“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Mathew 5:43-45.
The LORD your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. Deuteronomy 20:4.
When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Proverbs 16:7.
Today your LORD (יהוה) God (אלהים) says:
I have told you to cast out demons and to answer the devil’s accusations—resist and overcome him by the Blood of the Lamb and My Word out of your mouth (testimony), but how do you deal with the people he uses to carry out his purposes against you (which will also ruin the person he is using to torment you)? He did it with Cain and ruined both Abel’s and Cain’s lives upon the earth. And I told Cain he gave in to sin but he did not have to, he could have been its master. And our life lessons so far would have instructed Cain in what he should have done when the devil first started working on him, but what do you do with a Cain in your life?
And that is today’s life lesson on what to do when Satan attacks: “Love your enemies, pray for your persecutors.” You see here the key: love and prayer, but careful how you define love and prayer, for you may be missing what I am telling you. Love never fails. It covers a multitude of sins. It is stronger than death. It conquers evil with good. It never is rude or offensive but LOVE NEVER BACKS DOWN. Love is constant. And all things must be done through prayer if they are to be successful and lasting. Remember, when you take up My armor it has to be through and with prayer in all its aspects. And here I am speaking of the prayer of intercession, petition and entrustment. Remember, you are to go ruthlessly after the devil, who is the source of the behavior, but you are to rescue and save the people he has taken captive.
“Put me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its ardor is as inflexible as Sheol (the devil’s realm); its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. Many waters cannot quench love, nor will rivers overflow it; if a man were to give all the riches of his house for love, it would be utterly despised.” Song of Songs 8:6-7.
My apostle Paul put up with much persecution from those who once were his primary supporters and friends, he was put in danger from his countrymen, from the Gentiles, and from false brethren. He was frequently imprisoned by his enemies, beaten often (including, five times he received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes and three times he was beaten with rods and once he was stoned), and often in danger of death. 2 Corinthians 11:23-29. How did he handle all this without malice or bitterness? First, he identified the culprit behind it all, that is, a messenger of Satan. 2 Corinthians 12:7. Second, his priority was to please Me, 2 Corinthians 5:9, and to win souls for My kingdom, Philippians 1:18; Acts 26:16-18, and My grace was sufficient for him. 2 Corinthians 12:9. He was out to defeat Satan and get back My people. He felt honored and privileged that I had appointed him a witness and an ambassador of reconciliation to share the unfathomable riches of Christ and to reconcile people to Me. And so have I also appointed each of you, be conscious of your mission. Be careful how you speak to others. Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. Colossians 4:5-6.
And I told Paul, just as I told Jeremiah my prophet to the nations, that I would rescue him from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles to whom I sent him. And I did not send him to get revenge but to open their eyes so that they would turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to Me, that they could receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me. Acts 26:16-18. When he was seized and imprisoned, he knew what to do, he turned and worshipped Me and his chains fell off, the prison doors swung open and everyone in that jail and the jailer with all his household was saved for all eternity. By one man’s love for Me and others that would not give up no matter what they did to him. But he knew how to come through every time as more than a conqueror. Worship and he prayed in tongues, that is, in the Spirit, more than any of you.
But stop a moment back with Paul in that jail in Philippi as he worshipped in the midst of the trouble and I will show you the key to your way out of your captivity in the valley of trouble. Your valley of trouble could be at your workplace—a co-worker who is taking after you or your supervisor, or it could be in your home—your spouse, your children, your sibling, your parents, or other extended family or friends, it could be your neighbors where you live, or those at your church, or a host of others, the devil is constantly looking for someone to use to take you and that person down together. But the key out of the trouble is always the same, and it is the key of David, “Praised be the LORD,” he sang, “and I am saved from my enemies.” Psalm 18:3. For under My wings he sang with joyful thanksgiving until he was delivered from his enemies. If he woke up anxious about his enemies he had the answer, “When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches, for You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me. But those who seek my soul to destroy it, will go into the lowest places of the earth.” Psalm 63:6-8. Judgment, vengeance, and vindication are Mine, I know what is in each person’s heart.
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her. Then I will give her her vineyards from there, And the valley of trouble as a door of hope. And she will sing there as in the days of her youth.” Hosea 2:14-15. Out of the wilderness came a worshipper.
YOU GO OUT WITH JOY and are led forth by peace. Isaiah 55:12. You will never get out of the valley of trouble if you just grumble, complain, and cry there. If you do that you will spend the night, and many nights there. I say that because the word in Hebrew that I use for the grumbling of the Israelites that kept them out of the Promised Land is the word “lun.” But that word has another meaning too. It means to lodge or spend the night in a place. You do not realize it is the same word in the English translation you read of the Bible, but in Hebrew, the language in which the Old Testament was written, it is.
Cling to Me through the trial doing what I show you to do, which we will discuss further herein, and I will open a door of hope in your valley of trouble, for I never let Satan try you beyond your strength but provide you a way out. But what is that way that opens that door of hope in the valley of trouble? Out of the wilderness must come a worshipper. The voice of thanksgiving brings wonders. It can turn a situation in which you were losing all into a place of favor and blessing. Just consider what happened in the valley of trouble for Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah once they worshipped and put forth the voice of thanksgiving, I turned it into a valley of blessing. 2 Chronicles 20.
Each day, as the onslaught of the person troubling you continues, if it somewhere such as work or school where there is not an option to just walk out and quit, enter into worship and thanksgiving as you entrust the situation to My care. In the secret place in your heart, focus on Me entirely and let go of the care and sing as they do in the heavenly throne room. “Here I stand in this holy place, washed in your blood, filled with your grace, I worship You, I worship You, I worship You!” and stand with your hands raised high. Then do like David and declare, “I love You, O LORD, my strength.” The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.” Psalm 18:1-3. Many are the troubles of the righteous man but I deliver him out of them all. Psalm 34:19. And how do you receive that? “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1. Seek Me in worship and I will take away all your fears and save you out of all of your troubles. Psalm 34:4-6.
Hope for what you do not see yet, with perseverance wait eagerly for it. And when you don’t know what to pray about your situation, pray in the Spirit. “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27. And the result of praying in the spirit (tongues)? “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.
Entrust your trials with others to Me and conduct yourself with the decorum that befits a saint, never sink down to respond at their level of insults, never gossip about them, let Me work on their hearts. I will speak to them. “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Proverbs 16:7.
There may be times you must admonish others, but, especially if it is not those of your household, be sure you are speaking the truth in love and not in anger or malice.
“Live in peace with one another. We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.” 1 Thessalonians 5:13-15. “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16.
But there are times you must intervene to keep the person from destroying his or her life, “When I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet if you have warned the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered yourself. Again, when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I place an obstacle before him, he will die; since you have not warned him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. However, if you have warned the righteous man that the righteous should not sin and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; and you have delivered yourself.” Ezekiel 3:18-21.
There are certain things which I reveal to you in worship but I will go over with you now as pertain to your interaction with others.
First, if you are in controversy or an agitated situation with another, even to the point of considering them an enemy, examine how that relationship developed. Especially if it is with a spouse, relative, friend or co-worker you once got along with just fine. Before you find fault with them and judge them to be the guilty party, look at yourself. If you, and you must be honest with yourself, are the problem and they are reacting to things you said or did that were wrong or just unguarded and unthinking, you are to take responsibility and humble yourself to ask pardon. And even if it was a mutual escalation where you have both been at fault, ask pardon. Work at reconciliation, not accusation.
“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.” Matthew 5:21-26.
Always take the higher road in a discord problem at home or work. “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:17-21.
Never respond to angry words with angry words, this will escalate into a yelling match. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1. Do not yell at people in a mean way. You can make your point much better in a calm and collected manner. It takes two to escalate into a full blown yelling match. Even a fool looks wise if he keeps silent. Maybe keep yourself at “yes” and “no” answers rather than tirades.
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:1-5.
Next, consider this: have you cast the care of it, that is, entrusted the problem to Me and then stopped fretting about it? When Paul, in the context of two believers who were not getting along, “I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord. Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.” Philippians 4:2-3, inspired by My Spirit, wrote “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:4-8. And this is true about everything in your life that is causing you anxiety or stress. Your relationships with others are often a primary source of this.
And persevere through the trial with prayer. “Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.” Philippians 1:19-20. If you will be patient and I will vindicate you.
Do not be intimidated. Do not live in dread at the accusations. “I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies and of the children of men who are made like grass, that you have forgotten the LORD your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, that you fear continually all day long because of the fury of the oppressor, as he makes ready to destroy? But where is the fury of the oppressor? The exile will soon be set free, and will not die in the dungeon, nor will his bread be lacking. For I am the LORD your God, who stirs up the sea and its waves roar (the LORD of hosts is His name). I have put My Words in your mouth and have covered you with the shadow of My hand, to plant the heavens, and establish them on the earth, and to say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’” Isaiah 51:12-16. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the LORD your God,. Isaiah 43:2-3.
Just remember, if anyone fiercely assails you, it will not be from Me. Isaiah 54:15. It is the devil and you need to rebuke him from behind the scenes. And this is done in the spirit, not in the flesh. And whoever assails you will fall because of you, I will bring out the truth of the matter, and you will watch and see the recompense of the wicked. I took care of Saul for David and of the Egyptian army for My people Israel. “For no weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness and their vindication is from Me,” declares the LORD.” Isaiah 54:17. Know this, I am on your side and I will work out everything for your good if you will walk with Me in love and work for My purposes of saving souls. I did it for Joseph, the son of Jacob, with his brothers and Potiphar’s wife, I did it for Esther with Hamon, I did it for Daniel with his persecutors who got him thrown in the lions’ den, and I will take care of you.
It also makes a difference whether the person you are having a difficult time with is a believer or unbeliever. My apostle Paul wrote My thoughts on this, “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.” 1 Corinthians 5:9-13.
If it is a fellow believer that is troubling you, then “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” Matthew 18:15-17. “Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and not before the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life? So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church? I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren, but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers? Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren.” 1 Corinthians 6:1-6.
And finally, remember the golden rule. In everything, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12.
I love you. Love your enemies into wholeness and pray your prosecutors into godliness. It is My goodness that brings you to repentance. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16.