Romans 12:18 tells us that “when possible, we ought to try to live peaceably with all men“, yet in Matthew 10:34 Jesus tells us how rarely that will be possible when He states that He comes “not to bring peace, but a sword” (or conflict). He goes on to explain that to truly follow His voice and serve Him will put us at odds with even those of our own household. In 2 Timothy 3:12 we read the assurance yet again that “ALL who will live Godly WILL suffer persecution.” In all these attacks, oppositions, and hardships we are to love and pray for those that persecute us, yet still stand firm in faith to what the Lord has spoken to us. In other words, love men no matter what they say or do but never the less, choose God’s side.
“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” – Acts 5:29
Even in situations when men of great authority came against the instructions of the Lord to the Apostles, though they did not physically fight or become arrogant or violent, they did not submit either. For often times to submit to men puts you at odds with God and to submit to God puts you at odds with men. The ungodly being prideful, arrogant, domineering, and led of another spirit, will always seek to force God’s people to act out their will, which will always be in opposition to God’s will. When this happens, choose God’s side!
Remember that when you stand before God on the day of judgment those people will not stand with you. You will stand alone before the Lord and give an account for what you did. We will not be allowed to point our finger at anyone else, we will be judged by what we ourselves did or didn’t do, no matter the reason we did or didn’t do it. So in all things, obey the Lord, no matter who tells you not to. Love all men, pray for all men, but obey God. If the early New Testament church submitted to the will of men in opposition to the will and word of God, there would be no church today and we would all be lost. Determine today to stand on God’s words, no matter the cost. Walk in humility and love, but take God’s side, and stand. For if we don’t, even against those of our own house holds, then we are not worthy of Him. How much more so then in the face of strangers.
“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” – Galatians 1:10-12
“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” – Matthew 10:32-38