Reflection 5: What You Can Expect From Life: According to Enemies; pt 5

71 “That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73 The oath which he swore to our father Abraham, 74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.” ~ Luke 1:71-75

In my humble estimation there is truly no proper reason to have any enemies nor for anyone to be enemies of another brother or sister in the Lord. There is no justification for war between family members, friends, distant relatives, nor between other people from other religions or countries. Honestly, I cannot come up with any justification for war period and neither can you if you reflect upon the horror war brings to all who is involved in this nasty business! Here is the problem with mankind, and I mean no disrespect for womankind or kid-kind, but the human race as a whole has ignored God again! It is through our arrogance we allow other nations to become bitter enemies, it is through the lust of power countries go to war, and it is through our stupidity we take weapons and kill other people and then justify our actions by devaluing human life! This is also the case within our interpersonal relationships with whoever we don’t like, we devalue them with words instead of weapons and we depose their importance to gain favor with the powers that be, again a nasty business! We allow greed to fester until it brings us to war, we allow lust to bring us to war, we allow envy to bring us to war, we allow anger to bring us to war, and we allow pride to take us to war! (For a complete understanding of these sins click the following link: Listening Faithfully: The Sin Series Kindle edition). More to the point: God commanded us to never kill another human being period! God commanded us to never do anything which will bring-about the sins mentioned above by instructing all of humanity to always love thy God with all thy heart, mind, and soul. Yet most of us think God’s love not strong enough, or good enough, nor righteous enough thus we strike out on our own. We afflict horrible pain upon those we love and then justify our actions so we can get a good nights sleep instead of taking responsibility for the mess we have created!

35 “One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” ~ Matthew 22:35-39

If you love God in this way, if you value God in this way, and if you understand the will of God in this way then war becomes obsolete. No one who truly loves God would harm another human being. Thus, it is through sin we fall to the level of animals and fight amongst ourselves and kill, rape, pillage, murder, and take life. Though abortion is generally not classified under this topic of war, it is also against God and it is a grievous sin. Alcoholism also may not be directly classified under this topic, it is however related in the aspect of the eternal separation from God and from family as one’s life is lived outside of acceptance of others, and is always one of many methods people have used to deal with war and the justification of their sinful actions. Again, this too is a grievous sin against God.  In this way written in black and white we can see how war is directly apposed to love and if you know anything about love then you will be forced to acknowledge God is love. Who can stand against the love of and grace of God and then still advocate killing people for anyone of these sins? This is the moral question Jesus himself asked those who had entrapped then wanting to stone to death a woman by the name of Mary.

2 “At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?
11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” ~ John 8:2-11

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Here is the root of the problem, we test God. We of little faith presume we have the authority to test God! We mere mortals assume we have the righteousness to trap God in our own sin! Again no disrespect, but who are you to test our living God? We all do it daily, we give God choices always with a selfish intent and then expect God to grant those wishes and prayers. Tell me if this doesn’t sound selfish to you;

“Dear God, if you allow me to win the lottery I will be forever grateful.”

Or “Dear God you only have to prove you’re there by giving me a new car.”

Don’t laugh, I have heard those prayers being whispered by people who were supposed to be devout followers in church. Most of our prayers are not just selfish, but also insulting. So with prayers like these God has to filter through he truly is merciful for not giving up on us. For a moment put yourself in God’s place listening to all those prayers then tell me you wouldn’t within the first few seconds resolve to condemn all of humanity? Yet our God does not, instead he loves us more each and every passing day. If God can then forgive us then why can we not forgive our brothers and sisters of the human race? Within that context war is also the result of intolerance, the lack of a loving heart, and worse of all the bravado of our own sinful human egos which places our spirit in the mindset of war.

The very idea of having enemies was addressed at least a hundred different times in the bible; Jesus himself addressed it multiple times and was extremely clear of how we are to resolve these matters in scripture;

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” ~ Matthew 5:38-39

“When someone strikes you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek, too. When someone takes your coat from you, let them have your shirt as well. Give to everyone who asks. And if someone robs you, don’t demand your property back.” ~ The Lost Gospel Q, Q15.

Lets’ think this through for a second. Isn’t these two passages talking about conflict? Couldn’t we apply them to our everyday lives, and if so couldn’t our nation’s foreign policies reflect these two passages in the spirit Jesus was commanding us to adhere too? If this then is true then it is also true it takes great effort to make those changes, and it is easier to ignore God by ignoring these simple commands. Thus, war and conflict on every level is also a direct result in our laziness to properly follow God, yet we expect God to be there for us whenever we call. Simply put we are all hypocrites within our expectations, wants, desires, and we thus are also slaves to sin because of our laziness and slothfulness in our misplaced demands upon God. In this light if indeed all of humanity is thus guilty of all the above then God is even more merciful and His love is even more powerful than anything we could have ever imagined. This also explains why we have enemies, because we in our stupidity rebel against this perfect love and we make ourselves God’s enemy just as Satan has done. Logically speaking, if we continue to challenge God with war and violence against our enemies then what can we truly expect form Him? Perhaps a review of the old testament will shed some light;

47 “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things, 48 therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness, and lacking everything. And he will put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you.” ~ Deuteronomy 28:42-48

I simply ask, “Is this not the case in our modern lives today? Isn’t this curse still upon us?” We only have to look at the economy, the greed within it, the interest every nation is enslaved too, and in this there is no retribution but a yoke of iron that has indeed been placed upon all our necks from cradle to the grave! This is but one example of the iron yoke at work, there is still hundreds if not thousands of more examples you only only have to look for them.

As a matter of principle it is never right to offer such condemnation without offering some sign of hope and or to suggest an answer to fix the problem I have thus laid out before you today. In doing so I will speak with a tone that is stark in contrast of these appalling conditions we all find ourselves with being morally bankrupt while again turning to scripture for the answer.

“Treat people as you would like them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you do good only to those who do good to you, what merit is there in that? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what reward is there in that? Even sinners lend to sinners. Instead, love your enemies and do good, expecting nothing in return. You will have a great reward, and you will be children of your Father in heaven. He makes the sun rise on the bad and the good. He sends rain to fall on both the just and the unjust.” ~ The Lost Gospel Q, Q16

Our Lord and Savior offered these words of wisdom up after he had given us the example of how to deal with strife and how to deal with our enemies. His ultimate command on this issue is to always face our enemies with love, kindness, respect, and compassion. This is in stark contrast to our current actions in all levels of our lives, though we have been told to love we have chosen war every time. Indeed, we are very much like those first Israelites who escaped Egypt and was made to wonder in the desert for forty years. Of these people Moses brought with him God called them a stiff-necked people;

33 “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ 2 I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 3 Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.’” ~ Exodus 33:1-3

Of these people’s children Jesus commanded;

“Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.” ~ The Lost Gospel Q, Q17

In all of these passages where Jesus spoke that can be found in the bible on the topic of “enemies” He always confronts it with forgiveness and love. Jesus saw the way to peace was found in treating everyone as you would have them treat you. There is always a common respect extended and with in this respect there is found love, kindness, forgiveness, and a profound understanding of the human condition. As I had written in my very first blog posting back in 2009, “God’s Desire for Man” (Relationship Series), we all want to be part of a group, we all long for love and acceptance. This is simply the reason so many wars have been fought and so many people have died. God simply loves you and accepts you for who you are and He alone has the power to remake you into a more perfect person through repentance and the forgiveness of sins. It is only through His love can we all find that utopian world of perpetual peace, and it is this which Jesus talked so masterfully about the Kingdom of God. For in that Kingdom there is no enemy to fight, there is no sickness that kills, there is no suffering because of our ignorance and intolerance because there simply is no sin. For in the Kingdom of God we feast with God as his beloved children.

Pray With Me:

1 “Hear my cry, O God;

   listen to my prayer.

2 From the ends of the earth I call to you,

   I call as my heart grows faint;

   lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

3 For you have been my refuge,

   a strong tower against the foe.

4 I long to dwell in your tent forever

   and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.

5 For you, God, have heard my vows;

   you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

6 Increase the days of the king’s life,

   his years for many generations.

7 May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever;

   appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him.

8 Then I will ever sing in praise of your name

   and fulfill my vows day after day.” ~ Psalm 61

Let us all fulfill our vows we have made upon our baptism, may we have the faith and courage to sing these vows to God in the Highest day after day until we meet Him in heaven. My we have the wisdom to forge peace with our enemies and become stronger for having done so.

Amen

If you liked this Reflection on ENEMIES please leave a comment. Also please LIKE and SHARE this post with others.

Brian Keith

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In the spirit of charity and from the necessity to provide  for all of Gods children, together in this mission,  Listening Faithfully has teamed up with a wonderful charitable organization in East Texas whose name reflects their good works, “God’s Hand Ups” and their work  is accomplished by a Godly motivation to help every children throughout their community. I am honored to have them as good friends in the Lord.  I can testify before you all today, that my good friend who is a founding member of this charitable group  has truly been tested in the manner described here in this blog posting and who has consistently passed this test of giving and working for the benefit of all in her community. I introduce you all to Tonia Allen, who currently has a wonderful new campaign in raising money for children in need. Please visit her donation site:  “GOD’S HAND UPS NOT HAND OUTS ”  and please be very charitable.

Someone once told me that compassion was not simple. They believed compassion was huge. Compassion is SO simple as it is an act of kindness from one to another. It is only huge when it becomes over thought. God’s Hand Ups was founded by the vision of a 17 year old junior in high school who believed the world could be saved–“one person at a time.” ~ Tonia Allen, Gods Hands Up, 2013. 

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It is also my great pleasure to announce to all that God’s Hand Ups Not Hand Outs has now become an official Non-Profit Ministry. From a house to a non-profit ministry in the matter of a few months of operation. God has truly bless this East Texas Group of beautiful caring parents and followers of God. It is truly through His Devine Love that such things are possible.

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