steal from us and others in our lives. God has given us His Peace; He has left it for us, and given it to us in unlimited measure. But we have the responsibility to not let our hearts be troubled, nor let them be afraid. The enemy tries to grab our attention, so that we will not remain hidden under the shadow of His wings. No darkness can get to us there...
How much better is it in any situation if our hearts esteem another, if we give preference to one another, if we honor and respect one another?
Offense, irritation, annoyance and anger are all a places to hide, they are masks that we can wear, or a smoke screen to hide what is going on in our hearts. It’s one of the things that says…”I am good here…I will stand here…you go ahead.” So easily offended, irritated, bothered vexed, annoyed, and never seeing our own need, rather placing blame on someone, anyone rather than accepting responsibility and acknowledging that we have chosen to “wear” this “clothing.”
Offense, annoyance, dishonor, irritation…are snares, traps, and lies that are easily often believed. The intent is to impede us from God’s blessing in our lives.
We need to be very careful to not agree the winds of disproval or criticism. How often…do these winds get really boisterous, when something is happening in our own lives…? How often do they bring thoughts to our minds about someone involved in your circle, how about even yourself? These winds are accessories to the clothing of hatred, condemnation, loathing and contempt. They are like a tornado…if you grab a hold on one of those thoughts you get sucked in…
But if we demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ; we will not run and hide, nor will we be taken hostage in the eye of the tornado… but.…we will demolish the strongholds in our hearts and minds.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
His love is all encompassing, He hedges us in to protect us, and His love will accomplish what He started. His love encircles us, it doesn't lock us up or hold us hostage, it sets us free.
I have been married to my wonderful husband for 24 years. We have two young men ages 20 and 15.. This blog is somewhat of a journal and attempt for me to keep a purposeful perspective on life as a whole.