There are going to be times in life when people rise up against you. In fact, if you are truly serving God, then there will rarely be a time when people are not coming against you. Jesus spent a lot of time preparing His followers for the reality that the world loves their own and would hate them because they are “not of this world but were chosen out of it” (John 15:18-20).
Remember that, despite what anyone may say or think, no one is neutral in this fight. We are all led of a spirit, the only question is, which one? If we are of God then we are led by the Spirit of Truth, which is the Holy Spirit of God. If we are of the world then we are led by the Spirit of Error, which is satan the father of lies.
“They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” – 1 John 4:5-8
So think it not strange that, as a child of God, many come against you falsely or needlessly. For they or being led of a spirit that can do nothing but lie to them and they believe it because they or of it. Yet Jesus said that we are to love our enemies, even as they persecute us. Why? Because such were we once, and Jesus still loved us even as we persecuted Him (Colossians 3:13).
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” – Matthew 5:44
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4:32
“Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.” – Romans 12:14
Jesus knew that if we held bitterness toward sinners because they sin then no one would ever get saved. Jesus never held back the truth from sinners because He loved them and knew that the only way to free them from the Spirit of Error, was with the Spirit of Truth. However, He also never held contempt toward them for the actions they took while under the leading of the Spirit of Error and warned us not to either, less we fall to it also.
Sinners will sin, it’s a fact, except it. They will lie for they or being led by the father of lies. They will come against you because they are being deceived by the Spirit of Error. Even Christians, in a moment of flesh, weakness, or exhaustion can succumb to a deceit spoken in their ear and be used against you. Though the spirit of truth will work to reveal, convict, and correct them on it. If they humble themselves and submit they will fall back inline with the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit. If they do not then they will begin to follow an other spirit, the Spirit of Error, an be separated from God (Isaiah 59:2). This is the danger of pride in the heart of a Christian, just as it was in the heart of Lucifer. He refused to be corrected by the Holy Spirit of God and followed his own error, therefore becoming the spirit of error itself.
The Spirit of Error (Satan) is always at war with the Spirit of Truth (God) because of pride, therefor through pride it gains souls and through humility it looses them. This is why scripture says that “God resist the proud and exults the humble, giving them grace” (James 4:6). This also explains why to obtain salvation, we must humble ourselves before The Lord, cast off the Spirit of Error, and receive the Spirit of Truth.
The devil understands all of this better then we do, so he works on our pride by causing others to attack it with theirs. We then retaliate by re-enforcing our own, slowly building it stronger and stronger. This is why people who are hurt a lot get “hard”, they are building walls of pride in their hearts. They are not forgiving, loving, or grieving for the soul that is lost in deceit by pride. They are not praying that these people be changed by the saving grace of God, but or rather being changed themselves and don’t even realize it. They are growing bitter, and bitterness leads to selfishness, which leads to pride, which leads to error, which leads to satan and all sin. This is why allowing yourself to simply dislike someone, if not corrected, will lead to the loss of your salvation as explained by Jesus in Matthew chapter 18.
We are to love all, pity those who are deceived, share the Truth with those who are in Error, and humble ourselves and pray for those who despitefully and pridefully hurt, use, or resist us in anyway. Less we be counted among them.
“But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” – Mark 11:26
“Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” – 1 John 3:15
This is an issue that can creep up on you unaware, so we must constantly examine our heart towards others. Even toward the ungodly, especially towards the ungodly, that God not find us guilty of lacking love. For God is love, and it’s those in error that need Him the most. Therefore, let us be reminded that if to be of the world makes you an enemy of God (James 4:4), and we are called to save the lost of this world (Mark 16:15), then who are we meant to save other then our enemies?
Let us be overfilled with joy at any opportunity to help an enemy in error be reconciled to the truth of God!
“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” – Psalms 23:5
Test Yourself: Take a moment to pray for everyone you’re not too fond of, anyone who has used you, hurt you, or resisted you or those you care about in anyway. As you pray for each one, examine how your heart feels about the words you know you need to say on their behalf. Make it a point to pray specific blessings on each of them as you examine your level of, or lack of desire to do so. This will expose your true feelings toward them, as well as any pride regarding those feelings. The truth of this revelation will expose any error in your heart and help you (through God, which is love) to uproot any bitterness you hold towards them.
Make a note of those that you found it difficult to pray good things for. Repent of it, ask God to forgive you, and continue to intercede on their behalf daily, replacing the bitterness toward them, with brokenness for them.