2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV) For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
We are told that God did not give us a spirit of timidity. Rather, we have been given a spirit of POWER. This power comes from God and is full of His wisdom and strength.
The key ingredient of His Godly power in us is LOVE. Love is a mighty weapon. In 1 Corinthians 13:13, it is called the “greatest gift of all.” Why then is love even greater than faith and hope?
When you love your enemies with the love of God, you startle them into a state of reflection. Confusion will arise as they ponder their hateful actions and the contradicting response of your love and kindness. They will be stumped.
Confusion is of course a tool of the devil, so you will need to pray that God reveals the truth to the “enemy” your are trying to love. Ultimately, we are on earth to win souls for Christ.
If you do not see a change in their behavior, this does not mean you haven’t planted a seed. God has the watering can and will water that which you have planted in His name. He is always faithful to complete the work that has begun in you. Continue to pray that the scales on your “enemy’s” eyes fall away. Ask God to open the eyes of their heart so that they may receive the truth. Pray for a hedge of protection over them, so that the fiery darts of the evil one are powerless. As Christ intercedes on your behalf, you need to intercede for them.
The strength and power you have received also contains self-discipline. This means you have the power to turn an offense into an act of love. It takes self-control to withhold vengeance and retribution. If you respond to an unmerciful act as the world would, you loose an opportunity to shine the love of God on a situation. It is at such moments that you must call on the POWER of the Spirit.
God commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous. He also told him to not be terrified or discouraged. This is hard for humans, especially when we face foes the size of giants. God told Joshua, “The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” This applies to us as well. We do not need to be terrified when enemies approach us, as God is standing right beside us. When you return an unkind act with one of love, do not be discouraged if you do not see a change. The change may be happening on the inside where only God can observe and care for it.
Fear is a snare the enemy uses to hinder the work of God. Proverbs 29:25 warns us about fearing man. By trusting in God, we will always be kept safe. If we are led to speak or minister to a person in power, we should not let their position stop us from doing what the Lord is asking of us. By trusting in His power, we will be kept safe. He is not a respecter of man or of position since He is the one who gave us the position in the first place.
To review, let us remember that the enemy uses fear to hinder that which God asks of us. We have been COMMANDED by God to be courageous and to not get discouraged. Love is greater than faith and hope, and is a tool all believers should be using to win their “enemies” to Christ. It is the enemy who trembles at the mere mention of the name of Jesus. With God’s power, we are equipped with self-control, which enables us to respond to hateful acts with love.
Let this be my encouragement to you today dear friends; love your neighbors as yourself. Extend the love of Christ to all around you and pray for your enemies. Do not let hardship, grief, or pain hinder God’s command to love with His supernatural love, which is implanted inside of you.
Proverbs 29:25 (NIV) Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.
Matthew 5:44-45 (NIV) But here is what I tell you. Love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you. Then you will be sons of your Father who is in heaven.
Joshua 1:9 (NIV) Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV) And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.