My husband and I have the high honor of being the pastors of the young adults at our local church. Though we have traveled around the world and been a part of global initiatives, serving this group of young adults and watching them learn to walk in love may be one of the highest calls we have walked in.
Recently some of the young women in our group came to us and began to share with deep vulnerability and transparency regarding some of the ways that they have experienced, and even been a part of, areas that violate the description of love in 1 Corinthians 13. They shared how even within the family of God they often have dealt with jealousy and competition. This violation of love has greatly impacted their lives as they were both recipient and perpetrators of this spirit that comes to divide friends and family. These young women decided that they will no longer just tolerate this in their lives or the lives of their friends so together they are humbling themselves before the Lord and one another to shed light on the areas that have violated love.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
The enemy knows that LOVE NEVER FAILS therefore he most effectively will target the souls of men (and women) in order to provoke them to embrace thoughts and action that go against God’s love.
Jealousy creates an “instant win” for the enemy, pride aligns the heart with rebellion, demanding your own way divides intimate friends, keeping a record of wrongs fortifies unforgiveness and the list goes on!
But love…love never fails! We must press in and ask the Spirit of the Lord to search our hearts and remove every alignment with attributes and actions that violate love. Within each one of us there are blind spots and areas in our hearts that need greater alignment with the love that God has shown us.
This is a prayer that we can all say that will yield our hearts to the work of the Spirit and uncover the places in our hearts that allow the enemy to bring defeat by violating love.
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24
I long for His people to know and live in the beauty of a love that never fails. We have that in Christ but will Christ have that in us?
The sound of love is the sound of victory for all. The enemy has been drowning out this sound with the noise of gongs. But the Lord is calling out to us, “Silence the cymbals and release the sound that never fails…the sound of love.”
“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13:1
Come Lord Jesus and teach us love. Remove every violation and agreement with the enemy that has failed us and divided us. Search us and see if there is any offensive way in our hearts and lives. Create in us a clean heart oh God!
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