Let The Love BeginPosted: December 26, 2014
There have been times when I went after something in prayer because I was mad at the devil. Maybe someone was sick or dying, and I felt they needed to be healed. So I’d pray with gritted teeth, rebuking the devil loudly as I shook my finger in his face.
I’ve also prayed for dramatic miracles so that people would see and believe. Actually, this probably isn’t a terrible motive, but it has to be predicated on the one and only legitimate motive.
I’ve prayed frantically while ministering to others, desperate for a dramatic answer so I would look spiritual, or sometimes just so I wouldn’t look foolish.
I’ve never been tempted by this one that I remember, but I’ve been in church meetings that felt like pep rallies, with fist pumps and high fives and people loudly declaring victory with shouts of praise. I never liked those. Scenes like that would have me spending long periods in the bathroom, or just slipping out and going home.
Once, while reading my bible, I asked God about the scene when, coming down from the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus was confronted with a man whose child had a demon that the disciples couldn’t cast out. I didn’t really understand. It really felt like I was led to ask the question, and clearly heard the Lord say, “It was because they didn’t love the boy”. I countered, “But the bible says it was because of lack of faith”. He explained to me that the disciples were fearful, worried that if they tried, they would fail, that nothing would happen. That is the lack of faith. He told me that if they truly loved the boy and his father, and if compassion were foremost in their minds, they wouldn’t have had failure on their mind, because “perfect love casts out fear”.
I truly believe that’s why some of our prayers don’t get answered. I’m pretty sure it’s why a lot of mine don’t.
When I’m in an outreach type setting, I’m focused on ministry and can easily love those who come to me, and as a result, I see wonderful things happen. But outside of ministry settings, that isn’t always the case, and I often have more fear than love, or more urgency (I have things to do, after all) than love, or more SOMETHING than love.
In the nineties I read a lot of books on spiritual warfare. I threw most of them away. I really felt they were off track and not very helpful. The one book other than the bible I felt was valuable in this area is “The Torch and the Sword” by Rick Joyner. Oddly, this isn’t a book about spiritual warfare. But really, the only thing anyone really needs to know about spiritual warfare is the Two Greatest Commandments.
In the light of current events in which people die needless, tragic, violent deaths and there is so much anger and violent protesting, our land needs healing. You and I can do much to bring healing. At the risk of sounding platitudinous (because I am without practical examples), love has to be our greatest priority. It simply has to trump every other reaction. We have to stop defending our pet ideologies. People are dying; others’ lives are being destroyed. We are response-able; that is, we are qualified to respond. There is too much finger pointing toward those who disagree with one another.
Lord, please cause us to see with Your eyes and feel with Your heart. Impart to us Your love for people close by and those far away. Help us to understand one another, and make us wise toward one another. Thank you, Lord.
Blessings and Shalom to you, the reader