Monday, September 3, 2012
FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!
As the rally call goes out during school football games, our rally call as Christians can be even more passionate. We’re in a war against evil, against worldly temptations, and against our own sin-prone flesh. Thanks be to God Who gives us the victory! He provides us with supernatural armor. We can choose every morning to cover ourselves with His truth, His righteousness and peace, our faith and salvation, the powerful Word of God … and prayer.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
Praying for our Enemies
In nature, one animal preys on another to get its share of the proverbial pie, such as two squirrels chattering and fighting. The law of nature is all about survival of the fittest.
How does that apply to human nature? As a youngster and the dominant twin, I acted like a wild animal seeking the most food. My sister had to fight tooth and tongue to get her share. Fortunately, our mother came to the rescue—until she became so frustrated, she had one of us divide the food and the other choose her share. We made sure to cut as evenly as possible so the other wouldn’t end up with the biggest half.
Such silliness! However, don’t we all tend to fight for the biggest, the best, or the most? We can apply this example to most anything. We fight for respect, love, and acceptance. In an instant, we can feel mistreated, rejected, or unloved. It takes time to learn how to avoid becoming defensive or angry over someone’s mistreatment.
Perhaps in the natural world, survival of the fittest means we must fight. As Christians, however, our fighting is not to be against flesh and blood. When Peter, in the Garden of Gethsemane, cut off a soldier’s ear, Jesus said, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:52-53)
We are to pray for those who mistreat us. In fact, Jesus told us to “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you and pray for those who spitefully use you.” (Luke 6:27)
Huh? How can we pray for our enemies and still survive? Fighting them instead, whether with words or swords, will keep love from entering. Prayer is a powerful weapon. The Bible doesn’t tell us to pray that our enemies will be punished or banished. God is in charge of that. Rather, we are to “retaliate” with good. With love. With a sincere blessing for their spiritual welfare. God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4)
Lord, help us to follow Your perfect example of love. Give us the grace to pray for our enemies and do good to all so they will be drawn to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.