Love Your Enemies
Guest post by Matthew Coleman
Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. (Psalm 37:1-3)
Every one of us who are followers of Jesus will encounter obstacles in our life. There will be evildoers and the workers of iniquity who will oppose the faith of Christ’s children. Maybe you are facing those challenges now.
Jesus told us plainly in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world”. This scripture obviously not only refers to the trouble that human opposition causes but also those of the Devil and our own flesh. The Lord wrote Psalm 37 to be a great comfort to us and to give us many promises to lay hold of.
This is one of those psalms where the rubber must hit the road. There are always forces of evil scheming to take you down. They are oppressing you. These things happen. What do you do? God has given us the above psalm to give us confidence during these times of testing. The first order of business is to not fret. Why? God already tells us of the future of those who live in opposition to His servants. God will protect you. What one must do is to trust in the Lord and do what is pleasing in his sight. If you do that, you won’t be harmed by the forces of evil. God promises you that you won’t.
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
It would be much easier to plot one’s own plans of revenge and retaliate against those the enemy uses to attack us. It would be easier to retaliate than to trust God to protect you. It takes a lot of courage to trust in the Lord.
If you want to experience the exhilarating experience of following Christ with all of your heart then you need to put your trust in God in times when evildoers are assailing you! Think of King David when his enemies constantly came after him. Yet, he was able to say in Psalm 27:” The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.” What King David experienced was the glory of God in those times, something that could be described as a supernatural out of body experience. I believe one of the reasons why people get so wrapped up in an intense drug life is because they are searching for some deep experience that they can only get from Christ.
People addicted to worldly intoxication willingly plunge themselves into self-destructive behavior because they are simply not satisfied to live what in their minds is the meaningless existence of 9-5 America. They are thirsting for something more even though their search is severely misguided. The are simply led to accept a mundane existence based on satisfying their desires (since when are our desires ever satisfied?).
More people have to radically orient themselves to be solely directed to building the Kingdom of God in their own sphere of influence through their faith if they desire to experience God in a deeper way. People operating in a carnal mindset don’t understand the exhilarating rush of trusting the Lord. It’s also not understood by many because they haven’t fallen in love with Jesus yet so as to live for His righteousness no matter what it may cost them.
The Creator of all things put this on my heart, “Take me at my word. When you do, I’ll reveal to you my salvation and show you my glory!” He’s looking for those courageous followers who will trust Him so that he can encourage them.
There are deeper revelations of Himself that he reserves for only those who will search for Him diligently with their whole heart. Many times what gets in the way of American Christians coming to experience Holy Ghost revelations like this is because of the incredible opulence that we live in, in this country. At no other period of history in the world have we experienced prosperity and comfort on this level.
How our society so caters to the flesh that the spiritual longings of God are easily snuffed out by satisfying the flesh with things such as entertainment, drugs and alcohol is a travesty. People in America who come to experience God in deeper ways are oftentimes the people who hit rock-bottom in society. At the bottom of the barrel is where they find the Lord because there is nothing and no one else to turn to. But there are also those who fear the Lord greatly and are willing to sacrifice their earthly treasures to pursue the Kingdom of God.
It’s not easy and many would call us crazy for those acts of faith. Let’s all encounter the Lord deeper by trusting Him at His Word even when it requires the greatest courage and faith to do so.