Read His Words Before Ours!
Beloved, the world can be a hard place.
It’s full of disappointment and brokenness and cruelty and just plain hurt. In it, we face an enemy who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. One powerful weapon in his arsenal is lying. In fact, he’s called the Father of Lies. So when we bump up against the sharp edges of this world, he’s right there, ready to rubber-stamp our wounded spirits with false labels.
Labels that can steal our joy, kill our hope, and destroy our courage to pursue the purposes of God for our lives. Unless we find a way to fight back, and find victory despite the battle.
Consider our sister-at-arms, the Beloved in Song of Solomon. All too familiar with the hardness of the world, she faced derision from her family, injustice in her work, and scorn from her community. From where, then, does she find the confidence to proclaim,
“Dark I am, yet lovely”?
Where does she acquire the depth of understanding to acknowledge her hurt and scars, to see past those false labels, and to revel in the beauty within her?
Where does she draw her victory?
I believe it is from the heart of her Bridegroom.
From a deep and boundless love, whispered in healing words of truth.
The enemy calls her
Her Lover calls her
A lily among thorns.
A precious beloved who has captured his heart.
Sweet friend, His tender song is for you, too.
As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for you.
So great that many waters cannot quench it, and rivers cannot overwhelm it.
So great that He laid down His life for you, His friend.
So great that death itself couldn’t keep Him from providing a way to eternity together.
Let the truth of these words and the enormity of His love saturate your spirit.
And then, dear sister, fight well in this battle that is not against flesh and blood!
Love drove Jesus’s ministry: having soaked in the wonder of His affection for us, let our actions and our words be motivated by His love for the world around us.
Because sometimes, Beloved, it’s hard to hear His voice.
Some people we encounter have yet to meet their Bridegroom, and don’t know the truth of His love. Others are walking in the first, fresh days of relationship with Him, just beginning to discover His words and recognize His voice. And there are those of us who know Him well, understand the abundance of His love, and still lose His whispers in the clamor of this hard world.
In those moments of intense battle, lean in to the Body of Christ, seek out deep community and allow others to live out His love towards you. Let love draw your fractured attention from the hurt back to the tender gaze of your Bridegroom. Open your ears and your hearts to His still, small voice. Falling back in cadence with our Lover, we can find that sweet victory once again. I know, because it’s happened to me: three recent emissaries spring to mind. The first was a complete stranger; the second, a good friend; and the third, my husband. In each situation, I couldn’t see beyond the spiteful labels of the enemy:
I was entangled in condemnation and hopelessness,
until someone in the Body chose,
not just to think, but also to speak
healing affirmation into my place of pain.
When they chose to step outside of themselves, it was like watching a flower bloom through time-lapse photography:
the tightly clenched petals of my spirit began to unfurl.
My heart blossomed in the sunshine of His truth, spoken in love.
Around the same time, my daughter drove home the pivotal importance of choosing to speak the love of the Father. While playing, she dropped a toy. Nothing was broken: all she had to do was pick it up and keep playing. But as she bent to retrieve it, she sighed and dejectedly murmured, “I’m horrible.” And my world screeched to a halt. “How could she possibly think that?” my stunned mind asked.
Well, it’s pretty simple; the enemy doesn’t discriminate.
He’s an equal-opportunity accuser.
In that moment, his voice was whispering condemnation in her ear.
If her Father’s love was going to drown out the enemy’s lies in this battle, truth needed to be spoken in a way she could accept. She needed me, as her sister in Christ, to capture her full attention and deliberately choose to speak love into her. If my sweet girl is going to win the spiritual battles around her, I have an obligation to act.
Bury yourself in His words of love, dear friend.
Let them be as springtime upon your soul.
And then look outside of yourself.
See the sister who is locked in desperate combat with the enemy’s lying accusations,
and choose to act.
Let’s be victorious!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!