I don’t know what LOVE is….

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“He tells me he loves me….I don’t know. I am so confused.  When he hurts me and belittles me, I just go to bed and cry myself to sleep.  He tells me he loves me but…..I’m not sure he knows what love is, at least the kind I want.”

As a relationship counselor I hear a lot of people’s stories. Most heart breaking are stories of husbands and wives whose marriages are crumbling and toxic.  Both or one of them, come into my office, bleeding and infected and can’t think straight.

The question I hear most is “what is true love?”

This is a complex question. I wish there was simple and easy way to define love to people in a way that they understand.  Sadly, the individuals I meet with have been deceived as to what love is or they have been lied to about love or they grew up seeing a distorted picture of love.

The bible gives us a beautiful example of what love is from the first page to the last page, and in between are notes on the intricacies of what love looks like and how to receive pure love.

First, I need to say that the source of pure, perfect love is God. He is love and exudes flawless love all the time.  If we deeply want to know what love is, I believe, we must find those answers wrapped up in the essence of who God is and who He is not.

The love that is displayed within the pages of scripture depict a special kind of love called agape love, which is covenant. Covenant is the basis or foundation of who God is and the love He possesses.

Covenant love is sacrificial, set apart, pure and endless. It never stops, it is never rude, toxic or conditional.  It never pretends, it never deceives and is always authentic and tangible.  This love gives, gives some more and will never demand its own way.  This love thrives in freedom and choice and brings healing to those it comes in contact with.  This love whispers, nurtures and never goes to sleep.  It is fully alive and will watch over you to protect and keep you safe.

When we discover and know what real, true love is, we are not able to be fooled or blinded by a counterfeit. The love that the world offers is mostly sensual, conditional and contractual.  Meaning, as long as you keep up your end of the deal and fulfill my expectations, then I will keep my end of the deal.  This is dangerous because as soon as one party doesn’t live up to the expectations or assumptions of their partner, then we believe we have a right to terminate the relationship.

In a marriage relationship, most couples have no greater desire than a lifetime of love and commitment to their spouse. Marriage is one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity.  It is the mystery of living as one flesh with another human being. (Ephesians 5:31-32)

Although love is at the heart of marriage, it is not enough. The marriage relationship needs other ingredients to grow and thrive.  These ingredients are freedom and responsibility.  When two people are free to disagree, they are free to love.  When we are not free, we live in fear and love is damaged.  Boundaries in marriage is fundamentally about love.  It is about growing it, developing it and repairing it.  To walk in love with another person is an act of your will – we choose to love.  Mistakenly, people believe that love is an emotion and therefore, can change and fluctuate from day to day.  Our culture most commonly thinks about love in the context of romance.  But true, agape love is much more than that.

Agape love can only be shared with someone to the extent which we have received it for ourselves. In order to receive agape love, we need to posture ourselves before God and receive directly from Him – a download of His beautiful, selfless love.  Then, we can go and give it away to others!

 

“I love each of you with the same love that the Father loves me.  You must continually let my love nourish your hearts.”  John 15:9 TPT

 

Lisa is a certified Christian counselor with the NCCA and Director of Power of His Love Ministries. She has been married to her amazing husband Bill since 1989.  They live in the greater Houston area and have 3 grown daughters and one son-in-love!

http://www.powerofhislove.com

 

TRIUMPHANT!!

 

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Whose face is before you today?

I believe in our carnality, mankind wants to idolize humanity.  Man loves to exalt and then equally to tear down. Just take a glance around our culture and society…we love and popularize and then in the next breath, we violently pull down and devour the very ones we so passionately adored.

The need to worship is built into our DNA – woven into the fabric of our flesh and blood. It runs deep and profound, for our dependence was formed and shaped to be placed into our Creator, who is God (Elohim).
When our need to worship is misdirected and falsely placed in another through our own distorted image, we come skewed. When we place any human on a “pedestal” and engage in unrealistic expectations, we fall short of what was originally intended for us.
Any mere human can and will fail us in some way, oftentimes daily. Sadly, as a people, we idolize so many and have expectations that are doomed to disappoint us. We become disillusioned as a result and our hope slowly begins to fade. When hope dissipates, what is left is often bitterness and then a creeping sorrow that soon will engulfs us.
But when we put our hope in the person of Jesus Christ, who was fully God AND fully human, our plumb line is straight and measured properly.  It cannot be moved or distorted because it is grounded in eternity and love. As John the Baptist proclaimed, …don’t look at me. Jesus is the One! Set your hearts on Him.  (John Chapter 1)
I plead with you today…. set your affections, dreams, hope, expectations and allegiance on the One who will never disappoint or fail. He is our constant in this shaky and brutal world. He has existed from the beginning and He will remain for eternity. His love for you is matchless and incomparable! He is constantly wooing you and drawing you to Himself, but most of us miss it. He is always with us, never to forsake or abandon us – never to hurt us or leave us.
As we cling passionately to His name, His essence and character, we are granted the right and authority to become His children – sons and daughters of the Most High God! As those who are called by His name, we become a colony of heaven here on this earth to shine His light and love to those around us.
Exalt Him today! We will never be disappointed when He is the One – the only! Worshipping and adoring the person of Jesus Christ is worth it my friends. I challenge you to get quiet today, turn your face upward and listen for His gentle movement in your life. He wants to engage with you today and partner with you as you travel through this earthly existence.
“Everything we could ever need for life and godliness has already been deposited in us by his divine power. For all of this was lavished upon us through the rich experience of knowing him who has called us by name and invited us to come to him through a glorious manifestation of his goodness. As a result of this, he has given you magnificent promises that are beyond all price, so that through the power of these tremendous promises you can experience partnership with the divine nature by which you have escaped- the corrupt desires that are of this world.” 2 Peter 1:3-4 Passion translation

The joy and peace you are seeking, the significance and belonging you crave, can only be found in one person – Jesus.  Take my word on this….I have tried others and it left me feeling empty, alone and powerless.  Desperation is a beautiful gift, step into it, and reach out to the only One who can hold you safely.  Then and only then can you begin to slowly exhale and find your true worth!

In the busyness of our lives and the hustle and bustle of our daily grind, we have a caring, loving Father who is looking for us and calling us by name. Can you hear Him? Shut out all other noises and learn His song – for He is signing over you today! Zephaniah 3:17 & Psalm 32:7.

Lisa is a certified Pastoral Counselor and temperament counselor with Power of His Love Ministries.  You can reach her at:  lisa@powerofhislove.com

http://www.powerofhislove.com

 

Let LOVE flow

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I have the joy of sitting down with numerous men and women every week to hear their stories, challenges and deepest desires. As a counselor, people invite me into the deepest recesses of their soul.  One of my greatest passions in life is helping people connect FULLY to the life of God within them.  Once a person can understand that they are a spiritual being first, and that they possess a soul that needs healing from its brokenness, they are on the right track to the joy and peace they are seeking.

I have found the greatest challenge a believer today faces is NOT the capacity to hear or connect with God fully but, rather the challenge of shutting out all the other voices they are listening to in their mind, will and emotions.

The struggle is real and I have known it personally but, the good news there is a remedy. One of the main reasons the struggle can be so intense is that we allow too much of our former life – our old way of thinking, feeling and behaving – to remain alive in us.  In essence, we are still agreeing with all the stinky remnants of our old sin nature.  In Galatians 5:16 the bible teaches we have been given a new nature – 2 Cor. 5:17 also tells us that we are new creations in Christ.  New creatures have no past.

When we understand that THE powerful God of the universe lives inside of us, as believers we become empowered to walk in emotional health and vitality. I love to teach people how to allow the life of God to flow or move within them. When we live fully conscious of who God is then His character and nature becomes one with us.  We realize that His vastness cannot be contained or hidden within us.  We can’t hide God!  If we walk daily with Him, eventually who He is will flow out of us and touch the world around us.

Within the human spirit of every believer is the life and nature of God through the person of Jesus Christ. According to 2 Peter 1:4 we have been given a NEW nature filled with supernatural, divine attributes.  “….And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.”

So the questions is this: how much of God’s nature do you want to experience every day?  All of it is available but, sadly we don’t always absorb all of His character.  He desires His divine nature to dispense out of every person who calls themselves a Christian. When God created mankind He put an exact representation of His essence within each of us.  Being created in God’s image enables us to possess His divine DNA so to speak.  And what we possess, we can give away freely.

Since God Himself IS love, we can allow His goodness and nature to flow out of ourselves every day.  God desires His love, goodness and power to reach the lost, the broken and the hurting and He wants to use His body – the church of Jesus to do this.

How are you impacting God’s kingdom today? Are you leaving God’s residue on people and places wherever you go?  If you want to grow and mature in this area, pray this simple prayer, “Father God, rearrange my priorities so that I am more kingdom minded. More of you and less of me!”  Sit back and watch what God can do with your surrendered soul.  He is looking for those who will walk in the power of His love.  Be brave my friend and go be a channel of God’s magnificent LOVE!

“Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.” John 7:38

http://www.lisaroitsch.com

http://www.powerofhislove.com

 

2 Breaths…..21 Grams

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Lord, I passionately love you and I am bonded to you! I want to embrace you, for now you have become my power! You are as real to me as bedrock beneath my feet, like a castle on a cliff, my forever firm fortress, my mountain of hiding, my pathway of escape, my tower of rescue where none can reach me.
You are my secret strength and shield around me, you are my salvation’s ray of brightness shining on the hillside, always the champion of my cause. All I need to do is to call to you, singing to you, the one praiseworthy God. When I do, I am safe and sound in you.
For when the ropes of death wrapped around me and terrifying torrents of destruction overwhelmed me, taking me to death’s door, I cried out to you in my distress, the delivering God.
And from your temple-throne you heard my troubled cry. My sobs came right into your heart and you turned your face to rescue me!
Psalm 18:1-6 Passion Translation

His magnificent beauty has blinded me over the past few weeks, and I am unable to see anything other than His persistent kindness and mercy. Even through our suffering and pain, He is only a breath away. A tender Father who is watching us and is ever near – He is uncompromising because He longs for ALL of us.
Please do not doubt that He does not see you, hear you and love you fervently!
His love captures you and keeps you in the vilest and darkest times…..only believe!

The human soul is said to weigh 21 grams and the breath of YHWH is expressed in 2 syllables…..inhale and exhale – 2 breaths!

L. Roitsch

I LOVE YOU!!!!!

True Love

In all the universe there is nobody like you. Destiny was woven into your existence at conception and formed in you even as a child.   You and I were created to receive and give love away.  One of the things I am most passionate about is helping others encounter God’s divine love and mercy.  I want to share with you some of my thoughts and experiences as I traveled to the beautiful city of Guadalajara, Mexico and loved on its precious people.

First, let me begin with the truth that our journey with Jesus is just that…. a long, intimate journey consisting of amazing encounters and resulting in an evolution of thoughts and beliefs. I tell people all the time, it is NOT a sprint to the finish line of eternity, but rather an intentionally paced cross country event!  It is the process of getting out of our head and our fleshy thinking and into the deeper things of His Spirit.  When we lean on our own understanding, we will always fall down and have to start over.  In this season more than any other, I am learning that I must trust in my precious heavenly Father with all my strength.  My peace and abiding love must come from a place of complete dependence on Him, for I realize I have great lack without Him and His power.

So, back to Mexico…. when I was invited to speak at a women’s gathering in the bustling city of Guadalajara, I was humbled beyond description. No one knew that over 10 years prior I had a vision from God where I was standing on a platform in a foreign country proclaiming the goodness of God to a sea of faces.  I instantly knew that this invitation to travel to Mexico was a direct fulfillment of that heavenly assignment.  I have shared many times in the states with diverse groups, but never preached or shared the gospel outside the comforts of my own country.  I knew God was setting me up for some divine happenstances that only He could orchestrate.  Within a matter of weeks, the invitation to speak was growing…. the Pastor called and asked if I would speak in the main service on Sunday morning to his entire congregation. He then proceeded to tell me that a woman had never preached in his pulpit before.  Little did I know that this man of God had been praying for virtuous women to rise up in order to share and testify before the churchgoers.  Since no one had accepted the invite, I was able to step into some holy shoes.  It was if Spirit was saying, “Tag – you are it!”

Once I agreed, another invitation came to travel outside the city to a “poor village” (this is actually what the locals called the village) and share at a sister church there.   This appointment allowed me 2 opportunities to share Jesus’ love and goodness with some of Mexico’s poorest residents.

I will elaborate on these trips but, I want to include that our obedience to the will of God on our lives will often result in more opportunities to bless and give to others. Your obedience and mine are closely tied together and will make a greater impact than we could ever imagine.  Today, I pray for each of you to say ‘yes’ to whatever opportunity presents itself to testify of God’s love, power and goodness.  You never know what or who you will be affecting for all of eternity.

These invitations came at a huge price, as is often the case in our submission to the Father’s call, but it is worth the cost-whether it be monetary, a matter of sacrificing our time or a matter of what we consider to be inconvenient.  Since I had never spoken with an interrupter before I knew I was going to be stretched way out of my comfort zone.  Saying yes to the Lord will always take you places you have not been before….are you ready to accept this challenge and become transformed?

The greatest blessing in living among the people of Mexico and sharing God’s love with them was hearing their stories, their angst and their struggles. There is nothing more sacred than when a small child cries in your arms and tells you of how they are bullied at school and then meekly asks for prayer to make them stop.  Or when a group of ladies bring a 10 year old boy up front who is deaf and has skin cancer….his body a mere skeleton.  Perhaps it was when the elderly man looked into my eyes and begs for prayer because his leg is in excruciating pain and needs healing so he can return to work in order to provide for his family.  There is no sick leave for the poor, or workman’s compensation for when you are injured.  No quality medical care or doctors for the lowly.  There is only a pure and simple trust in knowing Jesus is your only answer to the hardships of life.  Many requested prayer for their marriages to be restored or prodigal children who had gone astray and were now living a life of addiction.  Their problems are the same as ours, and yet they understood that the only attainable solution for them was to turn to Christ.

The small girl, named Maria, who came to me for prayer on Saturday night had a mother and she quickly joined us for prayer. Hastily, her mother began to confess to me that she too held hatred in her heart and lots of unforgiveness.  Humbly, she asked me to pray for her and as I did so, she was completely released.  Straightaway, you could see the visible change in the countenance of both their faces.  Though I could not comprehend the thanksgiving coming off their lips, I knew it was praise to our God.

For the next 2 days, as I served at that church in Guadalajara, little Maria was my constant shadow. Even though we could not sit and talk together, she stayed by my side and pulled on the essence of God’s love within me.  One of my favorite experiences was Sunday afternoon. Maria and I had the chance to stand at the alter, and sing worship songs to our heavenly Father at the top of our lungs.  She in Spanish, and I praised in English, but our God understands all things and indeed knows all!

To hold these people in my arms as they cried, changed me as a person. I realized that as western Christians we really have a lot of options to meeting our needs – some are healthy and some are not.  Sadly, God is sometimes our last resort.  We can run to our bank accounts, our savings account and credit cards for comfort.  We turn to our many social activities to mask our pain or indulge in eating, drinking and entertainment to dull our sorrow.  We engage in frivolous relationships to get our deepest needs met and yet we are still drowning in our troubles.  I have personally done despicable things in order to lay ahold of things I craved, all the while, groaning, and complaining while engaging in the sultry deeds.  If only I had turned to Christ sooner.

I fear we don’t know or fully understand our identity. As children of God, we oftentimes fluctuate between being royal youngsters in God’s kingdom, yearning to become Deborah the Sage or David the giant-slayer! Neither of these roles get at the heart of living with our true identity which is found ONLY in Christ.  I see so many proclaiming these identities and falsely believing that if you wear the uniform, then the identity is yours.  So you and I dress ourselves in godly Bible studies and activities, and yet continue to live with the anguish that we really are not satisfied.  The truth is, our identity in Christ says, You were formed by a loving and powerful Creator who has a marvelous plan for your life and whoever you are in the Lord, go… BE… rest.   In other words, live like who you are – a son or daughter of the KING OF THE UNIVERSE, which means you are royalty.

Our response should be to crawl up in our Father’s loving arms and embrace Him so we can become intimately connected through experiencing His love. We can never find our identity in the stuff we do, or the things we wear, or the holiness that we pretend to exude. Our identity only comes through our birth rights, never our performance. When you accepted Jesus’ death on the cross as payment for your sins, you became His child. As His child you are now part of His royal family and you are entitled to everything He owns-and He owns everything.  You will not be able to know your true identity by memorizing the entire bible or quoting a bunch of scriptures.  Nor will it happen just by sitting in a church pew week after week.  The transformation that you and I want only happens as we surrender everything to Him and give Him first place in our life!

This was the greatest lesson I encountered in the 8 days south of the border. I had no tv, internet, girlfriends or A/C.  I wasn’t able to communicate fully with anyone except my interpreter.  Most of the time, I used by body language and my eyes to speak what was in my heart.  I believe the deepest message God spoke through me was through my tears.  Often times, words would escape me and all I could do was weep before those who came to hear me speak or simply just hold someone while they poured out all their cares on my shoulder.  Even though I could not understand so much of the language that was being conveyed, I believe the essence of Christ that I possessed was given away to those I encountered.   That is what transforms a community, a city, and a nation.  His character, His identity, His life, His love!

The presence of Christ was so tangible in all the meetings that we held. People were impacted, simply because HE showed up in the room to love on His people.  When you and I can become conduits of His love and allow that to flow in and through us, it will change atmospheres, people and nations. Because of His great name, He shows up to meet the needs of the people!  He walks into the chambers of our heart and rearranges everything….if only we allow Him to do so.

I will never forget the words spoken by a young man in his thirties in the Sunday morning service, “I looked around the sanctuary, and everyone was weeping and I thought to myself, I must too!” He had never been in a church service like that and instinctively knew that the people were encountering God’s love and he desired that for himself and his wife.  If only we would all say “Yes, come Lord!”  I promise, that is a prayer that will always get answered.

Jesus said, Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”  John 13:35NLT

Most people don’t care about how much you know or eloquently speak, they are looking for and needing a love and kindness that will change their reality for the better. I humbly ask you to take this challenge with me.  To lay down whatever is before you that is blocking you from laying ahold of more of Him.  We can only give away that which we possess.  What are you hoping for today?  Is it more money, more friends, more “stuff”?  Or have you felt the tugging at your heart to put off some things in order to grab ahold of more eternal and weightier things?

A very real part of me did not want to return to the comforts of my own community back in Texas. I am ever cognizant of the luxuries that I have as an American, but also as a citizen of a fairly affluent city.  My time in Mexico forced me to rely on Holy Spirit to a degree that I don’t engage in back home every day.   I knew I had the potential of slipping back into some counterfeit affections or frivolous comforts when I returned.  Therefore, I have made a daily declaration that I will do whatever it takes to obey Him because I know that true and lasting joy is only found in giving Him all the praise.  It has become my joy to lay it all down so that I can obtain MORE of Him.  Not my will be done, but HIS be done.   I AM IN LOVE!  And if Oprah Winfrey’s couch was in my living room, I would be jumping up-and-down on it.

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, remember back in 2005, when Tom Cruise appeared on the Oprah show? He was promoting one of his movies, however, he began to gush about his new love.  He proudly stood, strutted across the stage and then began to jump up and down before everyone on Oprah’s beautiful white couch.  Out of his mouth, he yelled, “I am in love with Katie Holmes!”  His soon to be bride, sat in the front row blushing with girlish excitement.  Whenever any of us have fallen head over heels in love, we tell anyone who will listen.  Finding that deep euphoric love of Christ is compelling me to do things I would not normally do.  I want to shout it from the rooftops.

Shake off the dust as you arise my friends….the song of love is playing across all the lands. Can you hear the notes and frequencies beckoning us to become the hands and feet of Christ?  To carry out God’s love to the darkest places, the hardest places?  The harvest is ripe.  Jesus is alive and He lives inside of you!!!

Jesus deserves our everything! Our life, our song…..our possessions…..Everything!  But all He really wants is our hearts!  When He is the owner of our existence, then everything is in proper balance.  The peace you and I so desperately crave is available, only I promise you it is not found in the trappings of this world or its imperfect systems.

I want to give Him everything, and nothing less. My life is His – bought and paid for in full!  A finished work!

As David said “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied when I awake in your likeness.”-and not until.

My Gateway to Love: Take ahold of more of Him!

 Take courage….be brave! Do it afraid!  Bill and Lisa Roitsch have decided to follow Jesus and there is no turning back.  Follow them as they follow Christ at:  www.powerofhislove.com

 

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