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"May we never forget that the Lord works wonders for every one of his devoted lovers. And this is how I know that he will answer my every prayer."  -Psalm 4:3 TPT

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Abiding
by Margaret D. Mitchell
Week of May 12, 2019

"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me."  -John 15:4

A dear friend of mine, who had been forbearing with a few troubled family members for years, is now beginning to see her family circumstances differently.

God shined His light of revelation and clarity on her family members as He transformed her heart and renewed her mind. My friend has come to realize that God desires she love them without becoming entangled in their web of bitterness.

His strategy?

Abiding in His empowering love.

Overcome with joy, my friend got a taste of Christianity’s great adventure. She saw how The Lord opened new doors for her. And she began to experience His freedom of holy living. She came to know that God can be fully trusted with her difficult family member as she releases them to Him, maintains healthy boundaries and as He progresses her forward.

So often, difficult relationships prove to be catalysts that either forge us closer to God or harden our hearts away from Him. Once we get an authentic taste of God’s love for us and His righteous path, we don’t want to turn back.

God desires that we abide in Him through our difficulties, so His supernatural grace can work unhindered on our behalf. We do this sacrificially as we lay down our ways of battling others and fully submit to His truth and directives. It’s simple, but it isn't always easy, because our pride is being broken; and we feel like we are stepping into the unknown.

What other choice do we have?

None that are righteous in God’s eyes.

John 15:9 instructs us: "Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love."

What a wonderful invitation of holiness and co-labor with Jesus to love like God loves Him and to love like Jesus loves us. This scripture is so revealing of our Heavenly Father’s heart to love without condition.

And as we see in Jesus’ life, this agape love means to love sacrificially, which of course we cannot do without a close relationship with our Heavenly Father through Jesus, since He is our source for love.

What is this supposed to look like in our daily relationships?

It looks like keeping our peace in the face of an attack. It looks like responding from The Holy Spirit, not reacting emotionally to provocation. It means praising God sacrificially, experiencing His empowering Presence, so we are not weak with a deficit. It means being confidently assured that God is faithful to His Word and that He loves us and our difficult relatives enough to get everyone where He desires they be—walking closer with Him.

1 John 4:16 tells us: "We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."

This wheel within a wheel dynamic is empowering and enables us to effectively handle difficult relationships God’s way—by expressing His kindness in the face of bitterness while continuing to rely on God’s Presence and Word for comfort and truth. No one and nothing else satisfies like He can.

God makes it possible for us to love others without getting entangled in enemy snares if we steadfastly remain in Jesus, the vine. When we actively know Him as our refuge, our provider, our source of love, He empowers us with His grace to navigate difficult relationships and not only stay out of strife by His mercy but also to consistently demonstrate God’s heart of love in the process through His grace.

How are your relationships?

Do you choose to love in the face of bitterness and false accusations? Have you taken the issue to God’s throne? Do you walk closely enough with Him to feel His empowering, peaceful Presence? Do you trust Him to fight your battles with His strategies?

If you’ve never walked this closely with God, then simply ask The Holy Spirit to help you. He will. You can always trust Him.

 

  

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"Give, and you will receive gifts--the full measure, compacted, shaken together and overflowing, will be put right in your lap.  For the measure with which you measure out will be used to measure back to you."  -Luke 6:38


And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

1 John 4:16
Margaret D. Mitchell


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