Every time I sit down to write, I ask the Lord what He would like for me to say. Sometimes I have an idea and other times I don’t. Yesterday, I was reading a lot of people’s opinions (some not so nice) on what the Pittsburgh Steelers did — or should I say — didn’t do during the national anthem. Everyone has an opinion and that is okay. We live in America and people have the right to their opinions, but my mind immediately went to “What Would Jesus Do? You know that saying used to be very popular. There were wristbands, t-shirts, keychains, etc. with that written on it. It’s a shame that we have strayed from thinking those words.
So, I started thinking about how people reacted to Jesus when He walked on the earth. There were those who loved Him. There were those who hated Him. There were those who were indifferent to Him. I am sure there were many who hadn’t decided yet what they thought of Him. His own people didn’t know what to think about Him. The Jewish leaders had their law and the way they did things and they didn’t want Jesus to tell them they were doing it wrong. They thought they were right. They liked the way things were and they didn’t want Jesus to tell them they were wrong. (Doesn’t that ring true for all of us?)
But, here is the cool thing about Jesus. He knew how to handle difficult people. And the reason why He knew how to handle people and each situation was the fact that He prayed. Luke 5:16 He spent every morning with His Father praying. The words that came out of His mouth are written down in the Bible so we will know how to react to people in our lives. He tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Matt. 5:44 That is a foreign concept in our culture today because everyone wants their opinion to be heard. (Not saying that’s a bad thing) But the fact is our opinions don’t really matter. God’s word is what matters because He is the one who tells us how we are supposed to live our lives. When the emotions are high, how many of us can say that we stop and pray for those who are yelling at us or accusing us. (This is very hard to do!) But, what if we prayed in advance every morning for the Lord to help us react to the difficult situations that we come into contact with each day? What if we asked the Lord to help us react to those difficult people in our lives? We would probably see Him perform a change in us and maybe even in them.
Let me tell you right now, I am reminding myself of these truths while I am speaking them to you. We all need to be reminded of God’s truth. If you are a Christian and you love the Lord, then we must follow what He tells us to do. He made us and He knows what is best for us. He knows exactly how things need to be done. If we would just pause and ask Him to help us deal with the things that are coming at us in life, we would be so much better off. Let me quote what Priscilla Shirer says. “Prayer is the mechanism that brings down the power of heaven into your experience.” And then she states, “I believe I can say it as bluntly as this: Unless prayer is a vital and thriving part of your life, you will never achieve spiritual victory.” (OUCH and AMEN!) Lord, help us to come to you first before we start each day so we can have spiritual victory in our lives!
Everyone that we come into contact with in our lives is coming from their own set of issues and problems. So when people react, they are coming from a different place than we are. Now I am not making excuses for anyone that responds in an abusive manner, I am just saying that their heart and mind is in a different place than mine. I react differently to certain issues than my husband does because of my past. There have been times I have wanted to behave and have behaved in a very un-christlike manner. (I know that is hard to believe. Haha! My family can tell you that!) But the bottom line is, we are called to respond like Christ. “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3: 9 Friends, I don’t know about you, but I want to inherit a blessing. I also want to encourage you to go ahead and read all of 1 Peter 3.
Whether we like it or not, we are commanded to love one another and we are also commanded to forgive one another. I know that there are people out there that are extremely hard to love and forgive. I know how hard it is to do this and I can’t do it in my own power. I have to have God’s help! There are many times I have prayed through gritted teeth and asked for divine intervention with certain people and situations.
The bottom line is Satan is the enemy and he is doing everything he can to stir the pot! If we aren’t careful, we will fall into his scheming ways. There have been so many times in my life I didn’t even realize that I had allowed Satan to get a foothold on me. That is why it is so important that I pray and spend time with the Lord. Satan is after us and he will do what he can to stir up discord, strife and division within us and around us. He knows just where to attack us and we need to be ready to fight back. That is also why we need to know the word of God and we need friends and family praying for us.
I know more than anyone how hard it is to hear things about myself that I don’t really want to hear. I have learned that I need to listen and then go to the Lord and figure out what the truth is. In order to be spiritually healthy, I need to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and ask for wisdom. My heart needs to be right when I go to Him and I need to ask for forgiveness of my sins. I need to be willing to admit that I have been wrong. (That’s hard too!)
The only way we are going to overcome sin in our lives is to cooperate with God. He knows us better than anyone else does. He loves us more than anyone else does. He also is the only one who can truly change us. Whatever sin we are facing, we have the God of the Universe on our side. He can and will do whatever is necessary to help us, but we have to cooperate with Him. (Not always easy for me. There is usually some wrestling going on before I cry “Uncle!”) But, when I finally cooperate, He takes the sin and turns it into something beautiful and I am changed.
There are certain things in my life that I never want to have anything to do with ever again! But there are other things, that I daily need God’s help with. I need to be willing to see them as sin and bring them before the Lord. I need to be willing to follow God’s instructions whether I like it or not!
We simply cannot allow our feelings, our own understanding or our past experiences be our truth because it is not accurate. For example, I have felt most of my life that I was worthless. Is that accurate? No! My father’s abuse left me feeling helpless. Am I helpless? No! You see what I am saying? Each thing that has happened to me or I have seen has been tainted by living in a sinful world. Satan knows this, so he has spent my whole life and yours trying to get us to believe his lies. We have been deceived friends! He is compelling us to react in ungodliness because He wants us to feel defeated. Am I defeated? No! I will never be defeated! Psalm 62:2
I am sick and tired of seeing Satan get his way! We need to stop allowing him any room in our lives. Just say “No!” to him. Tell him to get away from you. You have the God of the Universe on your side and He is way more powerful! God is actually for you not against you. We need to be willing to let God’s light shine on our perceptions. “What we need is a spotlight that pierces the darkness and lays bare all his evil schemes, systems, and illusions. The truth of God’s Word is that light!” Shirer
So, I am asking you (and me) to go before the Lord every morning and ask Him to help you live your day in His power and His truth. Go to Him and ask Him to help you with your words and help you deal with the difficult people in your life. Respond in a manner that brings Him glory! Ask Him to shine the light on your sin and confess it to Him. Ask Him to give you the courage you need to walk away from a bad relationship, or an addiction, or self-harm or yell at someone! Ask Him how you should be living your life. He will not fail you. I love you dear friends. Now, let’s go kick Satan’s butt!
Isaiah 30:20 “But your Teacher will not hide Himself any longer. Your eyes will see your Teacher, and whenever you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: “This is the way. Walk in it.” Until next time……