How Dare You?

Are you an investor?  I think it must take a lot of nerve to put large sums of money into stuff and then hope that someday it’ll pay off! I suppose it’s kind of like the lottery, they say you can’t win if you don’t play but there are others who believe that you can’t lose what you don’t bet…I’ve been told that relationships are work, as if they’re a task or a job that has to be done and that may be true…it would explain why so many don’t work! I think it’s also true that you first must venture something before it’s possible to see a return of it, let alone to see a return on it! We sow seeds hoping for a crop and although there’s a reasonable expectation of a result it’s still not a for sure thing. I’m drawing comparisons here to various things that involve risk so that I can talk about what most people perceive to be the greatest one of all,

loving people!

Allow me to clarify, I feel as though I need to because there are so many concepts people have about what that means. I’m talking about the type of love that can and most likely will cost you everything. The type that never stops to count the cost before acting or that leaves no room for compromise or half measures.  It’s an all consuming obsession that’s primarily characterized by selflessness and a concern for what’s in the best interest of it’s “object” which of course is so much more than a thing to them…

it’s their everything! 

Many people practice a much more conditional definition of love as in,

“I love you as  long as times are good or until you do something I disapprove of.”

Another common example is the idea that I love you until it becomes inconvenient for me or until my feelings for you result in a “heartache” on my part at which point we’re through. Some people do see love as an investment, and as such they have some very definite ideas about what they expect in return and while I do believe that love always comes back to us I don’t think that anyone truly gives love only because of what they expect to receive in return.

Having said that I’d also like to say that even though expecting a return on our love investment is not in character, that when we do give, sow, invest, or commit ourselves to truly loving someone the return is guaranteed! Perhaps not in the way we might expect or from the person whom we’ve loved but just as the rising sea levels of a harbor lifts all ships we benefit from bringing more love into the world! Like am electrical wire with current flowing through it, we’re warmed by it’s passage!

I’d like to be able to say that I’ve loved that way, but what Robin Williams said about loving something more than yourself kind of left me hollow, I find it’s quite a struggle for me to love something more than I fear being rejected by it…

I’m also floored to know that this is how God loves each of us, except it’s actually so much more than I can even comprehend. He sent His only Son Jesus to be our redeemer even though I’m sure He knew that many would reject this supreme act of love!

Thank You Father for Your infinite love, please change my heart to allow Your love to shine through me more, and for me to see the fear in my life for the liar that it is!

Do I dare?

How dare you?

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I can’t believe it!

bill

My father was married six or seven times, I’m not sure exactly I lost interest after number four or five. Obviously my father wasn’t good at maintaining relationships but one thing that he learned well was how to end them. I recall having a conversation with him on the subject, he shared with me his too often tested criteria for deciding when to end a relationship. He told me, “Once you get to the point that you say to yourself, That “expletive“,  I can’t believe she did that, it’s over!” My father went on to say that he couldn’t understand being friends with an “ex” either, his feeling was that if you could tolerate them at all then you probably should’ve  just stayed together. My father had some serious boundary issues with women,  by giving them everything they wanted he would eventually create this “monster” who then began to value only what he could provide for them. It was his way of being, to each woman he was with, the best thing that had ever happened to them. When you’ve been married several times you feel the need to distinguish yourself with your partner in some way, as if to say “Remember me, I took you on that vacation to Florida, or I bought you that furniture you always wanted that your ex didn’t”. Yes, it was all sweetness and light until one day, or more likely after many days, he came to an always painful realization that he had been used again,  the first clue to this is when people quit asking you for stuff and just start helping themselves to whatever you’ve got without so much as a thank you.

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In my life I too have had relationships of all types that I’ve suffered under or that have “used” me. And while I certainly am not condoning how my father handled his relationships or his not taking responsibility for fostering his own problems, I have been able to use his technique to rid myself of things in my life that required nothing short of change on a wholesale level. When we come to see how sin has “quit asking our permission” and has taken control of our lives, or how it’s not only affecting us but also the people around us we all may need to have an “I can’t believe it” moment.  If I did believe it, I would be extremely upset with whoever or whatever is responsible for the stuff that’s going on including myself. Dealing with my own complicity should be my first move, accepting my responsibility and understanding that when I find myself in a hole, in order to get out the first thing I must do is stop digging…and then, I can focus on my extraction! Like it or not, we all have a relationship with sin in our lives. For most of us, it’s lost it’s pretense of being our “friend” or the courtesy of asking our permission that it once had and has shown itself to be the cruel taskmaster it really is.

Okay, it’s time to use the lessons my father taught me!

My heavenly Father is in control, and Satan can’t do anything that God doesn’t allow him to do so naturally I have to wonder why a loving Father would allow death,sickness,or tragedy to occur. This is my conclusion, how we react in our free will to these circumstances determines who is glorified through them. If we allow them to paralyze us with fear and steal our joy in life Satan has made a profit off of us, but if we decide that what God said in His word was absolutely true and that “I CAN believe it” and decide that we’ve simply had enough we can decide to rise up and turn on our enemy and command it to leave. I didn’t say ask it nicely and patiently wait for a response…I’m talking about serving it with the divorce papers baby! You are outta here! and your little band of demons too! When we finally decide that we’ve had it with Satan’s game plan to kill, steal, and destroy and get mad enough to MOVE we can start by saying,  “Satan, you are done messing with me, my friends, my family, and I’m making a stand right here! Oh, and I also want everything you’ve stolen from me back right NOW!”  guess what? We discover that through Christ we’re infinity more powerful than him and when we use that power God is glorified by it!

I think God is up in heaven looking down saying,

“Somebody please pick up that baseball bat and knock that devil into the next millennium!”

When any of us do that I think He smiles, and says “THAT’S MY CHILD!”

From as far back as I can remember, to this very minute, I have loved my father. I loved him with a love that couldn’t see his many short comings and failures. I just simply didn’t know how NOT to love him. There were also times as a young man when I dis-respected and abused our relationship, but it was during those times when I found out how much he loved me!

Our Heavenly Father has no short comings or failures, His love for us is unconditional, it would be contrary to His nature to not love each and every one of us no matter what we may do! He’s also seeking to have a relationship with us but unlike my father, He’s not going to just give us everything we want and then get mad when we don’t love Him back!

If by chance you’re someone reading this who feels as though they’ve never personally experienced unconditional love then this is for you. If you’re struggling today in your life with any health problems, physical or emotional, or experiencing financial hardship’s, please listen…perhaps you are wondering, “why am I here” or just know in your heart that your current situation cannot be all that life’s about? (you’re right, it’s not!) Then your day has come! In the very face of the spirits of doubt that may be surfacing in your mind right now as you read this, begin by thanking God for continuing to love you through all of your rebellion against Him and ask for His forgiveness.  In the midst of your affliction, cry out to Him as Abba Father in your time of need. We might be tempted to ask for His help but It’s going to be much easier to fix your problems if you will simply lay them at His feet. Ask Him for His strength and His courage to be continuously victorious in your life, and for His Holy Spirit to guide you in all things. We also need wisdom to see the snares that the enemy sets for us to step into everyday. It takes plenty of light to see them, and the experience of someone who knows what it’s like to walk in our shoes, and that’s who Jesus is! I sincerely ask that you to do what I’ve just suggested with an open heart and let His love be poured out on you! And then you too can say “I can’t believe it!” except that this time it’ll be because of the great blessing He has given you!

Ephesians 1:2-10

2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.