DAY 77 - Pray for and Love Your Enemies

When is the last time I prayed for or did good to those who have mistreated me or betrayed me?

43  "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'  44  But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46  If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47  And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. - Matthew 5:43-48

Insight

Welcome to one of the hardest teachings of all, second only to forgiving the “unforgiveable”.  If you are ready for a huge boost in your walk with Christ, here is the shortest path.  I can’t show you this in the Bible, but I’m pretty sure that lights and sirens go off on heaven when a Christian starts praying for their enemies or doing good to them.  I think the angels must run to the Father saying, “Lord Most High, look…we found another one right here…shall we send more of your blessing now?”  

For years I prayed for an opportunity to do good to one of my enemies, but an appropriate opportunity just never seemed to come.  God used that experience to show me that sometimes loving your enemy is not what you do to them, but what you don’t do to them (1 Sam 24:10-19, 26:9-11).  

But, then I had another enemy that I was able to do good to.  It was a brother I had been discipling and someone I really liked and cared about.  The door opened for me to counsel him about some bondage he was experiencing from his past.  He was struggling with unforgiveness and anger issues towards people that hurt him.  Most of the time he was the nicest guy in the room, but when his thorns were touched, the smallest things could set him off to explode.  He saw he needed help and I began trying to slowly walk Him through it.  Things were going well, and I was even invited to a family reunion type event, where I filmed all day to make a nice family video for them.  

I’ve seen what happened next, several times.  Once we got to the root of the issue, Satan came in with a club and created a huge offense to completely separate him from me (the person trying to help).  He got highly offended one day when I challenged his views on evolution and creation, with Scripture.  It wasn’t long before he turned on me.  I went from being the person he told others was the one who helped him get back on track with God, to being the one who was now mentally ill and leading people to hell.  The devil takes bondage very seriously!

Even still, he kept having others ask me about the video and when I could finish it.  It doesn’t fit with human reasoning to take your time editing a video for someone that is running around slandering you.  But guess what?  It makes a lot of sense to Jesus.  It took me some, but I finished it on Christmas Eve and was able to give it to his family as a nice little surprise.  Perhaps one day we can reconcile, but even if we don’t, Jesus says that we will be rewarded when we bless our enemies and do good to those who hate us.  

This seems impossible to do, and on your own it absolutely is.  However, if you truly desire to obey God, He will give you the grace to do this.  This is how you know when you are really maturing in your faith, and when you get here, you will be surprised at how easy it actually is, because the Spirit of Christ has enabled you to do so.  Don’t wait for the feeling to come to bless your enemies.  The feeling and the grace will come only after you make the first move in faith.  Faith without works is dead.