A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this ALL people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love one for another.” ~John 13:34-35
“So, what exactly are you?”
This question is one that I get asked often from those who want to know how I classify myself with regards to my beliefs and/or religion.
My answer, “I am a child of God, a life-long student of the Word.”
I knew enough about God when I was a little girl to know that He was real and He had an instruction book for us, the Bible. My grandmother was a spiritual example in my life that allowed me to see He was real. However, the enemy quickly snatched it away with deep hurts and trials a little girl should never experience.
I did not know how to “Lay it Down, Pick up Love.”
In my teens and into the first marriage to my husband, I was an almost weekly attender at our church and was present for every Christmas and Easter. But, challenges in my marriage, coupled with the counsel I was given at the church we attended, would drive me out of that church.
I did not know how to “Lay it Down, Pick up Love.”
Some time and great trials had passed and I came to another church in which I would learn His Word. I accepted my Savior and my “Jesus Light” was burning bright. I experienced instant and miraculous changes including being reconciled to and remarrying my husband. As I studied more, He revealed lost truths in His Word and our family’s roots. In my excitement, I shared with others, but what I was learning wasn’t what was popularly accepted in the church. The brethren we came to love drove us out of the church for our different beliefs and practices that we were being led to do by Him.
I did not know how to “Lay It Down, Pick up Love.”
These are just some of the main experiences we had in our spiritual journey. We want so bad to be accepted and loved, don’t we? We wrestle with the accusations, the judgments, the rejection that comes with being different. Why? Because we all long to be loved. Sometimes we look to the people we have grown to love in our walk first to receive that love instead of to Him FIRST who IS love. So, because of these things, I too began to do the same, I rejected those in my heart who had who rejected me for being different. But, that is not reflective of His heart.
In my healing and His continued revealing and grace, He placed me in positions with people who would continue to reject and judge me over the years for various reasons. BUT, He would also provide the balance of those who chose different. I needed to learn how to walk and work with those He brought in my path in love. Often we didn’t believe or practice exactly the same things yet, His love working in us is what kept and continues to keep those relationships strong in Him.
This is the power of love, that we pour out love and healing unto others that we have allowed ourselves to receive from Him. We cannot give what we first don’t allow ourselves to receive.
Beloved, this isn’t a letter to justify my beliefs and practices, get your approval in them, or hide who I am in Him. On the contrary, this is a peek into the burning desire that He has placed in my heart to love as He does. I continue to learn how to “Lay it Down, Pick up Love.”
When we faced great trials in my marriage, He used the very people that, in label only, I rejected for a time because of being rejected by that denomination at one point. Love was and is the factor that conquered the trials in my marriage. It was the main factor that was used by those to minister healing to us.
When we faced great trials with our children in life or death situations, He used believers and unbelievers alike who had willing hearts to bring healing and comfort in our time of need.
Can you imagine the healing and blessings we would have missed out on if I turned down the love in the form that He had sent it?
“Love covers all, believes all, hopes all, endures all. Love NEVER fails.” ~1 Cor 13:7-8
Many consider themselves spiritual or religious yet, they practice judgment, bitterness, accusation, rejection, and unloving out of fear and ignorance. This isn’t walking in love. I know because I did the same. I had listened to the stories and the lies the enemy put in my mind about those who believed differently and the enemy used it to further divide the Body. He is still doing it to this day with many of you. We want to be powerful in Him yet we are pitiful in our actions in spite of His great love for us. Abundant blessings are being stolen from believers in the Body simply because they cannot lay down their differences and come together in the working power of His love.
Churches, fellowships, relationships, and families have been torn apart because we don’t believe the same, look the same, and/or practice the same. People fear the unknown. Religious people fear those that are in opposition to them. People fear different. Religious people fear and shun sinners or their version of what a sinner is to them.
“Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes grumbled, saying, ‘This One receives sinners and eats with them.’” ~Luke 15:1-2
It’s eye-opening to know that our Messiah didn’t spend much time in synagogues where the religious people were, and I don’t believe He would attend the vast majority of churches today either for the same reason, the lack of love. He offered Himself to those who weren’t hung up on their piety. He offered Himself to those that admitted they were broken and in need of healing. I believe He gave them whole healing through His love and that is why many of His true followers would go to the ends of the earth for Him, choosing to suffer great persecutions.
- Can you still love someone if they look and sound different from you? If they say “Jesus” or “Yeshua,” “God, Father, Jehovah,” or “Yahweh”? If they wear crosses, stars of David, have fish emblems on the back of their cars, wear head coverings, or tassles?
- Can you still love someone if they have different practices and holidays? If they observe Ramadan, celebrate Christmas or Easter, New Age practices, or Biblical holidays?
- Can you still love a person if they have a different social class than you? Are you willing to cross that boundary and hug and/or pray for the homeless, the sick, the dying, the addict? In almost every instance that Yeshua (Jesus) healed, touch was involved.
Finally, can you still love a person if they BELIEVE differently from you?
Yeshua (Jesus) did and does. Right now you are short of perfection, flawed in your mindset and beliefs, yet God the Father and His Son love you – as is. Unconditionally.
The GREATEST, single spiritual weapon you have is LOVE.
It always was and it always will be because God IS Love and Love NEVER fails.
I challenge you to let go of mindsets and labels. Man came up with the labels and divisions, not God. We are all on an individual journey with Him. We never know what life will throw at us. Are you willing to deny the love He sends in the form He sends it because it does not look or behave like you want it to? God is doing a shaking and a pruning of the “dead works” being influenced by the enemy’s kingdom. If you want to walk in the power of His Spirit and life, walk in love.
“We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. The one not loving his brother stays in death. Everyone hating his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has everlasting life staying in him. By this we have known love, because He laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” ~1 John 3:14-16
Messiah came to defeat the works of the devil. If He can lay “it” down and pick up love, destroying the works of the devil, so can you!
What is your “it”? Lay it Down, Pick up Love.
A prayer to be released to walk in love:
Almighty Father, I pray that You break the programmed mindsets and beliefs that are contrary to Your Word and who You are as our loving Father. Reveal the “its” that have built strongholds in our mind and hearts and give us the strength to renounce their power over us because they are in opposition to what Messiah has shown us to do. We want to walk in the power of His love, truly being His disciples. Where we have sown bitterness, rejection, accusation, judgment, and unloving in fear and ignorance; replace them with Your truth, compassion, empathy, grace, hope, mercy, faith, and love. Break through the thick walls of lies and rebellion that we have put up that have become stumbling blocks in our ability to love others and bring healing as You have equipped us to do. Teach us how to Lay it Down, Pick up Love. In Yeshua’s/Jesus’ mighty Name. Amen
“And now faith, hope, and love remain – these three.
But the greatest of these is love.” ~1 Corinthians 13:13
You are dearly and wholly loved,