10th NOVEMBER 2021
“You have heard that it was said, you shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I tell you, Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5: 43-44)
Anytime I preached on the issue of loving our enemies, I met with resistance. This is because so many of us are emotionally attached to what the enemies have taken from us and, therefore, cannot forgive and let go. While some of these things are pretty touching, I must remind us that God is bigger, and the healing that we require is allowing God into our lives and foreclosing all hatred against the enemy.
The truth remains that no amount of prayers will kill our enemies. Such prayer doesn’t work on the enemies; instead, it bounces back at the one who prays it. Jesus says; the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them from the penalty of eternal death.” (Luke 9: 55-56) He came to save the sinners; therefore, He would not kill them for us, but He would take vengeance for us at the appropriate time.
The master says it is wrong to invoke fire from heaven to kill our enemies on that occasion. In this wise, He condemned Elijah for what he did to the prophets of Baal. Jesus reiterated His mission clearly; “ For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them” (Luke 9:50-56). Therefore, the crude desire to terminate lives is not the spirit of Christ, no matter how culturally or religiously pervasive it has become and notwithstanding who stands on the pulpit to advocate for such. This is difficult teaching for most Christians to accept, but the words of our master and saviour, Jesus Christ, are incontrovertible.
Beloved, do not invoke curses or ill wishes on anyone when you pray to God! Instead, bless your enemies. It may interest you to note that our problems are usually not solved when you wish that someone should die first to solve your problems; such prayers delimit the power of God to actualize our prayers in any manner He deems fit.
Christianity is all about imitating Jesus Christ and following in his footsteps no matter the sacrifice we have to make. Jesus tells everyone; “if you love me, you will keep my commandments.”(John 14:15) On the surface, praying for the peace and wellbeing of your enemies might not make sense at all. But it is yet another counter-intuitive teaching of Jesus. It only begins to make sense when we realize that it is difficult to please God without faith. To have faith is to believe that obedience to God’s word will bring us a reward rather than condemnation or losses.
Starting from today, create a segment in your prayer time dedicated explicitly to blessing your enemies. Do this every day. Note how these blessings return you one million-fold! That is the most excellent key to achieving wellbeing, peace and prosperity for us and our world.
Father, I thank you for Jesus Christ. Lord Jesus, give me the power to extend love in difficult situations. I forgive willingly any wrong done to me. I no longer exist for myself; instead, I live for Jesus. Father, by thy grace and power, my faith is rekindled and firmly established in Jesus Christ, for he is the author and finisher of my faith.
FURTHER READING: Proverbs 25: 21-22