by Christian author, Pola Muzyka
Is there a stronghold keeping us from loving someone or some group? Jesus set us free from it. That means we are free to love, too.This needs to be clear. If we are set free, then there is no stronghold that can keep a true believer from loving unconditionally.
Being set free means total freedom. Why are we still putting conditions on our love? These conditions are strongholds. The if‘[condition] is in us–in our thoughts, sometimes our actions, and our fruits. In other words, “If the person is inside the parameters of my condition [stronghold], then I will love them.” That’s not following Jesus.
Were the Jewish High Priests within the parameters of God”s love when they crucified Jesus? Didn’t Jesus say, “Father, forgive them”? Luke 23:34a Do you think he just meant the soldiers who beat him, slammed nails into his body, and jammed a sword into his side? No. He meant everyone. Even them.
A stronghold that is not the stronghold of God keeps our blessings out and keep us prisoners of whatever sinful [demonic] thought we harbor. That stronghold that we harbor needs to be smashed. It is unloving [unforgiving] and will prevent us from being forgiven.
1. Repent of any condition [stronghold] that prevented or prevents you from loving someone or some group.
Mark 11:26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings.
2. Ask God for His loving Spirit. The next time you’re tempted to judge or put up conditions to your love, go to God.
1 John 3:9-11 (GW)9Those who have been born from God don’t live sinful lives. What God has said lives in them, and they can’t live sinful lives. They have been born from God. 10This is the way God’s children are distinguished from the devil’s children. Everyone who doesn’t do what is right or love other believers isn’t God’s child. 11The message that you have heard from the beginning is to love each other.
3. Reject any thought that [judges] sets itself up against the word or will of God.
Hebrews 1:9 You have loved righteousness [You have delighted in integrity, virtue, and uprightness in purpose, thought, and action] and You have hated lawlessness (injustice and iniquity). Therefore God, [even] Your God (Godhead), has anointed You with the oil of exultant joy and gladness above and beyond Your companions.
4. Find a reason to love the person or group you are tempted to resent [hate]. We all have failures and shortcomings. If we were perfect, God would not have had to sacrifice his only begotten son for us.
Mark 11:25 And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop.
5. Choose to love freely. Don’t love just because a person or group seems important. True love sees no restrictions. I find it helpful to first love out of obedience to God, because of my love for God, and then to find a reason why God would love that person or group.
James 2:8-9 (GW) 8You are doing right if you obey this law from the highest authority: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” 9If you favor one person over another, you’re sinning, and this law convicts you of being disobedient.
1 John 4:19 (AMP) 19We love Him, because He first loved us.
6. Check yourself. When you think of, or see, the person or group, how do you feel? If your feeling is not loving, start the process over again. Even God, who has a right to, doesn’t pre-judge someone [before the time].
1 Corinthians 4:5 (AMP) So do not make any hasty or premature judgments before the time when the Lord comes [again], for He will both bring to light the secret things that are [now hidden] in darkness and disclose and expose the [secret] aims (motives and purposes) of hearts. Then every man will receive his [due] commendation from God.