Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.1
Its not uncommon for a predator to chase after a bunch of animals hoping that one will leave the protection of the herd. I think the enemy does the same with me.2 He hounds and shakes me to see if I will leave the foot of Christ; he’s hoping I will forsake peace and protection.
He wants me to slip into his realm to devour me. He entices me with lies and fabrications to draw me away from God, my comforter and deliverer. I’ve bought the lies he’s selling and even auto-renew my subscriptions.
When God reveals truth to me the enemy tries to push me out of balance. Love is not my nature so it is natural for me to apply truth without love. Truth without love buffets me creating stress and anxiety.
Simply knowing I’m a sinner is not the same as knowing it and receiving the love that covers the multitude of my sins.3 4 5 Condemnation is familiar to me and, like an old friend, I welcome it.
Unconditional love remains so foreign to me that it is hard to believe it exists outside of a dream. When I experience unconditional love, I have all kinds of excuses to make it conform to my understanding preventing me from receiving the truth and discovering the nature of love.
There are many sources of conditional love. Conditional love does not satisfy, it does not bring life, it holds people in servitude and slavery. Conditional love is selfish demanding: “do for me or else”.
Unconditional love ~ agape love simply lives out, “I’ll die for you regardless”.6
Until I can fully accept unconditional love there is no freedom for me. I am holding myself in bondage. I have believed an alternate gospel with an alternate savior and remain in the realm of the enemy.
This is where I find myself. I am stuck and under the constant attack of condemnation. My hope to be loved is deferred and my heart is sick.7 Why have I disqualified myself from God’s unfailing love expressed on the cross by His only begotten Son Jesus? Do I stand in judgment withholding love?
My Prayer: God, I confess holding judgment and allowing bitterness to grow in my heart. I forgive and release myself and those whom I have judged. I confess my unwillingness to love. Please heal my unbelief that unconditional love exists and help me receive it by faith. Please help me to live in it and extend it to everyone I meet.
Please help me God. Remove the wall that separates me from You. I am dying without You. I have one foot in the grave; I am desperate for You. I am wasting away. I’m exhausted and weak, I’ve reached the end, I cannot go on.
My sins are always before me. My heart is hard like flint. Please have compassion on me and extend your mercy. Please soften my heart and bring conviction that I may confess all my sins in agreement with You. Please reveal the Way to me, lead me in Truth that I may take hold of the Life that is Your Son, Jesus.
Please God do not delay. Remember the purposes for which You created me. Do not give up on me.
I am on the road to destruction. I have discounted the sacrifice of the cross. Please God intervene and remove my sin and my shame. Please have mercy on me. Amen.