Friends – Part 2

Friends

In the same way that you cling to the need for protection from enemies (even though they cannot hurt the son or daughter of the Father in His realm of sovereign power), you also cling to the need for significance and affection from friends. This need is rooted in the fear of loss, which isn’t true love. There is no fear in love.

There is perhaps nothing more damaging than fear of loss masquerading as love. Such “love” only enables fear while true love remains hiding.

How can you love your husband or wife when you need them to be a certain way in order to feel secure? If they don’t offer the security or honor you think you deserve from them, you feel wounded. Wounding is what you fear.

Then the one you loved becomes a monster in your house and you feel compelled to either “help” them change (to fulfill your desire for honor and security), or you feel compelled to protect yourself from them – because they’ve become your enemy.

This doesn’t mean you must subject yourself to the physical abuse of another – if necessary remove your hand from that fire. But do so in love, not fear or condemnation.

Truly, most of what we call love is a little more than addictive clinging. The affection of another person makes us feel good about ourselves, much like a drug that comforts and makes us feel secure. When that person fails us, we get angry at the one we thought we loved.

To call your addictive clinging love is an error. As Yeshua made plain, the true measure of love is how well you love someone when they dishonor you, not when the demonstrate love to you. True love is not provoked now keeps any record of wrongs, as Paul made so clear. There is no fear of loss in love, because love doesn’t seek its own needs.

This is why Yeshua insists that you must hold of no account your neediness in all of your closest relationships. Hear Him: If you do not hate (hold of no account) father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – even your own life – you cannot be my disciple.

Some have said that Yeshua means we should love God more than we love others, but these aren’t His words. Indeed, sanitizing His words only strips the power from His teaching. He uses the strongest possible terms without comparison – that is, “to hold of no account,” which is the meaning of hate.

Think about any romantic relationship you’ve had or have. Isn’t it true that your partner holds you to account? They expect you to be a certain way in order to satisfy their desire for honor, completion, or significance. As long as their expectations are met and you “love” or honor them as the wish to be “loved” and honored, they are pleased. They have their drug and their addiction is satiated.

But if you fail to meet your partner’s expectations in some way, they feel dissatisfied or unappreciated or let down. At times you will surely feel like enemies to each other.

The same is true of your own expectations of them.

Why do you feel so wounded when your partner fails you? Because you have placed your hope in them and they have let you down. You have inadvertently turned them into a god, thinking your relationship with them will save you. When they then fail to meet your expectation s, your identity is crushed. You feel lost, abandoned, unloved.

You see, you are searching for your meaning and your identity in a relationship by holding the closest to you to account. And you are calling this love. Yeshua says no. This is not what it means to follow the Way of love in Him.

Rather, love them by holding them of no account (hate) and by expecting nothing in return. By turning the other cheek in your heart rather than resisting them, just as you would an enemy. By loving them, even if they persecute you. And if you must, remove yourself from the situation just like you would remove your hand from the fire. But do so in love, without condemnation or holding record of wrong. The love you find in yourself by following these teachings of Yeshua will stagger you.

Your partner does not define you in the least. You only share a part of this life with that person, and you do so as the son or daughter of God whose identity is firmly rooted in Yeshua alone.

So then, be who you are. Love yourself and your neighbor and your enemy and your children and your partner in this way.

Love your friends, for you are now friend of Yeshua, your elder brother, in whom your identity is now made certain.

Imagine being accepted and truly loved exactly as you are at all times by your partner or friends, no matter what you do or don’t do. Now imagine your acceptance of them in the same way and focus on this latter state of being.

In such an ideal manifestation of love through the power of the Holy Spirit, no matter what they did, you would look at them without blame, feeling unprovoked and keep no record of wrong. What love you would then offer your partner, yourself and the world. How invulnerable you would be, in the world but not of it.

You would hold no record of wrong when they broke their promise to you, in the same way your Father holds no account of your wrong when you, like the prodigal, turn from Him so many times each day.

You would not be annoyed by them. You would not secretly wish they looked different, or were more appreciative, or were more honoring of you or made more money. You would simply love them, seeing beyond your need for them to be or not be a certain way.

And that is the end of part 2 to my writing from Ted Dekker….

It’s a hard thing… It really is. Especially if you are so use to being let down. Little things that wouldn’t bother most people bother you because there’s so much fear built up into you and even when you think you have it under control and you think you’ve dealt with it, it still creeps us and the flesh begins screaming at us telling us “Remember!” or “It should be this way!” and when we listen, it drives us into a place we cannot turn back from. We are stuck until we find a way out and all the while doubts begin to flood our minds and lies start to plague us and then we seek help and the help is good, but it only causes turmoil in our minds because we argue with ourselves because we then fear we are trying to reason out of what we are afraid of and make it not so, but then we fear if we reason out of it, it is only going to cause more damage. More fear. More hurt and heartache… And it sucks… It sucks being stuck in that position. I know.

But if we can learn to hold someone of no account little things won’t disturb us so and we’ll see more clearly. But we must not let the flesh sway us. We must trust in our identity in Yeshua. And no I’m not the best at this. I struggle with it. Not near as bad as I use to. But it’s still a struggle. Sometimes I wonder if it’s because I can hold friends of no account or if it’s because my past hurt has wrecked me… Maybe a little bit of both?

Anyway, y’all have a Fantastic Christmas and I’ll write to you soon!

God Bless,

Jessica

 

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Enemies – Part 1

I’m breaking this down into two parts, one dealing with Enemies and the other dealing with friends. This is not my writing, but excerpts from Ted Dekker’s book, “The Forgotten Way.” When I came across this, as Ted Dekker’s work does, it astounded me. It raised some questions that I am now seeking answers to, and hopefully I will get to share with you soon. But nonetheless it is right. Am I perfect with it, no… No I’m not. I can only work on continuing to seek my identity of who I truly am…

 

Think of what troubles you in this life time and time again. At the root you will find one of two things, both grounded in fear: One, someone (including yourself) who has offended you, so you feel and fear harm. Two, Someone whose love you cherish, so you fear loss.

We will call those who have or might offend us enemies, and those whose love we cherish, friends. The offense of enemies you count as evil. The love of friends you count as good. But both of these enslave you equally, as you will see…

Enemies

Enemies come in two basic guises: the enemy in yourself and the enemy in others. Ultimately they’re the same. Both fuel your fear of being harmed. Thus you set about trying to control your world by protecting yourself from them or overcoming them.

The enemy within yourself might be an addiction to food or another substance or activity. It might be your body, which doesn’t look or function the way you want it to, or your need for more money. When battling yourself, you go to great lengths to fix what you perceive as the problem, always fretting when you fail and rejoicing when you seem to win for a while. Then another issue crops up, throwing you back into an endless cycle of striving and self-loathing. Soon your body dies, leaving nothing but dust to speak for all your efforts.

The enemy outside yourself might be a neighbor, or someone who used to be a friend, or a monster who harmed you or threatened you. When dealing with such enemies, you build up walls to protect yourself, or you attack in self-defense.

Whether within or outside, your only true enemy is fear, because fear is what throws you into misery.

Remember once again Yeshua’s teaching about the storm. While crossing a sea known for its ferocious weather, Yeshua fell asleep on the boat. When a storm came up, His disciples cowered in the face of the waves and lightning. They woke Yeshua, who looked about at the raging sea and asked what might seem to be an absurd question: Why are you afraid?

What? Are you mad? Look! The waves are sure to take our lives!

To which the master surely smiled and gently shook his head. Oh you of little faith, He said to the disciples. And then to the chaos of the wind and rain: Peace, be still.

Was Yeshua a madman? God forbid. Instead He knew to ask that one question that will lead you to the greatest freedom you can experience in this life. Why are you afraid?

You fear only because your belief (faith) is in your old flesh-and-bone self (system of the world) rather than in your true identity in the kingdom of heaven. In the system of the world, the body must be protected; in Yeshua it doesn’t matter if the storm takes your flesh and bone, because your true self is spirit. Your body, however wondrous it might be, is only your costume for a short while.

Yeshua’s answer for overcoming this world of enemies is two-fold. First, let go of your earthen vessel, which you see as threatened. Take up the cross each day and see that you are risen as the son, the daughter of the Father.

Then, offer your world of enemies love. Do good to those who hate you. Do not judge or resist the evil man. Except nothing in return… and you will be the sons of the Most High. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?

Whatever you resist will offer you its own resistance. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. You must know that to live by this system of defensiveness is to be enslaved by it, and it offers only death.

We will call this system living by the sword, though that sword be wielded in the heart or by tongue. If your heart lives by the sword it lives in misery, which is its own kind of death.

So instead of resisting the evil man, turn your cheek. Accept and offer the world what it longs for – Love.

Truly, loving those who love you requires no revelation in Christ.

As Yeshua said, if you love someone who loves you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. Only in loving those who persecute and hate you can you know you have found true love, which is the evidence of your true nature in Christ.

If you do this, you will be the sons of the Most High.

Yeshua did not say you will become the sons of God. He said you will BE the sons of God. Why? Because this is the kind of love expressed by the son, the daughter, of the Father. Loving this way is the only way to be who you truly are, already complete in Yeshua.

In the same way, rather than struggle in vein against your own self-abuse and self-hatred, accept yourself as you are. Offer yourself the Father’s love. When you then love yourself as the Father loves you, the behavior and addictions that express themselves as self-abuse will fall away.

If this teaching strikes alarm in you, you know that the deception you live in must feel alarm. Your old mind knows that it’s facing its own death, because you are now aware of its tricks, rooted in a lie.

Truly, it is that lie that brings you great fear in the storms called enemy.

No more. Let the lie die. Do not be afraid. Believe insead in Yeshua and your identity in Him. Have faith in Yeshua, and be saved from the storms of this life. Rest in your power through Him to accept and love rather than to resist and attack.

God Bless,

Jessica