Yesterday turned out to be one of my best, if not the best, birthdays that I’ve had. I know that the reason is all because of the LORD and His love. I do appreciate all the calls and messages on Facebook and the time spent with my family. I am so grateful for all of the little and big ways that those whom I love showed me that they love me.
None of the love shown to me on this birthday would have been possible nor would I have been able to receive it if it were not for the LORD. For one thing, I wouldn’t have believed that I deserve it or that anyone could love me. For another thing, I would have hidden from everyone because of the disbelief in their ability to love me because of how much I did not love myself. Today I understand that God is the One who authors love and puts people in our lives to encourage us and He is the Source of all of my life and all that sustains me – including my ability to love myself and my relationships with others. I thank God for where He has me today.
I realize that no matter what anyone else is doing, my eyes should be on the LORD and I should stand on His Word and His promises and His truth – about who I am and who they are. I should not be so upset with anyone if they are acting out and especially if I know they are a believer. I should pray for them and forgive and ask God to heal, convict, grant mercy towards repentance, lavish His grace into their situation and TRUST HIM to be their Father, Teacher, Healer, and Comforter – just as He is mine. (Romans 14:4) If He can do what He has done in me, then He can do it in them!! Praise God! Do I really get it now?
When I had the revelation to stop focusing on the acting out behavior (sins) and to instead focus on loving the person and leaving the rest to God – I felt like I was hearing to stop demonizing everything that is sinful. What I believe that means is that God is still in control anyway so do not allow the fact that a sin is taking place to now make you believe that the situation or the person is unreachable. No! God is bigger than our sin! As believers we rest in the fact that Jesus did pay the price for our sin and He has redeemed us. And we should know that we are not made perfect in our actions the day that we are saved. The day that we accept the FREE GIFT OF GRACE AND SALVATION is the day that we are transferred from the darkness into His kingdom of glorious light but we are not going to live a perfect life from that moment on. We are made perfect in His sight and Jesus perfects us. If we understand this for ourselves, then we need to understand it for others.
When a person is a believer and is still struggling with overcoming a bad habit or a sin and they stumble or fall, God’s Word promises that nothing can separate us from His love. Romans 8 covers the whole idea of struggling with sin and becoming more than a conqueror in Christ. The reason Romans 8 talks about there being no more condemnation in Christ and that nothing can separate us from God’s love is because God knows how our minds work and how guilt and shame work to keep us from being more than conquerors. God wants us to walk in the love He has for us and to share that same love with others. That is exactly why He sent Jesus Christ to give us the perfect example, to show us His love personified and to pay the price for ALL of our sins.
Philippians 2:12-13 tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who works in us to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose. This tells us to be patient with ourselves and with one another because it is going to take some time to work out our salvation. Also, it tells us that God is the One who is working in us to get us where He wants us to be. We are not let off the hook. We are told to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. We need to stay surrendered to the leadership of Jesus, listen to the Holy Spirit and move when we are touched and obey His voice. The fear and trembling comes in as we are learning and we are not sure and we are constantly seeking to hear Him and to know Him and to do as He leads.
I am not saying that it is OK to keep sinning or that our struggle needs to continue over the same issues over and over again. No. But God is bigger than that obstacle, that bad habit that we are trying to give up, and that character defect that we do not want to have any longer. The sooner we surrender to Him, the more that we are in His presence and the more we learn of Him, the sooner we will overcome that which is trying to hinder us.
Also, when we or our loved ones are struggling, we need to remind each other that God is bigger and so is His love! And the enemy cannot overcome God! Whatever the enemy tries to use against us will not prosper! God can and will take what seemed meant for evil and He will turn it for good! So remember that and remind each other of that! Stand in that truth even when we see another person who is doing something that we know they may regret or that can turn out badly. And tell the enemy: “Devil, you may think you are winning here, but get behind me! I am surrendering to Jesus Christ and His authority and I plead the blood of Jesus over myself and put His spotless blood between us. You have no authority here! Go! In the name of Jesus I tell you to go and do not come back! I am redeemed! There is no weapon formed against me that will prosper! Your attacks and tactics will come to no gain for you or your evil purposes. God will take what you meant for evil and turn it for good.”
Proclaim that for your loved ones. Stop giving the enemy any room! Stop giving the enemy victories because we say, “Well the devil just keeps attacking him and he’s too weak or doesn’t want to choose the Lord.” Stand in the gap for your loved ones and even for the strangers and lost souls that you see on the street and pray for one another! The enemy of our souls only wins when we give up or give up on one another! Jesus never gives up on us. God never gives up on anyone! He moved heaven and earth for every human being on this planet! He wants no lost souls. We are all His children if we just believe!
At one time we were all enemies of God IN OUR OWN MINDS as shown by our evil actions. Colossians 1:21-22 “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.”
That is definitely where I used to be! An enemy of God in my own mind, even though I had accepted Christ as my Savior as a child. When I got old enough to really understand what sin was and what a wretched sinner that I was, I had a hard time really believing that God could love me. I am so grateful that He has helped me to at least begin to grasp the depth of His love for me.
God does not want us to be His enemies! He loves us and sent His Son to reconcile us to Himself. But because we did not understand or know about how great His love is for us, we thought we were His enemies and we acted like we were His enemies. We acted like we had to fend for ourselves and like it did not matter how we got the things that we wanted and needed for ourselves. Like orphan children with no one to trust, we acted out and lashed out. But now, now that we have such a great love shown to us, let us show that love to others and let us trust our Father in heaven.