October 04, 2015
Deal in Love
Tonight may find some of you at the end of your rope. You've tried everything to convince an unsaved loved one to come to the Lord, but he or she just wouldn't listen. You may even have begun a new set of prayers: "Lord, deal with Fred! Hit him over the head! Knock his feet out from under him! Make him come to the end of himself, so he'll turn to You." The flaw in this approach is that it seldom works. Don't misunderstand me, God does use conviction and His spirit of repentance to turn people around, but rarely do people turn to the Lord because they've been punished before they knew Him. Look at the children of Israel. They were God's people, and yet, because their hearts were hard, His hand had little effect.
A great number of people who keep their distance from God do so out of fear of punishment! Deep down they know they are guilty of sin, and seeing God only as a brutal judge, hide from Him. They are being ruled by fear. The Word says, "There is no fear in love - dread does not exist; but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and (so) he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love..." (1 John 4:18, AMP).
Perhaps God would have your "Deal with him" prayers take a different turn. Instead of concentrating on premature punishment, focus on seeing your loved one delivered from fear, so that he can taste the true love of God.
God loves you and wants to answer your prayer. Say this prayer with me:
Heavenly Father, I praise You that everything happens in Your perfect order. Don't let me pray for the wrong thing. Stop me from praying for divine discipline if You desire to prepare (name of loved one) for a time of love. Let Your perfect love cast out all fear from his heart. Use me, if You will, but let him see You as the loving God You are! In Jesus' Name, Amen.