Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Do Not Be Overcome! The Power of Receiving Love

"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:21)

"...In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (words of Jesus, John 16:33)

It is no secret that life is hard. We can get pretty beat up living down here. I've shared my disappointments, and I know you've had yours, too. My turning point came when I decided not to take it lying down any more. I was ready to trade in my self-pity and victim mentality. If the Bible teaches me to overcome evil with good, then I want to fill my arsenal with all the good that He will give me. I know for certain God does not want me to fight evil all by my lonesome with my own makeshift weapons. Rubber bands and balls of paper aren't going to cut it. I need the real deal.
 I need a Barrett M107 Sniper Rifle. This baby makes an AK-47 look like a popgun. Just trust me on this. I have sources.

So what exactly are these weapons of good--these overcomers of evil? And how do we get them? I'm so glad you asked! God has been teaching me some things I can do to overcome evil. They are not your typical weapons, but I'm learning that's par for the course when you follow Jesus. I love how His words and ways always seemed to perplex those who were trying desperately to catch Him in some misdeed. His answers to our toughest questions are not always what we want or expect them to be, but they are always so perfectly fitting to our situations.

I know there are more than seven weapons available to us, but these just happen to be the ones He has been talking to me about. These are the ones that have moved me to the offensive side. And they are helping to release His healing in my mind, my emotions, and my relationships. I am an overcomer with these weapons! 

Love is the first weapon Jesus gave me. It is really the foundation for everything else He has given. Receiving love from God must happen first for any of the other weapons to work right.
Love doesn't sound like much of a weapon, does it? It sounds warm and fuzzy and cute. It sounds like a bunch of bunnies hopping around a meadow full of buttercups. But real love--the God kind of love--is strong and powerful. And learning how to receive His love is changing everything for me. It is a most powerful weapon for overcoming adversity.

But why is love so powerful?

One reason is because it is the number one cure for fear. There simply is no better remedy around. Remember my run-in with this old enemy? I hate fear's guts. It has kept me awake at night. It has stolen my joy. It has made me dread my future. It has rendered me useless to accomplish much of anything.

 "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear..."(1John 4:18). Love drives out fear! That sounds like a weapon to me. So, I cannot be both full of love and full of fear. This simple little fact is very comforting to me. If I focus on being full of God's love, I don't need to even give fear another thought. You are simply not worth my time, fear. You are not a friend to me, and I am done with you.

Another winning attribute of love is that it covers. You know the rock, paper, scissors game? Paper beats rock because it covers and smothers it, right? In this game, we could pretend that the rock is our sin and pain; love is the paper. Proverbs 12:12 says, "Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs." Love beats all the bad stuff! This is completely wonderful. God's love is expressed to us in His son, Jesus, and this love covers over all my sins and failures. And all the wrongs done to me? Covered. He's got it covered. Nothing is too horrible to be touched by His love. Do you think this is as fabulous as I do? His love thrills me. 

So, how do we go about receiving His love in our daily lives? I'm glad you asked. One morning as I was wrestling with my list of disappointments, trying to pin it to the floor once again without success, I felt the Lord speaking to my spirit, "Look at it from My point of view." And in that moment I saw how sad it makes Him when I turn my back on his open hands.

I want to be careful not to humanize God, because He is perfect, but He is not without emotion! The Bible is full of evidence of His emotions toward us. This particular morning I imagined what it would be like to give a gift to someone I loved. The gift was a great sacrifice to me, but I offered it willingly because I loved this person so much. But she wouldn't take the gift. She looked at my outstretched arms, the gift in my hands, the love in my eyes, and she turned around and went back to what she was doing. What sorrow I would feel if this really happened! 
The Passion of the Christ
This sorrow is real for the Lord and is multiplied many times over when we reject His love for us. We may even think we are being noble or humble in turning Him down. We may think we can save Him from wasting His love on us, so unworthy are we to receive it. But this simply isn't true! Jesus died for us while we were still sinners. It's too late for us to escape God's love. He already did it. He already loved us. Too late! Try as I might, I just can't make Him not love me. But I can choose not to receive His love. 

The flip side of this, is that you and I can be active receivers of His love. I decided in that moment that I didn't want to be a passive lover anymore. It's no fun being in a relationship with a passive lover. When we love someone, the give and take makes it exciting. My husband loves it when I respond to him. And that's all I will say about that, because this blog is rated G. But God loves it when we respond to His love! And He responds to our responding. And so it goes. Giving and receiving. Back and forth. And this is a called a relationship. Duh, Rachelle! It's so simple, it almost sounds stupid to write it out like this.

By: earl53 at
But I realized how little time I had actually spent just loving and being loved by Him. So here's how I do it. This is my big secret to receiving God's love: I tell Him that I do. That's it. I wake up in the morning and I say, "Lord, You have so much love for me today, and I'm taking it. Go ahead and fill me up. It's mine, so I'll have it. And I'm so thankful. And Lord...I love you back. With the love you give me, I love you right back. Let Your love spill out of me onto the people you put in my path today." And do you know, He loves this! He just wants us to believe Him. When we tell Him that we'll take the love He has for us, it shows Him that we believe His love for us is really real. This is faith! Faith pleases Him. And He responds to our faith with even more goodness. It's overwhelming, I tell you.

So that's it. It all seems too simple to be true. But it is true. I certainly don't want to simplify or minimize any problems you may be facing right now. I know how tangled up things can get. But when I am feeling overwhelmed by life, I find the simplicity of Jesus refreshing and so comforting. Do you remember what Jesus said to Jairus when some people told him his daughter was dead? Mark 5 says that Jesus ignored them and said to Jairus, "Don't be afraid; just believe." Just five little words, and yet aren't they powerful?

If you have been struggling with something that has you feeling overwhelmed or afraid, I want to encourage you to believe that your Creator loves you. Don't be afraid. Just believe. Get active in receiving His love for you. Tell Him that you want it. Tell Him you'll take it and thank Him for it. It's yours! It's free! Ask Him to fill you to overflowing with His love. Say, "I am full of the perfect love of God," and pretty soon you're not gonna know what to do with all the love.

Watch out evil. We're overcoming! Weapon number 2 is coming soon.


  1. OK dear lady, I've done what I promised to do... I've sat down in front of my computer 5 hours ago and read everyone of your blogs! Not because I promised to do so... NO! Well, the promise I made to you was the motivation to start... but I was not prepared for the addicting honesty, humor, reallifeness (See, I can make up words too!). Your words are refreshing in a stale world, colorful and vivid reminders of a creative & loving God. Thanks for ministering to me and all whom you share your life with. I am a blessed man to consider you & Bob friends. I can't wait for the next post... sounds like you got your boots on and loaded for bear! You do have boots... don't you?

  2. Jerry, you little stinker! You somehow manage to work boots into every interaction we have, don't you? Thank you for your sweet words to me. I can't believe you read it all at once!

  3. I hate fear's guts too. And I like that you put it that way. I imagine it as a nasty little demon wringing it's hands waiting to attack and I kick it in the head with God's strength in me. It flies across the room and splats on the wall and it's guts ooze out and then God's beauty and glory zap it and vaporize it and there is nothing left not even a mark of where it's green slimy guts had splattered my nice white wall. I love it when God vaporizes stuff. I especially love it that He loves me. And you. And everybody!



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