Love is war

love is war

There I was…

Staring at the phone, looking at all the numbers I needed to dial. As I began dialing, fear swept over me like a cold chill flowing off a frozen day. I knew that I needed to make amends for the lies I told, for the people I hurt and let down, for the wrong I’ve done. However, the dreaded feeling of rejection, retaliation, and more importantly, shame arose in my heart. I swear, I could hear my heart beating inside my head at a thousand beats per min.

I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for Christ living inside me, I would have never made those calls. I would have never had the guts to confess and ask for forgiveness. It wasn’t easy, I had to wrestle with myself, I had to repeatedly force myself to dial those numbers, speak apologetic, be remorseful. I basically waged war with my heart in order to avoid what was right to live for what was wrong. In the end…

 the spirit won…
 Christ won…
 my heart won…

We all face battles like this in our lives from time to time. We know what must be done in order to correct a situation, to mend a broken heart, to set the record straight. Yet, we do everything within our ability to run from the problem. We allow dread, fear, anxiety to rule in our hearts and lives. We fear the failure of our efforts and resort to fleeing from the true matters of the heart. We lose confidence in the one who created us…

who loves us…
who redeemed us…
who restored us…

The scriptures has many names for the creator of this world. It calls him Father, Creator, Most High, Name Above All Names, Lion of Judah, Perfect Lamb, Prince of Peace, I am, etc. These name mirror the characteristics of who God is. God can be all of these things all the time. He never strays from who he is, what he desires, and how he feels. Another description for the creator is love…

Love was in the beginning…
Love is in the middle…
Love will be in the end…

Humanity has a difficult time recognizing true love when we see it. We go chasing after it in all the wrong places, hoping that whatever we find, will satisfy our every desire. We are only then left with the empty feeling of regret, broken hearted, fear, dread, etc. When we take our eyes off the one who created us to be in love, to feel love, and to give love, we lose sight of who we are. Our confidence in situations where we’re required to be strong, not withdrawing, to persevere will only wilt as we give into the fear of failure.

The beauty of this is that this same creator, this same God, this same Lord will not stop at anything to get you to see you need him. He is relentless in his pursuit, passionate in his love, radical in his investing. This same God is willing to wait, willing to move, even willing to wrestle with you to bring you back to his…

Back to his love…
Back to his care…
Back to his embrace…

The bible tells us a story of man who had dealt with the very things I mentioned above. This man had lied to his father in order to receive a blessing that was not his to take. This man has misled his uncle to steal from him. On his journey, this man was to encounter his brother, whom he assumed was still pretty angry about him stealing the blessing that was rightfully his. Jacob, on the road to the promised land, would have an encounter with love & fear.

The scriptures tell us that as Jacob was alone after getting his family across the river, a man began to wrestle him. This man proved to be a mighty challenge to Jacob. They wrestled all the way to day break and when the dawn was upon this them, this man realized that Jacob was no push over, so he made his hip dislocate. Jacob does not cease the fight, he preserves and continues to wrestle with this man.

We later read that the very man that Jacob had this encounter with was God. The prophet Hosea tells us that this man was an angel (Hosea 12:5) of the Lord. So Jacob wrestled a supernatural being on a random day, in a random moment, for a random reason? There is much more that is at play here, much more than what meets the eye. For God is not random, nor are his actions. With God, there is purpose, there is reason, there is a rhythm.

Jacob sent his family across the river so that he could be alone and pray to God for the coming events which would take place in his life very soon. He was fearful of his brother’s wrath, fearful of his uncle Laban’s anger, fearful of the position he put himself in. God, being ever so present, ever so wise allows Jacob to wrestle with him (angel) to restore Jacob faith in God. Jacob had forgotten who created him, who lead him, who redeemed him from the wilderness. God was allowing Jacob to fight to restore confidence in him who gives confidence.

Jacob doesn’t give up either. Jacob is persistent till the end. Even after the angel dislocated his hip, Jacob finally sees the point in all this and continues to wage war with this being, this man, this fear, this doubt, this faith, this God, this love…

Love never quits…
Love never fails…
Love never dies…

In our hearts, we must be willing to wage war for love, to see true love. We must be willing to fight against all odds, run the difficult race, stand firm in our beliefs. Had Jacob simply gave up, there would have been no nation, no chosen people, no royal priesthood. God’s chosen people would have never came into existence. If we desire to find our true love, we must be willing to wage war for love. I am not talking about the kind of war where people die, souls are lost, children are fatherless, motherless. I am talking about the kind of war that saves lives, that keeps parents in the home, that makes men of integrity, women of modesty, churches who champion the cause of Christ, people who speak the gospel in grace and truth.

We must be willing to wage war for love. When we are willing love beyond this world, what we are essentially doing, is bring heaven on earth. When we live our lives in the name of love, we can conquer fear, doubt, anxiety, loneliness, broken heartedness, sickness, sadness, sinful desires, etc.

In order to find love, we must wage war within ourselves. Jacob sees this when the man tells him that his “name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” Jacob was at war within himself, with his flesh, with the sins in his life. At the end, he sees that he can only win with the help of God. Nothing else can win, Nothing else can give him strength, Nothing else matters. Jacob realizes that true love is found in God, and in God he can defeat anything that tries to stop him from finding love.

May you forever and always relentlessly pursue Love in Christ…
May you always trust in Christ to give you power over the darkness…
May you know that your heart has been won in battle…
May you wage war for the truest of loves, That which is in Christ Jesus.

 

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