prayer

Enemies

You can’t live a life of any type of significance without making enemies, or haters, if I may use that word. Now using these terms, I am not talking about people that legitimately just don’t like you or people that just don’t care for you as a person, because not everyone meshes well with everybody, you learned that in pre-school. We each are drawn to different types of people, and the people you hang with may not be my cup of tea. These people are not your enemies. Rather, enemies are those who seem to be on an assignment to destroy your life or disrupt your road to fulfilling God’s purpose for your life, and the scary part is that they don’t always show their true colors right away, and some we don’t recognize before it’s too late, because their maneuvers are very subtle. Of course, the Enemy and all of Hell’s demons become your enemies once you surrender your life over to Christ, but I don’t want to talk about them specifically.

So where is all this coming from? Well I have been reading Max Lucado’s book, “Facing Your Giants,” which goes through the life of David, and he pointed out that during the time David was on the run from Saul, there was an incident when he cut off a part of Saul’s garment without him knowing it, and later felt bad about it. The lesson learned is that even though our enemies are our enemies, they still belong to God, no matter what position they are in, whether they are friends, co-workers, parents, ministers, siblings, or even those people you really can’t fathom how or when they became your enemy. For David, Saul’s pursuit was driven by jealousy and envy, which in my opinion is the common determining factor, meaning that people out of their own misery and insecurities do what they can to bring you down with them or try to get over you.

Nevertheless, recognizing who our enemies may be, it’s easy to begin to talk bad about them, build a false sense of pride, and if you let it, you begin to hate them. The problem here is that hating someone the Bible classifies as murder, God vividly says He hates pride, and slander is always condemned in scripture, so obviously, should we get to these points, we need to reevaluate our heart and motives, because if the Lord truly is trying to elevate us and use us in ways that only He can, we must get rid of all these things. If for no other reason, James reminds us not to tear them down, even though these persons are our enemies and may have truly done or said some terrible things, because they, like us, were made in the image of God.

Furthermore, because of that understanding, as Lucado explained, they are still a part of God’s plan especially in your life, which could be to develop patience, mercy, forgiveness, faith, and or love, yet in the same way, He has a plan for them too, for the simple fact that they are alive. This means that even though they are behaving like anything but a child of God, they are not out of reach to be redeemed by God. So with that being said, in dealing with our enemies we should be bearing fruit, honoring God, especially love since we are commanded to love our enemies. Likewise, it got me thinking some more as it relates to how we pray.

If you haven’t discovered this on your own, there are some scary prayers in the Bible, especially by David, that petition the Lord’s judgement and wrath on our enemies. So as a disclaimer, there is a time to pray those types of prayers, but I doubt your life is as insane as David’s so I can’t imagine you having to pray those prayers on a regular basis, just use wisdom with pure motives. On the other hand, because we acknowledge the fact the even our enemies are made in the image of God who still has the ability to change their hearts, our prayers should be more compassionate, because they may be in a spiritual war that they aren’t even aware they are in or deeply struggling in ways we aren’t privy to knowing. Your prayers can truly save their lives, which would make yours less difficult, allowing the possibility of a friend. To put it another way, if how you pray about and over your enemies they pray for you, would your prayers change? This is important to consider because you have been or still may be an enemy to someone.

Bottom line, your response to your enemies can change lives, just let the Spirit of God lead you in dealing with them in whatever your situation may be. It’s definitely something worth mastering, because being you for a purpose will always draw attention and create a response, both positive and negative.

Advertisements

Be Careful What You Pray For

The funny thing about this Christ race is that the individuals that fall into this category, we have our own clichés and or common phrases. However, many of the things we say or the songs we sing we fail to understand the implication of our words or even believe what we say or sing to be true, rather we just say it just because that’s the trend of the day.

For example, many times you will hear a person say that Jesus is enough, and let me be the first to tell you, that is easier said than done. In this culture we try so hard to get, get, get that when we don’t, we think we won’t survive with just Christ alone, which is a segway to another popular confession: I believe in God and have faith that He will supply all my needs. Again, in one way or another we have heard or said that a million times, but when life is anything but sunshine and daisies, do we live as if we truly believe what we said on Sunday?? There is a song called “I Don’t Mind Waiting,” which is pretty much 95% of the song’s lyrics. Do you understand how dangerous of a song that is?! Waiting is not for the weak, at all! But many will sing this from the mountain top, yet only mean it to a certain extent. As you walk with God, you will soon learn that by no means does he operate on our time table, and we will often times find ourselves waiting. The question is did you really mean what you said??

Just with in the last year, I have learned in my own experience and by others, the need to think about what we say, because what we say will be tested and furthermore, the Lord does hear our prayers and operates in ways that can make all but happy. What do I mean? Be careful what you pray for. Prayer is an integral part of this Christian race, it’s our direct communication with the God of the universe, so when you pray know that God has every ability to answer your request, many times in ways we never take notice of. For example, you pray the Lord to protect you in your travels and the Lord says “yes.” What we sometimes fail to realize is that in protecting us God will cause us to misplace our keys, have to turn around and go back home because we forgot something, or traffic puts us 30 minutes behind schedule, and of course we get upset, but we forget what we prayed and many times God is just honoring our requests through these situations. Or if you ask God to send you that perfect boo thang to marry. He says “yes, that is a part of My plan for you,” but until we meet who God has for us, He has to mold us and him or her, which means we will have to go through some other relationships, good and not so good to purge us and make us ready for the one we will spend the rest of our life with. Or if you pray for more love or more patience, and the Lord will always say yes, but it doesn’t just happen; a prayer like that will automatically initiate some awkward and or upsetting situations to test and stretch your patience and love. Even more awesome, if you pray and ask the Lord to bless you and to do in, by, though, and for you all that He can for His glory, understand that God would love to do so. The only question is, are you really ready for Him to do it? Because if you really mean it and give Him full reign to do as He pleases, I guarantee He will blow your mind and rock your world something serious.

The overall idea is not to scare you or have you walking on eggshells, but just to know that you serve and awesome and powerful God that loves and listens even to every seemingly nonchalant prayer, even when we forget. We just have to remember that His ways are not our ways, nor is His time as our time. Likewise, in everyday speech with whoever, if you speak it, be able to back it up or prove it to be true when the time comes, because your word is bond, and the actions behind those words will solidify or nullify you and what you said.