God’s Love Reaches Evil People
January 17, 2016
(Martha) John, it’s just you and I this morning, but I think I have something to tell and for the podcast. And I’ve said I’m writing a book on warfare, and I’m completely ill-equipped, unable to do it. It’s such a vast subject. But I’ve been praying in the month of December, just fervently, “Lord, You say you can overcome evil with good. How do You overcome evil with good? You have to show me how.” I was just praying that over and over again, and He began to say different names. This category was people that God had sent to me to disciple. Each of them I had discipled for years, and then I came to tremendous confrontation with them, and in most cases separation, and sometimes separation a long term. And yet, the love of God never left me. The hope of God never abandoned them. The love of God is not affected by us. And as the Spirit moved in each situation, they began to come through to reality and surrender. And we began to communicate, and each one of them have said to me, “Without the love of God in you, I would have perished and gone to hell,” or different, drastic things they would say, “I would never have made it.” But they knew that the love of God was still absolutely in tact.
(Martha) That it was unconditional. And we don’t understand sometimes that catastrophe is the chastening of God to bring us to Him. I was thinking about Job this morning in a different way. Job had a great relationship with God. He defended it because it was real. But God wanted him to see Him in a greater dimension. And He put Job in tremendous suffering. And sometimes suffering and separation and confrontation are God’s means of love to bring us to need Him. I’m writing the devotional. These days it’s about love. Actually I wrote them some time ago. But they are very much on target of what I’m dealing with now. And His love… His love… I know someone who has had terrific sin, and I have so experienced God’s love for that person. And it’s a love of delight. It’s just amazing. But anyway back to the subject. I asked Him, “How do You overcome evil with good?” And He showed me the power of love. The power of love is greater than we have any idea. The power of God’s steady, steadfast love. In some translations, I couldn’t tell you which, it says, “God’s steadfast love, His unfailing love, His..”
(J) I call it His ever-present love. It’s just always…
(Martha) It’s a constant.
(J) It’s a constant. That’s exactly right. It’s just relentless.
(Martha) Umhmm. It is relentless. And you told someone years ago, “God will take off your arms and legs just to have you.” And we witnessed that in our walk for twenty years together.
(Martha) But He began to show me that love does, is the good that overcomes evil. When He says, “Overcome evil with good,” the good is love.
(Martha) And it’s love that loves enough to confront, to endure. It’s His love. His love comes to confront. And I’m in Jeremiah and Ezekiel constantly lately. And over and over again, God says I’m going to do this disaster “so that, You will know that I am God, and there is no other.” Everything is for the purpose of knowing God. So, a lot of times I have been propelled into Luke 6. You tell me Luke 6, and I know exactly what it says because I have been there.
(J) Camped out.
(Martha) Camped out and desperate. “I say to you who hear, Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other also. From him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you and from him who takes away your goods, do not ask them back.” And I think I can say this. I feel like it’s alright with the Lord. But I took care of three people who hated me, and I was the sole caretaker to their deathbed.
(J) Umm. Umm. Umm.
(Martha) And in the end, it did not matter to me what they did and how much they hated me. It only mattered that they be reconciled to God, and He allowed me to be the instrument of their reconciliation on their deathbed.
(J) It didn’t even matter to Him. It appeared, you know. It was just like, “I’m ok with that.”
(Martha) Yeah. He’s… And the Scripture says, “there is a sin unto death. I would not have you pray for that sin to be healed.” But there are cases where a person goes to death and suffering so that they are reconciled to God. When I was caring for one person, my step-mother, in a hospice, the nurse was there and she had been in my Bible class. And she taught me about dying. And Myna said to me, “Martha, cancer’s not a bad way to die, because you have time to deal with God.”
(J) Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
(Martha) And you have time to be reconciled to Him and to see your life.” And she said, “We can keep them pain free, but it’s not so terrible.” If you’re out of pain and you’re being cared for to the ultimate degree, and you are conscious enough… And she even told me that some of the deep sleep that my step-mother went into, I was concerned about it. Is this a coma? Is it a sleep? What is it? She said, “They sleep deeply.” And my step-mother would sleep for days. And I would stand there, you know, not knowing what to do, because it meant she wasn’t eating or drinking or anything. And Myrna said, “But they’re doing a tremendous spiritual work in that sleep.” And when my step-mother woke up, she said, “I could hear you, but I couldn’t answer you.
(J) Um, umm.
(Martha) So, we have such a, we have to learn who God is, and we have to learn His love is strong enough and fierce enough and jealous enough that He will let us suffer if we just are that willful or whatever. Not always. I’m not judging everything that way, but He says first, “Love your enemies and then pray for them.”
(J) He’s just, He’s more merciful than I give Him credit for, you know. He’s just, incredible mercy, and I see now that the cancer can be an incredible mercy. And you say, you know, the ‘C’ word is the most dreaded thing in the entire… but I’m seeing it real different now. I’m saying, “Wow, you really have time to make resolutions, to say your goodbys.” If you just get hit by a car, or you have a heart attack and you’re gone, it’s over. There is no more. But if I have a season of grace and a season of mercy to be able to do work, to make sure that my passing is done to the best of my ability and with His workings. Clear, clear the decks. I say, “please, let me clear the decks for my soul’s sake, but also for those I’m leaving and those I’ve affected.”
(Martha) Umhmm. And, you know, Don had many that… I don’t know if that’s still the message of his funeral. But Don came out and sat down and went home. He came out of his bedroom, sat in the chair, and he was gone.
(J) And what we saw before Don’s passing, is we saw he did all his dealings.
(Martha) Yes, he did, for years.
(J) For years he was coming through, and he was… He became a totally different person.
(Martha) Umhmm. Yeah. But the issue is God’s love is what overcomes evil, because love is so much more powerful than evil. And evil for me used to be, you know, monsters. No, there can be very good, good, good people, who are enormously evil. Somebody sent me a Scripture this morning. Are you looking at it?
(J) I am looking at it, because it’s 2 Corinthians 1:5. It says, “For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will show us with His comfort through Christ.” And I’m just… It’s striking me because you can, I can say to you, “Yeah, it appears that God at a certain point just says, ‘I don’t care what they did to you.'” And you say, “Well, wait a minute now. That’s unfair to me.”
(J) “My rights have been violated.” And He says, “No, I don’t care about that.” But what I’m seeing in this Scripture is that, yeah, we are suffering. We do suffer. We do suffer for other people, and people suffer for us.
(Martha) Yeah, that’s true.
(J) But if we’re given comfort through Christ, the more God will… Ok, so it says, “The more God will show us with His comfort through Christ.” That says to me the increase of my knowledge of Christ overshadows and overtakes the momentary abuses that could happen to me.
(Martha) Umhmm. He does cause to suffer at the hand of others as Christ did, and it’s a real test of our love for God.
(J) I’ll never be able to do it if I’m for my rights, if it’s about my rights. I’m done for. I don’t have rights.
(Martha) Umhmm. But God maintains your rights and your vindication. And we have to let not only have no rights, but we have to surrender them to Him, and then He vindicates. But I want to tell about the result of the prayer, “God, You’ve got to show me.” First He showed me a list of people. Some people have refused to receive His love on His terms. And so He just sort of removes me, kind of permanently from some people. But He showed me that love has conquered and overcome the evil in people. The next thing it says in Luke 6, “Love your enemies.” Oh, that’s the first work. After you are willing to love your enemies with God’s kind of love, which is far beyond… It’s a steadfast… You can’t affect His love. It’s immovable. I’ve always said, “God loves you for no reason. You’ll never give Him one.” But I’ve seen that proven in life. And the next thing that happened was He… I began to pray for someone in terrific sin and darkness, and I can’t describe where the Holy Spirit took over. I can’t really describe it. It’s almost unbelievable. But I went into a battle with the powers of darkness for that person’s soul. I experienced the torment that they lived in as my own. Daniel said… When Daniel confessed the sins of his people, they were sins Daniel hadn’t committed. And I’ve always thought, “Oh, that was so noble and Lord, I’m able to do anything anybody has ever done.” But I believe it was more than that for Daniel. I believe he experienced in travail and in prayer. What I was in was travail and in prayer that the Holy Spirit was accomplishing. He’s the one who knows how to pray. And I was in a wrestling match with the darkness of hatred. I do not know how long. I experienced it as though it was me. And it was like God put me in the box with that person and let me experience what they lived in. And I wouldn’t have it. I couldn’t bear it. And I was saying, “I forgive, I forgive, I forgive, and Father, they are forgiven. Please, Father, forgive that person.” And I cast out many demons, and it was very strange. It’s not the first time it’s happened, but it was unique in its own self. But He puts me in the box with what some people don’t know they can be free of, but I know, I go in the box, experience it, and I throw it off of me and of them. And that may make no sense. That’s ok. It’s a spiritual matter. And it was the Holy Spirit groaning with groans that could not be uttered. And when it was all over I understood it deeply. And it was… I can’t tell the story, but it was very significant in that person’s life. And so, first, you love your enemy, then you pray for your enemy. But the prayer He calls for is to let the Holy Spirit pray through you for that person with the love of Christ, who goes to save them through intercession. It says, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you.” There’s a couple of steps more in there after loving. Then it says, “Pray. And pray for those who spitefully use you. Give.” You give to the enemy and their ongoing… There’s an ongoing, unfolding of what love is. And there’s a choice to bless your enemy. That is a choice of the will. And to do good to those who hate you.