We are trying to protect our pride or even our stuff, but God is trying to protect our heart and that is why he admonishes us to love, especially when it is challenging or painful.
Ephesians 5:2; And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
There is no principle in the Christian faith that is more prevalent than love. God is love and we are made in the image of love. Therefore, we too are love and we are called to love. In Ephesians 5:2, Paul was encouraging the new believers to walk in love. We are sometimes deceived into believing we have this love walk down packed until we read the scriptures below.
Luke 6:32,35; But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return… For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
Matthew 5:44; But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.
Ouch! The above scriptures describe some very challenging and painful situations, but in the midst of them God is asking us to love. This seems like an impossible thing and in our human flesh it is but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). It also seems unfair in some way to return love for rejection or evil. What was God thinking? He was thinking about you. Love is for you in the same way that forgiveness is for you. Love liberates just like forgiveness liberates. Love protects our heart from unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, fear and all the darkness that tries to consume. We are trying to protect our pride or even our stuff, but God is trying to protect our heart and that is why he admonishes us to love, especially when it is challenging or painful.
The heart is like the garden of our soul. It is in the heart that God grows the great things he has for us. However, if there are weeds in our garden, they will choke the life out of what God planted in us, and if there is darkness in the garden, that means nothing can grow because every plant needs light to grow. Therefore, withholding love is just as detrimental to the heart as withholding forgiveness because both open a door to the darkness that tries to consume us. Our best weapon against the evil schemes of the enemy is love because our fight is not with man (Ephesians 6:12).
The plan of the enemy is to shut down love and if he can shut down love, he shuts down the church, meaning you and me because we are the church. Without love, the church profits nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3), meaning there is no gain or advancement for the church, individually or corporately as the body of Christ. Let nothing change who God created you to be—not even pain. The greatest sign of spiritual maturity is how we respond in our pain. Choose love in the pain.
Perhaps you realized today, that you have not always chosen the way of love or you may have allowed some weeds and darkness to come into your heart. Just repent and forgive if necessary. Ask the Lord to heal those heart wounds and fill your heart with his love that you will have love to give, even to those who are hard to love. Ask God to give you a new perspective so you may see challenges through His eyes and give you compassion for those who may be hard to love. Today, instead of rejection, choose love, instead of fear, choose love, instead of offense, choose love, instead of anger, choose love. Whatever darkness that tries to consume you, just say “I choose love.” Make a bold declaration today that “I choose love” and endeavor to choose love every day!
(c) 2019 by Annette D. Brown @ Restoration Training Hub