God's Requirements Of You For Your Enemies
Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
September 6, 2020
Have you ever been in really, really deep emotional pain, so much so that you actually thought that you could die, because no human being could naturally be in that much pain and live? Have you ever been in so much emotional pain that you could even feel and see the effects of the pain in your body because you had real pain in your actual heart, your beating heart, and you thought that it might stop?
That’s some deep pain. And I’ve been there. When my Mom died, I thought that I could surely die too. I really felt my heart beating so fast and hard until I thought that it was going to give out. I couldn’t process what was happening at that moment. I was in the deepest emotional and spiritual pain that I had ever been in my whole entire life. I thought the pain would never end. But, it did. Praise God. And once I got through the grief of losing my parental foundation, I knew that through God, I would still stand. I knew that I would stand tall to honor the great and phenomenal woman of God that I had in my Mother.
Eight years after my mother died, I would experience another death, the death of my 25-year marriage. And as surprising as it might be, that death was worse than the total experience from the death of my Mom. It was so because of all the abuse that I had endured from my ex-husband, that left me with some very deep emotional wounds. I grieved my Mom’s passing because I knew that one of the greatest joys in my life was physically gone. But, I got to the point where my grief was soothed with only the happy, beautiful, peaceful, once in a lifetime memories of that most special woman who helped make me the woman of God that I am today.
However, to the contrary, after I left my marriage, there were no cherished moments. I was too busy spending my time trying to stop my bleeding wounds. Those wounds, which were visible to only me and God. Whereas with my Mom, I was trying to make sense out of the loss of something so good- with my marriage, I was trying to make sense out of the increase in something so bad. There was a big difference.
The message last week was on 5 Promises regarding Haters. The subsequent daily devotionals focused on the way that God’s children can gain victory in spiritual warfare over the enemy and their enemies/haters. The messages focused on the blessed assurance that God is always with His children and will even prepare a table before them in the presence of their enemies. It also focused on putting on the whole armour of God, such as the belt of truth, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. This week the message will focus on that difficult, but necessary topic, of how God requires us to deal with our enemies.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matthew 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. Matthew 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
Jesus also said in Luke 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Luke 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
Love my enemies who clearly hate me? Bless them after they’ve cursed and while they’re still cursing me? Do good to them in the midst of all the hate that they are spewing at me? Pray for them after they have used, and still are, despitefully using and persecuting me? Show them mercy? And forgive them for all the evil that they have done to me? Wow. That’s heavy. That’s deep. Real deep. And that seems like a really tall order to fill.
You might say how Lord? How? Well no one knows deep hurt and pain better than God Almighty and Jesus Christ. Romans 5:8 tells us But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. God watched His only begotten Son be tortured and put to death for all mankind, including for those persons who didn’t even love Him. And He was innocent. Also, Jesus knows the pain of loving someone, in Judas, who didn’t love Him, and only pretended to love Him just so that he could betray Him and have Him put to death. Wow. Now that had to be some deep, deep, deep pain.
Jesus was the perfect example for how we’re supposed to deal with and treat our enemies. In fact Jesus said in Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect. We are supposed to be striving with all of our heart, mind, body, and soul to be like Jesus at all times.
Well I can tell you from my own personal experience that it is a real challenge to love your enemies, bless them, pray for them, and do good to them, have mercy on them, and forgive them. Without God, it actually is impossible. Without God, a person will never be able to love like God, and treat others like God. But God will never call us to do something in the flesh that can’t be achieved through the spirit. With God, all things are possible.
Almost 3 years ago to the day as I was reading my devotion, something really, really beautiful and amazing happened, I read I Samuel 12:23: As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. I realized that I could learn so much from that scripture. I also realized that even though I saw no change in my enemies and they never knew of my intercession for them, a miraculous change was taking place within me. I realized that Love is a choice and Love is God. So, if I choose God, and I do, that also means I am always choosing love, and I can never go wrong choosing God’s love.
Throughout my journey of healing, I’ve got on my knees and I cried out to God many, many times. I called out to God from a place that was so deep within, I wouldn’t have even known that it existed but for the trials and tribulations that I had endured that brought me there. And God met me there in that place, every single time.
You see God knows that deep emotional pain that you experience. He sees the depths of your silent tears. He hears the cries of your silent voice. Deep calls to Deep. And God also knows that your freedom from the pain is through following His commands to love your enemies, do good to them, bless them, pray for them, have mercy on them, and forgive them.
I also realized during this journey of healing that I have a choice with my emotions. I can let my emotions drive me, or I can choose to let the Holy Spirit drive my emotions. That was an easy choice for me to make and it truly made the process of living out God’s principles easier- not easy, but easier. God gave me the strength in my spirit to do what I otherwise would not have been able to do in the flesh.
I will tell you this, on my journey of healing, through doing what Jesus commanded- loving, doing good, blessing, praying for, showing mercy, and forgiving my enemies, I was the one blessed beyond what I could ever imagine. I grew spiritually- taller than the tallest tree. I grew in love. I grew in peace. I grew in grace. I grew in compassion. I grew in mercy. And I grew in forgiveness.
With each prayer for my enemies to change and be saved, I was the one changed. And then I became brand new. As the butterfly goes through the stages of metamorphosis before it can fly, God took me through a metamorphosis as well. Now, I am soaring high in Him, higher than I've ever soared before. And yet I know that God is taking me even higher.
God will do the same thing for You. He wants to use all of your pain and any negative experience(s) to make you brand new, so that You can be used by Him, the King of glory. The choice is yours- what will you choose?
Dear Father God,
Thank You Lord for being the perfect example in how to deal with my enemies. When the pain is too deep for words, I know that I have a choice in my emotions and I choose to not let my emotional pain drive me, but to let You, Holy Spirit, drive my emotional pain. Today I choose Love, real Love in dealing with my enemies, both seen and unseen, because I choose You. And You are all that’s good and patient and loving and long-suffering and kind. I choose love and not resentment. I choose understanding and mercy. I choose the release of any negative feelings that I have concerning what anyone has done and is doing to me right now. I choose forgiveness. Lord, I choose You. I Thank You for being brand new. And Lord, I also pray for my enemies, I ask that You would make them brand new too. I Love You Lord and humbly submit my will to You.
In Jesus name I pray,
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