2018 Fasting Guide – Day Twenty
LOVE YOUR SELF
Love as described in the Bible is quite different from the love espoused by the world. Biblical love is selfless and unconditional, whereas the world’s love is characterized by selfishness. In the following passages, we see that love does not exist apart from God, and that true love can only be experienced by one who has experienced God’s own love firsthand.
1 John 4:16–19 NKJV
Jesus’ sacrifice perfected the needed sacrifice forever and we are recipients of being new. Brand new—and therefore, we can live a new way of life.
Hebrews 10:15-17 NKJV
We have come under a new governmental rule. We are to live from the law of the Spirit that governs us and is written on our hearts. The Church—a living organism—came under a new governmental position the ultimate invitation from God. Not just for reconciling mankind to Himself, but to reconcile His original intentions and results from that relationship. God was inviting mankind—that incudes you and me—into His sanctifying presence. You see, no one knows how bad we are, the mistakes we have made, the regrets we have carried, or the things that have been done against us, like we do.
We often don’t want to admit it or talk about it, but we all struggle with who we are because we believe what others have imposed upon us. Or we believe that we have done things that make us unable to be as powerful as others. But you see, though you may believe that, God doesn’t. The minute you accept Jesus Christ as Lord, everything is covered in His blood and you have been made brand new.
You are not to think the same way or operate the same way ever again. Your identity that God has planned for you, and designed specifically for you, has suddenly come back into proper position. We were never intended to be ruled by darkness. Once the light has shown upon our hearts we are able to be different and be the difference for others. Suddenly Jesus enables us to fully receive God and His love, so that we not only can love ourselves, but we can be an extension of His love and demonstration of His power to the rest of the world.
The problem is, though we are forgiven, the hardest person to forgive and love is ourselves. I remember when I kept praying that God would forgive me for the same things because I was so ashamed of ever doing anything against Him. I just couldn’t get past my own memories. Every time I thought of it, I would cringe … and repent. One day, while doing this again, God asked me, “Are you better than Me?” I said “No, of course not. Why would you ask me that God?” And He responded, “If you won’t forgive yourself, you are putting yourself higher than Me because I forgave you and I forgot it. So throw all of that into the sea of my Son’s blood and watch it sink and never talk to Me about … it again. If satan reminds you, remind him of this day and that all is gone and forgotten.”
I did just that, and I was able to love ME. Because the new me was loved and forgiven. I didn’t deserve it—no one does. But we can’t love God the way He wants us and we can’t love others the way He needs us to, if we don’t embrace God’s abiding love for us to because of Jesus’ sacrifice. And He gave us additional help. God’s plan was for His children to be aware of His power from the inside out.
When He unleashed the consuming fire of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Acts Chapter 2) to the believers who had gathered, waiting for the promise of the Spirit, this fire would not only fall upon them, but it would consume all of their past. It would consume all of their doubts and all of their past false identity. Doubting Thomas was no longer doubting Jesus! Instead, he became alive with the same power that raised Christ from the dead! Peter who had denied Christ, lost sight of his shame, and became a bold witness of truth who preached to the city of people and touched their hearts so deeply. Thousands accepted Christ that very day! The disciples were bold and powerful and changed cities and nations, because the power of God caused them to love themselves again. Their God-given identity was intact. Therefore, nothing was impossible to them.
And nothing is impossible for us! God’s people have the opportunity to be consumed by the same fire of the Spirit and have a personal reality of all that was accomplished by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. With Him, we received the ability to not only love Him, but to know we are so loved and so made clean that we can enjoy our new identity. Since we can also be filled with the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, we can participate in fulfilling the highest and most exciting mandate—which is to establish the Kingdom of God on earth.
His love is enough to flow through us and defeat the enemy and to establish God’s will on this earth. Through this joining with Him, He is allowing us to operate with the power of the Spirit and He has brought us to a time and place we not only can, but we are expected to fully function in dominion authority. We are to operate from a king’s mindset of ruling over territories and taking the position of ruling—but with the heart of a priest. A priest sought God, heard from God, revealed God’s will and instructed others. We are to do just that, and as we rule, we do it with a different driving force: love.
This love that penetrates the darkest of hearts and brings healing to them. Love reaches and restores others to be able to leave their past behind and embrace God’s love and believe they have value and power to rule and reign and take authority. It’s time for the Church to reach higher and to embrace the design of God. And part of that design is to act like we are totally accepted and loved. To do so, we must really be convinced of our true identity in Christ.
Colossians 2:9-10 NKJV
We are not missing anything. We are not broken any longer. He has made us complete. Glory to His Name. He has enabled us to function with the greatest degree of success to be examples to others of what our God can do. He has given us the ability to be the ones others will look at and wonder why we are fulfilled. They wonder, “Why do you have joy? Why would you be favored?” And we can point them to the answer, the truth and the real life of God.
Imagine, and believe and live like this: We, who have given our lives to Jesus, literally have the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost dwelling in us. It is time for us to believe the truth of who we are and operate with more knowledge and confidence.
Romans 8:16 NKJV
• favor ALL the timeBecause you are ALL IN – even with loving and accepting yourself.
• power ALL the time
• authority ALL the time
• because you are LOVED ALL the time
• and you can love all the time
Romans 8:19 NKJV
This is our time. This is our moment to be loved and to love, to shine, to reach and to impact.