Monday, February 7, 2011

The Divine Love

I have really been struggling lately to forgive someone who continues to hurt me. Instead of wallering in it and making myself totally miserable, I have decided to go to God about it. I have essentially been a "tattletale". I am so thankful that I can tattle to God and know that He doesn't condemn me for it.

As usual, God has me open my Bible study and what should the subject be about? Agape love. I've learned a lot about Agape love (I thought), but this time it spoke so profoundly to me. I think the more mature you are in Christ, the more your realize you just don't know everything there is to know on a particular subject. I'm glad God keeps me humble!

Beth Moore says, "Beloved, WE are incapable of agape! No matter how hard we try, we cannot exercise this kind of love. WE cannot love the unlovely. WE cannot love those who do not love us. WE cannot love those who have hurt us.

Agape is divine love. It's only origin is the heart of God. Agape is the love of God expressed through us to others. Actually it is a response more than a feeling. This is the way it works:

1. We confront a situation in which God requires us to agape another person.

2.We admit to Him that we lack agape for this person.

3. We consider how God would personally respond to this person according to the Scriptures.

4. We act in obedience and respond as He would.

When we do this, He tenders our hearts toward the person. The relationship perseveres. Ultimately we are blessed to have been the vessel through which a holy God expressed His great love to one of His children. Nothing else is like God pouring agape through you."

I guess I sort of feel like I'm off the hook. I really can't love this person on my own. I can't conjure up feelings of love. It's not about that. It is about setting my own heart free to love this person. I simply can't do this without God. I am incapable. My flesh is in the way. My want for revenge or vindication always rises up within. It is an ugly thing.

God is teaching me to pray good things for this person, things that will add value to their life. I am also praying that the strongholds that are strangling their walk with Christ, would be broken. I am not praying timid prayers for them, but bold and powerful ones. I am believing God for the first time that this person can  really change. When I am faithful to do this, I can feel God transforming my heart. God is setting me free from being embittered toward them.  Now it is actually changing the way I feel as I continue to let God transform my heart towards this person.

Agape is a beautiful thing. I'm so thankful to have a greater understanding of it. It is not something to be "practiced". It is a gift from God. It is something to be praying for. He will do the rest.


Catherine said...

Revenge and Vindication are the twin dolls I dress up and play with from time to time. Thank you for the reminder that our prayer lives can be meaningful enough to destroy those nasty twins and change us into the people God actually had in mind when He created us!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Excellent post, Stace! I'm priviledged to be able to walk this journey with you. I can't believe the difference in you since you started practicing this. I love you, Sis! Keep up the good work :)

Trisha said...

It really is hard to be bitter towards someone we're praying for....oh for the grace to pray for restoration. I know this struggle. Your prayers remind me of not just not doing evil to someone but REALLY doing them good. May God bless both of you as you continue to intercede.

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