Justified or not, your attitude toward others — whether they are close family members or people in the news that you don’t even know — impacts your intimacy with God. It’s actually quite simple: when you have God’s heart or “attitude” toward others you grow in intimacy with Him, and when you don’t, you block that intimacy.
Now in my own life, I’ve found there are two keys to having God’s heart toward others. The first key is knowing Yeshua as your bridegroom, not just with intellectual head knowledge but experientially in a way that impacts every thought, emotion, and attitude of your day. If you don’t experience Him that way, ask God to show you what is blocking that. He is faithful and He will show you! For example, He revealed many reasons to me, one being the conflict that existed around planning my wedding! At 35, I had waited a long time for that day, and I wanted to invite the world! On the other hand, my bridegroom was the bandleader/trumpet player in wedding bands all through college, playing multiple weddings every weekend! He literally hated wedding receptions, and just wanted small, simple, no tacky traditions, and no band! You can only imagine our planning sessions! Now it all worked out and we had a beautiful wedding, yet now 19 years later, I wondered why the concept of Yeshua as my bridegroom did not have significant meaning in my life. The Lord showed me that I still harbored unforgiveness in my heart toward my husband that I was not even aware of, and I needed to break through this in order to fully experience Yeshua as my bridegroom.
When I forgave, and asked God to show me what Yeshua as my bridegroom means to me personally, He impressed upon my heart words such as: “I delight in you, I can’t stop rejoicing over you with singing, I desire you, You’re the only one for me, I can’t take my eyes off of you, I can’t stop thinking about you, I miss you when you’re not focused on me, I love being with you all the time, I can’t wait for our wedding day, You bring me joy and delight, My heart is ravished for you!” I dwell on these truths all throughout the day, and I thank Him out loud for each one! When I see myself this way as His bride, my intimacy with Him soars, my needs for love are met by Him, and I know that only He can love me perfectly.
When your needs for love are met by Yeshua and you acknowledge that only He can love you perfectly, it releases you from putting this expectation onto others, and frees you to love them and to forgive them — just as they are — the way that God loves them (his “attitude” toward them). Whenever I’m having difficulty forgiving, or I’m stuck in bitterness, anger, or negative emotions toward others, oftentimes it’s because I’ve forgotten that only God can love me perfectly, only He can meet 100% of my needs for love, and I’ve been looking to another person to love me perfectly.
Now the enemy wants your eyes focused on others (instead of God) to meet your needs, and hurt when they don’t, because when you are stuck in unforgiveness, then he gets a handle or opening or reign in the situation. Also, it’s impossible to have deep intimacy with God and at the same time, harbor unforgiveness and bitterness toward others. God’s heart is always to forgive and to bless others. When you connect with His heart, you experience intimacy with Him, you make room for God to work in the situation, and you increase His reign on this earth. When you choose to remain in unforgiveness, you remain in bondage to the other person, block God from working in the situation, lose intimacy with Him, align with the enemy, and you increase the enemy’s reign in the situation! Which would you prefer to do, increase God’s reign or the enemy’s reign in your life? It’s your choice!
As I mentioned earlier, this key principle applies to close family members as well as to those you don’t even know. How many of you are harboring bitterness or unforgiveness toward people you have seen lately in the news? Perhaps those involved in the same sex marriage ruling, planned parenthood operations, the recent treaty with Iran, or in other actions against Israel? Now I’m not saying that those events or groups are right or that you shouldn’t fight for righteousness in those situations, quite the contrary. What I am saying is that when you harbor bitterness and unforgiveness toward individuals involved in those situations, bash them with your words, and encourage others to do the same — you are giving the enemy a handle in your life, you are blocking God from working in the situation, and you are decreasing your intimacy with God.
Lastly, the other key to having God’s heart for others is something the Lord has been reminding me of quite frequently lately. His unstoppable love for me as His bride, His willingness to take on death for me not considering equality with God as something to be used to His own advantage – even though death was so repulsive to Him and nothing remotely related to death could enter His presence in the temple —- all of this occurred BEFORE I loved Him. In fact, He took on death for me when I wanted nothing to do with Him and was running fast and far from Him. He wanted me so badly and loved me so deeply that even when I was blatantly rejecting Him in every possible way, His love toward me never stopped coming.
When I allow that truth to penetrate my heart, it’s as if a blanket or banner of love just covers me — all fear is gone, all bitterness is gone. I remember that before I asked God to take control of my life and experienced His love, I was no different from those people in the news who I now find so easy to condemn and harbor bitterness toward. His love for them and His desire for relationship with them never stops, and ours must not either.
Next time that root of bitterness and condemnation rises up toward those you see in the news, don’t allow Satan to get a handle in your life, remember how lost you were without the Lord. Choose instead to pray for them that their eyes would be opened to the deception in their lives, that their hearts would be opened to receive Yeshua, and that the enemy would be bound from keeping them in bondage to his lies and schemes. If we would close our mouths and pray — instead of spewing anger, condemnation and criticism out of our mouths when we watch the news — can you imagine the difference we could make as a body of believers? Our prayers are our most powerful weapons of warfare!!!
Once again, when you have God’s heart (His thoughts, emotions and attitudes toward others), you grow in intimacy with Him. When you harbor unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, condemnation, and criticism toward others, you give the enemy a handle or reign in your life, and you move further away from your primary goal and purpose, that ONE THING that He requires – Intimacy with Him!
I pray this blog is a blessing to you and draws you into deeper intimacy with God. Please let me know how it impacts your life. I’d love to hear from you! Either comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Blessings! Jeanne