Paul’s command to bless our enemy (Rom 12:14) is not something we can do in our own strength; to love those who hate us, persecute us and oppose us requires a completely new way of feeling and thinking. God has promised to give us a new heart of flesh (Ezek 11:19) and urges us to be made new in the attitudes of our mind. (Eph 4:22) It’s only when we are living in this newness of life offered to us by God that we receive the power to do this impossible task of loving as God loves.

Loving our enemy is not natural or instinctive, but God wants us not to be overcome by evil but to overcome evil with good. (Rom 12:21) We need to do the right thing, however difficult it is. This means training ourselves to do what is right and choosing to do what is right. Tommy Emmanuel, the guitarist, speaks of how he has trained his thumb to stay in positions it does not naturally wish to go to, speaking of the conversation between his thumb (‘I don’t want to do that’) and his will (‘yes, you will do it.’) We too have to put to death our sinful nature (which can come up with all sorts of reasons why obeying God is foolish) and obey, whether we feel like it or not. It’s only in surrender and obedience that we find the freedom that God promises to His children.

Love and Snow