Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Loving Well: Excerpt from Soul Cries devotional

I have been thinking about how fear impacts our ability to love well.  As I was thinking about this, Mother Teresa came to mind.  She knew how to love well.  There was no fear in her heart, nothing that caused her to protect her portion or try to maintain the status quo; rather, she was filled with courage-- the courage to love well, to love generously, love abundantly. 

Meditate with me...

Excerpt from Soul Cries devotional, copyright Regan 2012
2 Timothy 1:7 (Amplified Bible)

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of a calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.

When we ask God to enter our lives, He comes and abides in us. We become the living temple of God; His very Spirit lives in us. But the Spirit we are given is not the spirit of fear. You may have felt the spirit of fear surround you and ask to make a home in you. The problem is that the spirit of fear robs us of the gifts God’s spirit gives us. Fear takes away our power and leaves us cowering and hiding, and we gradually become smaller and smaller. We begin taking up less and less space in the world; we become invisible and isolated. Fear takes away our ability to love well. We become concerned with holding on to what we have, with maintaining the status quo, and with protecting our portion. We become unable to extend beyond ourselves, to give generously, to honor others, to covenant in relationships, and give to the community. Fear leaves us thinking of ourselves rather than others. Fear takes away our peace of mind, our groundedness, and our security in Christ. We are left drifting in the waves, our minds filled with “what ifs” and “oh, nos.”

God’s Spirit gives us power: power to stand and to move, and power to proclaim freedom to prisoners, to speak healing to the sick, and to declare life over the dead places. God’s Spirit gives us the ability to love well, to love abundantly, flowing over, unceasing. God’s Spirit brings deep peace and rest to our minds. When our thoughts agree with God’s thoughts, we know unity and intimacy with God.

1. Have you felt the spirit of fear? Have you given it a place to live within you? How has fear reduced the abundance that you are meant to experience in God?

2. How can you say no to fear every day? What practical steps can you take to live without fear, but instead with power, love, and peace of mind?