Our Prayer

Father show us your will. Show us how to love those we are called to love. Allow us to feel your love and to be transformed by it so that we can walk in your love.  Heal our land God and start within each of us as individuals. Move out to those we touch and may there be a domino effect of love overtaking darkness!

Scriptures for Meditation

~ Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV)

The Year of the Lord’s Favor

61 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

~Romans 12:18-21 (NIV)

18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[a] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Seeing Past Mainstream Media

How do you wage war against hate? How do you overcome darkness? Is it through arguments and shouting? If you listen to what you see across social media and mainstream media, it would be easy to think the solution is to overpower the weaker side through forceful words but in my experience that has never worked well. Loud voices always produced hurting hearts and love never wins through bullying. Why is it that when we win the argument through force the victory rings hollow?

Taking Sides

As I’ve watched sides lining up against each other over one issue or another my heart has been deeply troubled.  When I turn on the television, our nation’s news highlights the hate groups showing up in force and I experience such holy heartache watching footage of the violence breaking out and the law enforcement struggling to overcome the hate.  News commentators lob word grenades at each other in the quest to defend their points and no one walks away from these encounters feeling good. The spirit at work behind all of this has one intent – to produce division and hatred and ultimately to advance the kingdom of darkness.

In the face of the darkness playing out before our eyes, my flesh wants to turn from it and pretend it isn’t happening because it’s so painful to watch. I like everything to be peaceful and good and clean and Holy, but Jesus, the most Holy, came down to the dark land of mankind to cleanse and heal our land. If I take my eyes off of Jesus and begin to look to others to be the voice I listen to, I can get pulled off track so quickly and forget what’s actually happening and how the Word of God says to overcome it.

Behavior Modification

Truly, the Word of God instructs us that the law alone cannot overcome the power of sin in this world.  The law can only act as a tutor to show us what is wrong, but can’t alone fix it.  Law can cause us to modify our behavior but it does nothing to change our heart. Only the love of God can change a heart.

Self-righteous words are fast and easy to spit out in the face of adversity but the harder and more effective path to defeating hatred and darkness is God’s light shining forth in our love.

Discovering the Real Enemy

It’s easy to look at hate groups and other organizations acting out of ignorance and hate and view them as the enemy. However, groups consist of individuals and the behavior being displayed by these individuals is a symptom of a terrible sickness of the soul they need to be healed from. Each of these men and women is someone’s child.  I pray they have people praying for them; WE need to be praying for them.

It’s easy for the churched to throw out self-righteous words condemning the hurting and lost to hell and calling them our enemies, but God’s heart for the hurting and the lost is far different from the heart of man. He desires to see them healed and set free (Isaiah 61:1-3).

We must remember who we are truly fighting.  Ephesians 6:12  states “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

The Goal

We must remember that we are working toward a harvest of souls…souls lost and in darkness.  These are precisely the people that the Father’s heart breaks for (Romans 12:18-21).

I’ve encountered many Christians who, over time, have taken on an “us against them” mentality.  I used to be one of these Christians.  My heart had become hardened and I was not truly walking in the same kind of love that Jesus walked in.

I was not loving my enemy.

I was not walking in victory and therefore didn’t even know how to minister any kind of true hope or freedom for the lost and bound. I was not looking on those who were different then me and seeing them with the eyes of Jesus, because I was so spiritually blind myself.   

We must be careful that we not lose sight of who our true enemy actually is.  Satan and his forces are very real and many have fallen prey to his evil schemes and attacks.

Any time he can distract us from turning our energies from crying out to the Father on behalf of the lost and loving the lost through our actions – when He can turn us on each other, then hate wins.

Walking in love is a lot harder than fighting with words, but it’s the only way that this world is going to be transformed.  The only way we will overcome darkness is through light displayed through our love.  This is hard and time consuming and requires a crucifying of our flesh. This entire process reveals so much about our own hearts and how hardened and embittered they have become.

As we begin to really walk out what walking in love truly means, we learn a lot about ourselves.  We begin to see where our own areas of pride, disobedience, fear, impure motives, etc. lie.  In short, we are the ones who keep benefiting as we walk out this difficult process because we transform!

Transformed to Transform

I can tell you from personal experience that we can only offer the gift of transforming love when we have allowed the Father’s love to transform us. We can’t do it through behavior modification. We must be transformed and so overcome by the Father’s love for us by the love that Jesus demonstrated for us that we now walk in that same love and transform our environments through this love.

The Test – The Them’s & Us’s

Our heart issues and indifference to the hurting and the lost will be revealed when it lands on our doorstep. When people who are close to us become the “them’s” rather than the “us’s,” what will our strategy be?  Do we turn our backs and consign them to hell or do we put on our spiritual armor and weapons and fight the forces of hell through the weapons the Word of God instructs us to use?

Will we be willing to be obedient and love when it is difficult to love?

To love this way requires that we get skin in the game and requires a willingness to suffer for mankind as Jesus was willing to suffer. It requires us to be around people we may not like and to serve those who we may not want to serve.

Hold Onto Hope

DO NOT lose hope for mankind.

DO weep and mourn for the lost children and cry out to God on their behalf.

DO love your neighbor because hatred and rejection cannot live in an environment saturated with love.

Fire needs fuel and love is the water that quenches the flame of hate.  Love is what softens the calloused and hardened heart. Let’s love the hell out of this hurting world.

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