Love is Powerful
Rachel Olsen

"By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence." 2 Peter 1:3 (NLT)

Do you find yourself doing what you know you should not? Do you find it hard to stop?

Yeah, I know.

I've had several discussions lately with people stuck in patterns of behavior they want to quit. They keep sinning. What's more, they feel completely awful about it. Guilty. Shameful. Some to the point of hating themselves. And yet they feel powerless to stop – powerless to resist.

The Bible says when we return to our vices again and again, we are like dogs returning to our vomit (Proverbs 26:11). Eww, ick!

So why do we do this when according to the Bible, Christ has conquered sin on our behalf so we can overcome its power? If, "by his divine power God has given us everything we need for living a godly life," why does sin have any place in our lives?

The answer is the same reason a dog returns to her vomit. Gross as it is, she gets some degree of satisfaction from it. She likes it. See what I mean:

• Lust – or its fulfillment, sexual indiscretion – feels pleasurable in the moment.
• Overeating—or its biblical term, gluttony – feels comforting in the moment.
• Power – called "lording it over someone" in the Bible – makes you feel significant.
• Lying is convenient at the time.
• Splurging and spending – compared to saving or giving -- feels fun and rewarding.
• Stomping and yelling feels cathartic and justifiable.

This list could go on ad nauseam. Sin has power because we enjoy it. It promises something we want - pleasure, escape, wealth, power, attention. Sure it always has consequences we don't want, but in many cases those don't over power its feel-good moments or perceived benefits.

In short, sin has power because we love it.

What can help us overcome the sins that we have love-hate relationships with? A surpassing love. A greater love that carries with it no hate, no guilt, and no shame. A love that actually delivers the many benefits it promises. A love that is full of beautiful grace and soul-deep compassion.

A love more attractive and more powerful than the allure of sin.

It is the love of God displayed in Christ.

When we catch hold of that love - when we read of it regularly, drink it in, pray for it and see it at work in our lives - we cannot help but love Him back with all our heart, soul and mind.

And in that state of all encompassing love, sin pales in comparison. Its power grows feeble.

Immersing ourselves in the everlasting love of God, we become willing and able to walk away from sin.

We can give up that because we have THIS.

Dear Lord, forgive me for the sins I return to. Cleanse me with Your majestic love and grace. Reveal to me the depth of Your love, the extent of Your sacrifice, and the beauty of the mercy You grant me daily. Open my eyes to see Your love afresh and may I be empowered to walk away from sin towards Your heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do you know Him who loves you so?

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan

Check out Rachel’s blog today.

Application Steps:
Fill your mind and heart today with the love of God. Read the power verses below, look up others in your Bible, or visit Rachel’s blog.

What sin do I return to? What is the benefit I feel this sin provides me?

Power Verses:
Proverbs 8:17, "I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me." (NLT)

Jeremiah 31:3, "Long ago the LORD said to Israel: 'I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.'" (NLT)

© 2010 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Martha L. Parlier said...

I awakened this morning with my husband who leaves by 6:15 to go to work as a Firefighter. Instead of climbing back into bed to get a few more minutes of sleep (I'm a stay-at-home-mom), something inside me said not to. I am surprisingly AWAKE this morning! As I stood, putting dishes into the dishwasher, I suddenly had to urge to find a good Women's Daily Deviotional site! I googled "Women's Daily Devotional website" and found several to choose from! I prayed that the Lord would lead me to the right one for me! As I opened each site, I found wonderful information, but when I came to yours, it felt "Right"! I am a christian mother of 2 who struggles daily with life in general. Even now at this early hour, my smallest child just awakened to start his day! My problem with devotions has always been that I can't find enough "quiet" time to have a daily devotion, but I'm going to try really hard WITH GOD'S HELP to start making "semi-quiet" time with God a daily Priority! THANKS for having such an easy site to navigate! I just wanted to let you know that your site blessed me today!

Blogger Rachel Olsen said...

Welcome to "Encouragement for Today," Martha!

I pray God meets you in your "semi-quiet times" as you read the day's devotion and turn your heart heavenward.

Blessings ~ Rachel

Anonymous Anonymous said...

this devotion was just what i needed to read today. i have struggled with the same sin for long time now. i am active in the ministry and it hinders me,and makes me feel dirty, but i still do it. i would stop a while and do it over and over. the temptation is so hard to overcome. i know God can give me the power to be an overcomer. i thank you for allowing God to use you to help me remember how powerful the love of God is! i believe that we are made overcomers by the word of our testimonies! thats what i am doing this morning speaking it into existence in Jesus name!

Blogger Rachel Olsen said...

Dear Anon, I'll pray with you over this. May the power of God, the love of God and the mercy of God deliver you from this temptation.

There is no condemnation for those who've placed their hearts in Christ's hands. Isn't that wonderful news?! God is so good to us. Walk in that forgiveness today, dear one. in Jesus' Name.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this devotion. What a blessing it is to know that Jesus sees ALL & I mean ALL my sin and loves me anyway. I struggle daily with doing the right things, as I know we all do. I am just so thankful for the promise of a Heavenly Father that will love me and pick me up when I fail. Be blessed today!!!

Great message today! It seems we try in our own strength to get through bad habits, when all along we should be immersing ourselves into spending time with God, his word and his love which automatically gives us the want and strength to overcome! Rachel, you said it so well here. Thank you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you so much for being such a blessing. i pray GOD makes me a channel of blessing too.

Blogger Joan Davis (Jo) said...

Thank you for spelling it out so clearly! When we are aware of the allure of sin and turn to the Lord for our strength, we are better equipped to resist its temptation. The more we look to Him, the less we'll look to ourselves. Thanks for your wonderful insight.

Blogger Unknown said...

I found a way to fight back when lust knocked my door. I would say loudly -and immediately- "I DECLARE THAT, FROM THIS MOMENT ON, I'M GOING TO PRAY FOR (THIS PERSON) TO BE SAVED, EVERY TIME THIS KIND OF THOUGHTS COME TO MY MIND, IN JESUS' NAME AND FOR HIS GLORY!!"
And I would...
The luring thoughts would continue coming, but their intensity woud gradually lessen until completely disappeared. With time, I became free. Does the enemy try to entangle me again? You bet! Do I let him? Nope. I pray for me first, asking for God's forgiveness, and order whatever I feel to stand back in my LORD's name. It never lasts; furthermore, the attacks are infrequent now.

Hope someone out there reads this and gets strenghtened in His mighty power... there's no need for us to run but to stand FIRM against the enemy. Make HIM flee from you! Use the power bestowed upon you!
Bless you all, beloved sisters!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love how you said this Joan: The more we look to Him, the less we'll look to ourselves. I struggle continually with the need to feel loved and accepted. And when I am feeling overwhelmed with these powerful, "urgent" needs, I remind myself of that very fact - and I look to Him with those desires. It is SO hard to live with insecurity. Yet, I wonder if I would seek Him if I was totally secure...?
I am praying for Martha who seeks a daily "semi-quiet time". I believe God is pleased with us whenever our thoughts are turned toward Him, whether it's just while we unload the dishwasher or when we can give Him our undivided attention. May you find encouragement today!
Blessings ~ Caroline

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