Friday, August 8, 2014

Love For Our Enemies - Part 2

This is the second part to yesterday's blog so if you didn't read that it might be good to go back and read that now. Today's thought is where I started yesterday but I needed to set the foundation first.

Sometimes the enemy is us and the ones who we think are our enemies, perhaps because of discomfort we associate with them, really are not against us at all. Our perception is off. Our ego is involved. Our judgement is clouded.

How many teenagers wake up one day after they become young adults and realize. My parents, flawed as they were, loved me and wanted the best for me when up until that realization that had on some level thought of them as enemies.

What do we do if we suspect we are our own enemy in a situation? We do exactly what we would do with our external enemies. We give ourselves grace.

We seek God's mind through various avenues to have our thinking illuminated... The Bible... The pulpit... The body of Christ... Prayer and counsel... but all of it is bathed in grace.

"Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.' To the contrary, 'if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.' " - Romans 12:19-20 ESV

Feed that hungry soul of yours... not the flesh in sentimentality but the soul in spirituality. Leave revenge to God and double-mindedness at the door. Self interrogation is not valuable. Revenge against self is not our right. Grace is what is needed... grace will convict us... grace will teach us... grace will convert us.

Sexual attraction is not sin. Acting on it outside of marriage is.

"I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin? What would be my portion from God above and my heritage from the Almighty on high?" - Job 31:1-2 ESV

Because of a lack of agreement with truth that forms a conviction within our soul prompting people to adopt a habit the individual ends up feeding a fire of self contradiction. The truth must pass through a personal realization of the cross and what it has accomplished in order to be effective. Without truth our flesh continues to flare up leaving only destruction in it's path.

This is true for all types of lust not just the sensual variety.

If a projectile hits armor it is deflected. If it hits an unprotected area it causes damage.

In our pain and weariness it is easy for us to become enemies to our self, others and of the cross itself.

It could be ego, blindness, pain, weariness or any number of natural causes that might prompt us to say, 'I am the enemy in this situation.'

Letting God love us is the answer. Receiving grace makes us overcomers. Living in and confessing the finished work of the cross proactively redeems time.

So love that enemy... even if the enemy is you. Because in truth we have a new identity to live in.

"You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you." - Romans 8:9a ESV

This is the mystery that only grace reveals. Although we sin and fall short those actions are not our identity anymore. A believer in Christ is 'in the Spirit' but we must stand in grace to walk in the Spirit.

Standing in grace we can pray and make decisions not second guessing our motives. God knows and has all of that covered anyway.


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