Category Archives for "Love"

Persecution or Reaping What you Sow?

By Steve Peace Harmon

WHAT PERSECUTION DOESN’T LOOK LIKE…

When believers hold up massive signs and use mega phones telling people that they are going to burn in hell and should repent, and then the people with the signs get attacked by people with curse words, rocks and are pushed and shoved. What that is called is, you reap what you sow. You sow anger, hatred, and foolishness, you get that in return. Jesus never modeled that type of ministry and neither did the disciples because it hardly works. And when it occasionally does it produces fear based, judgmental Christians. Jesus showed us a way on how to do it. Why the heck do something different than that, especially when He’s God?

WHAT PERSECUTION IS…

Bill Johnson said of a story from Heidi Baker. She told him that one of their pastors got martyred. “Tongue was cut out so he couldn’t preach the gospel anymore. Hands were cut off so he couldn’t express the love of Christ anymore. His feet were cut off so he couldn’t go and preach and then they cut off his head. Then this man’s cousin drove two hours to get into that village. He came into the village and said, “You can cut out my tongue, you can cut off my hands, you can cut off my feet and a hundred more will follow me, because we are here to tell you that God loves you.” As a result of this moment, he stood their ready to give his life like his cousin did and then that day, 2000 people bent their knee to the name Jesus.”

In that story, it was not the word, but the action that said, “You are more important than me. That’s what love looks like. It’s not some cheap phrase or emotion. Persecution is basically two things. It’s when a person chooses to endure pain, whether emotional or physical, instead of forfeiting their relationship with Jesus. It is also enduring pain to make a statement to the person giving them pain that they are still going to love the person even though the person is hurting them. It’s making the choice to sacrifice your well being so the other person could have it. Love is at the heart of all real persecution.

HOW THE SATANIST HAD AN ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS

By Steve Peace Harmon

Two years ago I posted a healing testimony of a Satanist who I met on Haight/Ashbury in San Francisco where the start of the hippy movement began. God taught me a lot about that experience regarding the process on how people get set free. It basically works with three components and it was these three components that Jesus used in His ministry.

In a nutshell, I met this guy on the street who was a Satanist. I wanted to pray for his shoulder but he wouldn’t let me. He hated Jesus. I didn’t engage with him and argue all of his outlandish ideas of Jesus and the Father. I ignored it, changed the subject and told him about the love that I saw in his heart. I kept hitting that point and he finally softened. I got to pray for his shoulder and then it got healed. I then got to pray and prophesy into him, while he got to feel the presence of God, which made him intensely weep. The guy changed from a hardened Satanist to a sensitive puppy dog. The way it worked is this.

Love brings down the walls. Power brings validity to truth. Truth sets the person free. When I first met the guy and he found out I was a Christian, he immediately put up a wall to me. My goal was to get truth into the man, but I couldn’t because of that wall. So what did I need? Love. Love brings down the walls. It makes the person feel you’re not a threat. Once the wall was down, he let me in and then I could display God’s power through the healing. Once the power was shown to him, when I spoke truth, he was more open to believe it because the miracle testified of the truth.

Many people have walls up and it’s because they’ve been hurt. Trying to display God’s power and speaking truth to them can be difficult. Love should always be the thing that starts out and goes through all ministry. For some people, love is all you can do for a long time without even having a chance to display God’s power or speak truth to them. It’s because their walls won’t come down easy. At the same time, you can’t ONLY work in love and expect that everybody will change. Mother Teresa did a lot of loving throughout her life and yet thousands died in her loving arms, scared, depressed and fearful. When love and truth is shown, minus the power, then you can have a person who believes in the existence of a supernatural God, but has very shallow faith that is shaky and can waver. Moral of the story: A person needs all three.

SAYING “GOD LOVES YOU” IS NOT ALWAYS THE LOVING THING TO DO

By Steve Peace Harmon

A lot of times, we as believers want to say the good stuff to people that are going through difficulties. What I mean by that is we will say things that act more as a band-aid than an actual solution. For example. Saying “God loves you” can at times be a solution, but saying it at other times can actually be a band-aid. “That doesn’t make sense,” you may be saying to yourself. One would think that saying that phrase would work every time. The reason why it doesn’t is because every person’s problems are different.

I remember when I was in my depression, a person telling me that God loved me would basically go in one ear and out the other. It would have no effect on me whatsoever. Why? Because I had walls up towards God. Telling me that God loved me, laying hands on me, or hugging me wasn’t going to work. What I needed to hear was somebody who actually heard from God, telling me about God’s specific nature and how he works relating to the lie I believed about Him. That is what actually got me free. “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

When I heard Christians give me the same ol’ spiel “God loves you, and is holding you” it would just make me more and more angry. Sometimes I could not be around Christians because they were simply talking from ignorance. They were making my problem worse because I was feeling hopeless based on the idea that the same cliché was all they could offer me in my time of distress. It’s important that we ask the Father what we should tell people and not just give them what we think they should hear or what will sound good.

I knew this guy who would go around giving everybody these amazing words and prophecies. Everybody would clamor to this person. After a while, they would find out that the prophecies and words were wrong and were only to make them temporarily feel good. The people would get discouraged and feel jaded. The guy was basically giving out words, in the name Jesus, from his self that wasn’t from God. He did it because he had wounds and getting people to come to him for encouraging words or prophecies from God made him feel good. In his world, he was a superstar. Obviously, he was using the wrong method in making himself feel good because it was at other people’s expense and he left a trail of heart break behind him.

Saying a word to somebody that may not sound amazing at first, will many times be the breakthrough that the person needs. I used to tickle people’s ears too, but I realized that’s just not love. That’s selfishness. It’s selfishness in the sense that you are saying nice things, because you want the person to like you. You’re actually caring about yourself more than the person. A person who truly loves cares the about the one getting well in the long run, more than the fear of the one not liking them. Now, I’m not saying that we are not to tell people the “nice words from the Lord,” because people need them, a lot. I give them out most of the time, but I’m willing to say the things that need to be said for the person’s sake that may not be the thing that makes them super happy at the moment. Nobody with a good heart wants to watch a person suffer over and over, and never getting complete relief.

On another angle, sometimes, people who are in pain would rather get the band-aid words, than actually getting the words that don’t offer fast relief. It’s kind of like the mentality of a drug addict or alcoholic. They want the quick fix, but that fix is again, only temporary, while their life is falling apart or changing very little for the good. They don’t want to confront what needs to be dealt with. They live in an “Ignorance is bliss” world, but on the outside, everybody can see that they are not living in bliss and the only one living the delusion is the person who is too afraid to see the reality of it all. And slowly, things get worse, and then they blame God for not wanting to help them.

I’ll leave it with this.. ” The wounds from a lover are worth it; kisses from an enemy do you in.” Proverbs 27:6

Love Never Fails

The other day I met with a woman who very badly needed to talk.  She is going through a situation of separation and possible divorce because her husband is initiating divorce proceedings.  She has two small children whom she is very worried will be placed into a situation that she does not want them to be in.  She is a believer but her husband is not or at least he has fallen away from any church activity.

As is the case in a marital crisis, there are a lot of emotions involved which can include feelings of fear, panic, anger, desperation, revenge, selfishness, heartbreak and loneliness.  She was experiencing many of these emotions, and was very far from any peace, and at a loss of what to do.

I asked this woman to tell me a little bit about why she thinks her husband wants a divorce.  She admitted that she tended to act out in anger and that maybe she had been too controlling towards him.

I persuaded her to see that these feelings and emotions and actions are not the fruits of a believer, but are instead manifestations of her listening to the enemy who has come to destroy her marriage.

She began to understand that these harmful feelings that she has been giving a place to in her head (and in her heart), are in fact temptations, inviting her to act them out and to fulfill them.  The enemy knows very well that that when we act out on these temptations, our relationships will be destroyed and we will also likely be separated further from God (James 1:15).   Yes, the truth is that we sin when we act out on these temptations.

I went on to expound on 1 Corinthians 6:17 where it says that believers are One Spirit with the Lord.  I said that if we focus on God’s ways and nothing else, if we allow Him to live within us and control us, if we thirst for nothing from ourselves or the world… then these other emotions and temptations begin to fall away.  The enemy begins to give up.  We don’t give his temptations a place in us, so over time he (for the most part) leaves us alone.

I reaffirmed to her that God is Love.  In 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13 the Word shows us that love always hopes, it never gives up.  It doesn’t bring up the wrongs of others (it looks past them).  So also love does not return evil with evil, it doesn’t judge, it doesn’t condemn, it doesn’t become angry for the sake of anger.  As believers we are born again to be exactly like God.  We are to follow Jesus, because we are now just like He was on Earth.  We are not to take part in any of the other garbage that the enemy throws at us, which used to control us, and which is a really a form of madness.  We are called to BE LOVE.  When we become love, we cannot fail.  Our situations turn around.  Things become new.

This transformation to love doesn’t usually happen overnight.  It is a process.  But we need to start by understanding what power we have.  We have the power of Almighty God within us!  HE HIMSELF is in us and we are in Him!  We are one.  Listen to Him in the quiet time and know that He is in you.  Let His love consume you and be you and just let everything else go away.

This lady went home and told me that she did something loving for her husband, by making his sandwiches for him for the next day.  Pray that she will continue on this journey of reconciliation with him and that all things become new in her marriage.