EP36: The Temptation of Self-Preservation
1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (NKJV)
1 John 4:7-8, “Those who are loved by God, let his love continually pour from you to one another, because God is love. Everyone who loves is fathered by God and experiences an intimate knowledge of him. The one who doesn’t love has yet to know God, for God is love. (TPT)
Romans 8:38-39, “So now I live with the confidence that there is nothing in the universe with the power to separate us from God’s love. I’m convinced that his love will triumph over death, life’s troubles, fallen angels, or dark rulers in the heavens. There is nothing in our present or future circumstances that can weaken his love. There is no power above us or beneath us—no power that could ever be found in the universe that can distance us from God’s passionate love, which is lavished upon us through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One!” (TPT)
Hebrews 4:14-16, “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (NKJV)
Isaiah 55:7-9, “The wicked need to abandon their ways, and sinful ones need to banish every evil thought. Let them return to Yahweh, and they will experience his compassionate mercy. Yes, let them return to God, for he will lavish forgiveness upon them. “For my thoughts about mercy[n] are not like your thoughts, and my ways are different from yours. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so my ways and my thoughts are higher than yours.” (TPT)
1 Corinthians 2:16, “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” (NKJV)
John 16:7-8, 13-14, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment… However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” (NKJV)
- Ask the Lord to reveal to you aspects of what the person of Perfect Love looks like and what His intentions are towards you.
- Take note of your initial response to the conviction of the Lord. Do you tend to lean towards shame, fear, self-justification, pride, ignorance, or condemnation? Ask the Holy Spirit to be your helper in this as you learn to trust that Perfect Love has your best in mind.
- 1 Corinthians 2:16 tells us that we have the mind of Christ. This means that if the thought does not belong in the mind of Christ, it doesn’t belong in ours. Pray over your mind to recognize when a thought does not belong and ask the Holy Spirit to help you to dismiss and dismantle thoughts that would cause you to live any less than His best for your life.
- Begin building or strengthening your trust in the Lord by bringing your shortcomings before Him–big or small. Ask Him to be your Teacher and to show you what He’s like. This itself draws you closer to His heart, further away from fear, and allows you to embrace a whole new level of freedom for your life.
- Recognize that the conviction of the Lord is His kindness towards us to lead us into a better way of living. Take a moment to thank God for His kindness towards you that would not leave you to yourself, but always lead you into the truth.
The next time that you feel the desire to justify yourself–whether with God or a person–pause and ask the Holy Spirit what His mind is in the matter. As you submit your response to Him knowing that His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, take note of the difference in the outcome of this situation.
by Jonathan David & Melissa Helser
by KINGDOM CULTURE WORSHIP
HAVE MY HEART
BY Maverick City
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