4.15.2014

I want to see the gold!

In the past few weeks I have heard, read and discussed the topic of "loving your enemies."  And I have learned in my forty two years of living that when the Lord puts something in front of me multiple times it is because He wants to teach, challenge, and convict me in that specific area.

I do not know what this season of study will look like, or what it will produce, but after searching the Scriptures to find what loving my enemy looks like, I am confident that He is about to take me on a long and difficult journey through my heart attitude, my motives, and my pride.

I will admit ... I am a little uncomfortable about stepping into this new territory.  A lot uncomfortable actually.  Whenever motives and pride are investigated by a holy God, nothing is left unnoticed or overlooked.  He will search me out, and He will reveal everything that is ugly, selfish, and impure.
But -
I know I will come out on the other side - refined.  Because He promises me I will!  

So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor 
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  I Peter 1:7

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.  
Isaiah 48:10

The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.  Proverbs 17:3

But He knows the way that I take; when He has tried me, I shall come out as gold.  Job 23:10
And isn't this our ultimate goal as believers?
To rid ourselves of everything that looks like us so that we can look more and more like Him?

Though I am not 100% willing to enter into this season, I am going to be 100% obedient – and trust Him for the rest.

Loving my enemies.

Who are they?
What does loving them look like?
Where am I being faithful?
Where am I blind?
And how in the world is it possible to show love - a sincere, godly, unconditional, Christ-like love - to those who do not, will not, or cannot love me in return?

Lord, I can already see where you are taking me.  It has been a long time coming.  But it will be in the details that you reveal Yourself, Your purposes, and Your ways ... and ask me to follow in obedience. Whether I like it or not.
May I be faithful.  May I be humbled.  May I see victory.

I want to pass this test, Lord, because I really, really do - want to come forth as gold!

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.  Never be wise in your own sight.  Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  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.”  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:9-21

But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you
To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.  
If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.  And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount.  But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.  Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.  Luke 6:27-36

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