Have you ever found yourself making those kind of prayers that King David and Solomon would make for their enemies? Prayers like
let them be put to shame and disappointed altogether. Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor, Psa 35:26
Let them be put to shame, let them go to hell silently, Psa. 31:17
Let disaster overtake him in an instant, Pro. 6:15 or let him inherit the wind…
I once worked and lived among believers where we had a rule that, ‘in every conflict, start with a bottom line that no one is malicious here’. I took time to think through and appreciated how right that statement was, i.e. as far as I remained in there. People were honest with one another. Productive feedback was given as often and received positively. People did not have small destructive groups; if any group existed it was to build up one another. People would go an extra mile to cover up for one another, to support one another genuinely among other things. I enjoyed working there. It was a true reflection of the Word – how beautiful it is when brethren dwell together in Unity!
One day, life happened. I moved to this ‘out there’ that we keep talking about. I forgot that the Rule only applied among believers and not among the dogs, those who practice magic acts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood, as in Rev. 22:15. These are the ones who are ‘outside’. I am disappointed that I came out with that rule in mind.
I have met one person that I may never forget all my life. He never plans good for those around him, all his thoughts about everyone but himself are for failure. He is never happy for others. He is a family breaker, he slanders slaves to their master, he winks maliciously to create dissension, motions with his feet, he is against everyone’s advancement but himself, but above all, he is a gossiper and is full of falsehood! He is feared by everyone. Today, a friend shared with me how he almost broke his family a while ago.
As I thought through my friend’s experience, I grew bitter in heart. I wondered why one would have such an impure heart yet live among people. I felt like making the prayer in Prov. 6 that, ‘He who winks with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers, who plots evil with deceit in his heart, always stirring up dissension…disaster will overtake him in an instant, he will be destroyed suddenly – without remedy.’ (Amen)
As I think through in my disillusionment, I am reminded that I too do not deserve grace. I am challenged to love, forgive, care for and show the way. I am required not to hold bitterness at heart, but to pray for and bless those who curse you. I am required to win at the battlefield of prayer alone.
Dear believers in the Lord, you that have not been out here, brace yourselves to live as lambs among wolves. Order your inner life when you still can, for what you are is dependent on how strong you are spiritually, from within. Each day, pray that you may not fall into temptation (Matt 26:41), for it will keep knocking day in day out. Teach yourself how to love the unlovable, how to offer grace as it was extended to you at the cross when Christ lay down His life, and learn to forgive as you have been forgiven.
Beware that few are for you, majority are against you. You have the Lord on your side however, and that is all We Need.
And when you learn these things, you will be ready to live ‘out’ here.
So Grace us, Lord