GOD! Why do you have me here?Why is this happening to me? Why is this so hard? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME!? Why won't they change! How much longer Lord!! When will this stop!!
Bearing the battle scars of Love Warfare our deepest and raging heart cry to the Lord tends to be such, as the feeling of a pressure on our soul can torment us with crushing forces beyond our control - fighting to level our emotions and maintain our ground these are all questions that ring with the same cry and anguish in our warfare. Yet God still has the same answer to us all in this grueling pursuit - it's what he has said to us from the beginning. LOVE!
We all know the story of the fierce love of Romeo and Juliet, a passion and a love so strong that both lovers took their lives to escape the fate of their enemies who sought to keep them apart. What a story of such fierce raging love! But I know of a much greater story - the story of a God whose love was so fierce and raging that he did not leave. No, he actually came to confront the Montagues and Capulets that sought to separate him from his lovers. Leading an army of lovers who wage warfare against every Montague and Capulet of their own love story! You may just be one of those lovers, you may be the very person that God is calling to rise above. You may just qualify for this call to Love, and although you may be in humbling circumstances in spite of what is going on around you, God has commissioned you as a Spiritual Warrior to take a bold stand! Its a stand that is not easy nor does it bring recognition or ready appreciation... but one that reaps a harvest of secure victory! Yes, "The real stuff"! but to get to the "real stuff" you may have to go through some "real stuff".
In Sunday School we have all memorized and learned of the fruits of the spirit "love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." I can remember skimming over that word Many times, "long-suffering" for one thing I wasn't sure exactly what it meant, and for another thing I wasn't sure if I liked the word at all. It just sounded hard, lonely, painful, difficult and long! LOL. Part of me didn't even want to know what it meant. How many of us actually know what long-suffering really means aside from what it just sounds like? Because I think that a lot of us approach that scripture not necessarily saying, "oh I would like to know what long... Suffering... means." No I'm sure that we've probably chosen words out of Galatians 5:22 that sound a little bit more light and easy like Joy, peace and patience. But let's take a closer look at long-suffering because there are keys to the love of God hidden within this verb that can answer questions to what this Love is that God is calling us to.
Appearing in the KJV of the Bible 16 times describing the faith, love and patience of Christ and all the saints in Biblical history - long-suffering is a fruit of the spirit listed in Gal 5:22 and Comes from the Greek word Markothumia or Markothoomos - The root words "Marcos" meaning long lasting with synonyms like patience, temperance and "thoomos" meaning passion with the synonyms, heat or anger just to name a few. So It's safe to say that Long-suffering is like the act of fierce faith or Love, that patiently waits with unending unfailing compassion in the face of every obstacle enemy and challenge. A persevering, pressing through, breakthrough faith and Love that is determined violently (if needed) to meet its mission.
AN OBEDIENT LOVE
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. (Luke 22:42-44)
This Long-suffering type of Love only begins with obedience. Any act of faith for that matter begins with obedience in anything that we do for the Lord. But if we look at Christ In The Garden of Gethsemane we see the passion and the core of his mission was based upon submission and complete obedience to the Father. His suffering did not begin on his own will or within his own flaws or faults but began with a decision. It began with the Word of God. And so our love must be founded on the same thing - the Word of God. It's only this type of love that can actually stand in the face of every obstacle enemy and challenge. It's only this type of love that can last through the fires of life, relationships, marriages and families. So in order to execute this fierce love we must recognize that it's God who was calling us to love for his purposes and mission and not our own. This must be the motive and core of everything that we do! Because in the days to come we will continue to face challenges that will tempt us to quit, give up and at times even abandon the very call of God to Love in itself.
A SACRIFICIAL LOVE
"For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow toward us, so also our comfort through Christ overflows to you. (NET)" (2nd Co. 1:5)
I believe this type of love is very much misunderstood. Christ displayed this love very clearly to us. It's a love that travels beyond our own well-being, selfishness pride and ego. A love that stands above the opinions of others, a love that cannot be defined by logic placed in a box or even bound by the law! As the scripture says, "against such there is no law!" The Holy Spirit once told me that when you are acting in the love of God there is nothing that can rightfully condemn those actions. (Romans 8:1) Yet the world will condemn a sacrificial love, call it foolishness and in the same token promote self-preservation, individualism, and pride as the wise way to success in this life. However there's a big difference between recklessness, self-crucifixion, false humility and acting out of obedience to the Love of God! That is why The "obedience" piece is so important, it's what separates what the world defines as love and the authentic Love of God Himself. The sacrificial kind of love does not insist on avenging wrongs or justifying itself. (1 Cor. 13:5) It takes a full trust in God to be our Avenger and only Justifier to wield this type of Love.
A FIERCE RAGING LOVE
"The violent take it by force!"
When we imagine warfare it's not hard to see a great leader taking charge and barreling down the enemy, and that's exactly what it is, however our spiritual viewpoint does not always depict such stunning victory. In fact a lot of times in the beginnings of the battle the warring posture appears far from gloriously victorious when the fiercest and mightiest leaders in the kingdom take on the front lines in postures of humility and lowly positions. While the prophets lead spiritually in places of submission and apostles begin their campaign by enduring seasons of excavation while learning the building process and blueprints of God. Many spend years underground establishing a foundation for a fortified battlefront before the fruits of our labor and efforts in prayer and long-suffering could ever be seen or manifest in the natural. We see that Fierce Love lies in the wake of such enduring and trying places to be prepared equipped and schooled in the "real stuff" the tough stuff... the stuff that calls out Christians from delusions of grandeur and comfort to maturity discerning the realities of this war. The enduring struggle in our call becomes a Fierce Love as we are forced to look upon our own flaws, confront our own emotions and take a different perspective of those around us, where we remember that we were called to love, called to love our enemies, where the love that really counts begins at home extending even to those outside of our own circles with those who may be hardest to love at all! Ask yourself in your family, relationships, Job and maybe even in your ministry - could you be the one that God may be leading to be the pillar for his love to flow? If so then he has made you a special leader, he has made you the lamb in his stead, accounting by your faith through his grace for the salvation of the souls around you. Don't be fooled friends the greatest among you is the least of all!
A LOVE THAT MUST ASCEND ABOVE KNOWLEDGE!
In the midst of all of this, we do not stand in vein, we do not wait blindly, and we do not pray amiss... but True Love founded in Christ always wins! In a society where knowledge and culture are kings among us and the truth tends to be the pauper hidden in the streets it is only for a season, for love always wins out (1st Cor 13:6) and will without delay if we stand and do not faint in our pursuit of the call! God has spoken very clearly to me about that call. He has shown me that Love in this age must ascend above knowledge... that where the law exists and what the World, the hearts of men and even the church condemns God Justifies through the Spirit of Love in the hearts of the righteous. The World chooses to judge based upon the external, Love judges in the heart of Christ - that where logic seeks to justify right and wrong in every arena of Life - God desires to expose the truth in Love in every arena of our lives even in-spite of ourselves. In other words at the end of the day it doesn't matter at all whose right or wrong, but simply those who choose to love!
A CALL TO LOVE
To begin to answer the call to love we must determine to stop being victims and rise above our circumstances and become the master of our our own fate in life, relationships, workplaces marriages and families - Not by overpowering the strongholds before us, but by completely destroying them in the spirit! To truly love is fierce spiritual warfare, that demands a supply of every fruit of the spirit in our walk, a demand to walk in mature Love. The call of true love demands suffering - the spiritual exorcise of tempering our faith, and long-suffering that denotes an attitude deciding to love in spite of whatever challenges arise! An attitude that does not "determine" to love, rationalizing what merits Mercy and who deserves Grace, but "decides" to love simply upon the principle that God has decided to love us with a fierce raging Love that sent his only son to the cross on a journey of long-suffering that no soul has ever known. This was the greatest act of Love and the epitome of a Fierce Raging Love that waged war with violent humility for his lovers. How can we ever do any less?
PRAYER TO LOVE
We pray that in the middle of our struggle to represent your love, and in our imperfections and flaws give us grace to stand! Strengthen us once more to continue to hold on to the promises that you have layed before us. God! We cry out to you, that without you this great responsibility to love would be impossible. God, at times our faith is stretched to capacity and we are short of breath in the spirit - breathe afresh on us and give us strategy in our love warfare and give us wisdom to know your will in the middle of our lives. Grace us to have balance and stand firm in your Word, so that we would faint not. I pray God that we would come to know the depth, the height and the width of your love to lead others to know you in such a way as well! In Jesus mighty Name We pray - Amen!!
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Michael D. Watson is founder & pastor of MDW Ministries Inc. Called to release prophetic gifts and preach the Word of God on many levels. Husband & Father of three Author of several books and Prophet Artist based in Cleveland Ohio Michael travels locally & abroad to meet the Call of God.
Contact & Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org