Showing posts with the label Enemies

Drive them all out

Perhaps you will think to yourselves, ‘How can we ever conquer these nations that are so much more powerful than we are?’ But don’t be afraid of them! Just remember what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all the land of Egypt. Remember the great terrors the Lord your God sent against them. You saw it all with your own eyes! And remember the miraculous signs and wonders, and the strong hand and powerful arm with which he brought you out of Egypt. The Lord your God will use this same power against all the people you fear. (Deuteronomy 7:17-19) As the small nation of Israelites was about to inherit the land God had promised to them, he gives them the instruction to destroy all the inhabitants of the land, one by one, and even destroy their places of worship. Many of these nations had much more advanced military might, strong leaders of their armies, and ruthless kings. Yet, God's instruction is clear - destroy them all, one by one, until none remain - and remember - remember th

Let love be the force

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. (Martin Luther King, Jr) “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!" (Matthew 5:43-44) Probably one of the toughest things we encounter is the desire to actually 'be nice' or 'do nice things' toward our enemies. Why is that so hard for us? We feel wronged, leading us to feel a little bit like we aren't important to that other person, or that we deserved better. We want to let them know how much they have hurt us - how much their 'negative impact' has left us feeling like we were 'less than' or 'didn't matter' in their eyes - at least from the way we took their actions to mean. Jesus reminds those of us who have said 'yes' to him that it is responsibility to not only love our 'nice neighbors' or the 'friends we actually like', but to love our EN

Life Hack #29: Pay it Forward, Not Backward

Life Hack #29: Like it or not, we all have at least one enemy in this lifetime. It is an honest part of human nature to want to see some harm come to your enemy. The very word "enemy" suggests someone who is your opponent, operating with some type of antagonistic behavior that makes the two of you adversaries. To want good for your enemy is counter intuitive. They are out to harm you - so why should you be out to bless them? Yet, we are not to revel in their fall, nor celebrate their collapse. We are to leave their "outcome" to God - something harder said than done! Don’t laugh when your enemy falls; don’t crow over his collapse. God might see, and become very provoked, and then take pity on his plight. (Proverbs 24:17-18) Enemies can be personal adversaries - such as someone bent on making your life miserable - all attacks aimed at you alone. They can also be generally around us - such as public officials who don't represent the needs, wants, or beliefs o

Embrace with Grace

As long as we live among other human beings on this earth, people will do things which just give us more than a little trouble.  It is part of living and dealing with other humans - we are not all going to see things exactly the same way all of the time, not matter how closely we resemble each other, so there will be conflict.  Something I say or do will eventually cause you to get a little ruffled - it is part of us both being human.  This "revelation" changed my perspective on how it is I deal with people in my life.  You see, I can choose to focus on what they are doing which gives me concern, or I can choose to focus on the fact they are another human being Christ loved enough to die for, therefore I am being a little too self-centered if I only see the "issue" they are creating and not the person behind the issue.  When we focus on the issue, we lose sight of the person. Forget about the wrong things people do to you. Don’t try to get even. Love your neigh

Another word picture

Do you ever come across those sayings in the Bible that you just cannot figure out?  In one sense, you look at what is said, thinking it might mean one thing, but in the time it was written it meant something entirely different. We aren't sheep herders by trade in the Middle East living about 2,000-3,000 years ago, so some of the practices and things said about shepherds just don't make a whole lot of sense.  We think the term, "...the sheep know his voice..." is referring to some form of obedience on the part of Christ's followers.  In one sense, it could imply this, but in reality, the shepherd would take the newborn lamb, sling it across his shoulders, carrying it there for a period of time until it got used to his voice.  Then he'd set it down to walk with the rest of the sheep.  In those days, they didn't herd sheep with horses and lots of sheep dogs.  They simply called for the sheep, and because they knew the shepherds tone of voice, they followed.

Got any enemies?

Ever wonder how to get your enemies to settle down and live at peace with you?  I have and in fact, I have jumped through many a hoop I thought would "settle the pack", but in fact did nothing more than just entertain them - giving them more to poke fun at.  During a particularly challenging season in my life in my career, I learned something though.  In the darkness of that season, lasting about half a year, I was daily challenged as a leader, criticized for decisions made, and even received threatening and demeaning letters of accusation, some bordering on threats.  The times were challenging and I came close to throwing in the towel several times, almost thinking walking away was the best means to an end.  Yet, in the darkness of the hour, I learned something which I have held onto - my reputation may be criticized, torn apart, and even drug through the mud, but my "life" could not be challenged. Why?  Simply put - I chose to live my life in a manner pleasing to

Bringing out the best

 "To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person." (Luke 6:27 The Message) Okay, am I really alone here, or do others have a hard time really praying for their enemies?  That whole thing about loving your enemies is a kind of ethereal idea to most of us.  As a matter of fact, it is the furthest thing from our minds when we feel them breathing down our throats, giving us a hard time, or gossiping behind our backs!  But.... God's Word is explicitly clear - if we are ready to hear the truth, that is.  Love 'em!  In other words, be merciful just as our heavenly Father is merciful.  One of the reasons we find it so hard to "love 'em" is because they just aren't all that lovable!  Face it, the idea of loving our enemies, praying for them, and even giving them the shirt off our back is kind of repul

God's Dependable Love

16-17  And me? I'm singing your prowess, shouting at cockcrow your largesse,    For you've been a safe place for me, a good place to hide.  Strong God, I'm watching you do it, I can always count on you—God, my dependable love. (Psalm 59:16-17) Understanding the background of this Psalm might help us understand these words even more clearly.  David, as King of Israel, was in heated battle with the Edomites in the Valley of Salt.  The Edomites were descendants of Esau, one of the sons of Jacob.  Esau is probably best known as the son who sold his birthright for a pot of stew (Genesis 25).  As the firstborn of Jacob, he had the full right to the inheritance of his father (a double portion).  In a time of weakness, hungry and weary, he "sold out" to his twin brother.   Esau's family became a band of nomadic raiders settling in the region just south of the Dead Sea - the land that Israel would realistically pass through on their way to Canaan as they existed Egy