Author | Speaker | Encourager


Loving More Deeply

5093910979_9edda8ec29_zHow much does God require from us?

Last week, I vented to God about a situation I was struggling with. He didn’t respond to any of my frustrations (I just wanted Him to say I was right and send a lightning bolt to deal with the violators).

Instead, He addressed my lack of love. And how sharp my tongue is without it. And He asked me to practice gentleness and patience until they flowed without effort through my life (and tongue—–can you hear my family cheering?).

In the minutes after God shared this, I called my insurance company. After giving my info to three different people and being passed from wrong department to wrong department, I knew I was being given the opportunity to be patient.

Fifteen minutes into the call, I didn’t care to practice any more. But I finally got a gal who could help. She told me she’d have to put me on hold, but would check on me every few minutes. When a half hour had passed, she told me she couldn’t help because of the HIPPA laws.

Gentleness was a tiny speck that fell off my horizon at that moment, and I told her how unhappy I was to have waited thirty minutes for her to figure that out.

A week later, I asked God what was next for me. He reminded me that my sole assignment is gentleness and patience. I want to share what He said to me:

You must love well. The enemy can still engage you. He’s going for areas you’ve not completely handed over to me. You’ve judged your lack. Is that fair? Do you judge others for what they don’t have?

That’s where My people move into error. They judge the deficits instead of loving people into the Light. Into My arms. Into wholeness and freedom.

Where you lack, another has resource. But love is the key that brings one’s resources to another’s lack. People withhold resources (time, energy, instruction, investment…) because they judge the lack.

But the lack needs the resources I’ve developed in My people.

(He brought to mind a particular man that is generally disliked in my community). Other’s judgment of him reinforces his weaknesses because that’s all he has. These weaknesses become his fortress and defense. All people see are the barricades he has around his heart: hardness, pride, judgment, selfishness.

They miss that those barricades hide and “protect” the frightened little boy who desperately needs approval. And the more people push away from him, the stronger his defenses become.

It is presumed that he chooses to be pompous and arrogant. But who wants to be that? Who would choose that mindfully?

Pride enticed him. Told him he was good at what he did. “Elevate yourself,” it said. “Promote yourself.” It invited him to stop feeling. To feel the self-glory of pride instead of the pain of never receiving his father’s approval.

Who wouldn’t make that trade? But it sacrifices relationships and people. It doesn’t allow love in.

6175212076_4d08e5eb58_zAnd the church judges outwardly, never asking Me what is going on in another’s heart and soul. Not understanding that I’ve sent them as My ambassadors of love and approval.

Shackles drop off in the presence of love.

In My embrace, hearts are healed. I embrace through your arms. I approve through your mouth.

I want to send ambassadors of My goodwill. But My people have believed lies and instead made themselves judges.

Repent and turn from this wickedness that has enticed and lied to you. Drink deeply and be refreshed in My rivers of life and love. Be renewed so you can be a conduit of renewal for others. Be ambassadors of My goodwill and peace.

Father, take me deeper still. Where I can hear Your quiet voice speak to my heart. Teach me how to love myself so I can love and embrace others. Teach me how to drink of Your waters, instead of the polluted waters of the world. Show me where I can love more freely and openly. Give me eyes to see people who need Your love. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Scream by Greg Westfall via Flickr – no changes made

Love Never Fails by Leland Francisco via Flickr – no changes made

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