During my childhood, I’d often find myself in situations where I was lied on. Due to the circumstances under which I lived, I had to stay quiet in the midst of the lies out of fear of my likelihood being threatened. As a result, I developed the skill of remembering events and words precisely so I’d be able to defend myself properly when needed. I also told myself that I’d never allow myself to be in a position where I couldn’t speak up for myself.
As I matured, I began to realize that I don’t have to defend myself. I don’t have to tell my side of the story or explain myself to people. I don’t have to convince anyone that I’m right. All I have to do is stand still and let the Lord fight my battles. Over the years, I’ve seen the Lord show Himself strong on my behalf and on the behalf of my loved ones. He is our vindicator. He goes before us and represents us. He even goes behind and protects us.
However, we have to be wise in how we deal with persecution and opposition. Our hearts must be pure and our minds must be clear. We must examine ourselves to ensure we aren’t hoping for the downfall of those who have wronged us. Instead, we have to pray for them. One thing that I have tried to do is pray for my enemies because it is hard to have impure motives towards someone and sincerely pray for them. We can’t do both. In doing so, we’re actually setting the stage for own healing and growth to take place by releasing the hurt or anger we feel. That negative energy is redirected and used to fuel our intercession for the person. In turn, we’re blessed and so are they.
Let’s take it to the cross. In Luke 23:34, Jesus said on the cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”. He was interceding for His persecutors. Therefore, we are supposed to follow His example. We have to learn how to separate what people do from who they are. We’ve all heard the saying, “Love the sinner. Hate the sin”. We all belong to God. We are all His children. We must also keep everything in perspective by remembering all we have done that may not have been in alignment with God’s word.
Ultimately, we must keep one thing at the forefront of our minds. When we walk in love and authenticity, our life speaks for us. At times others may doubt us or rise up against us, but God takes care of that. He covers and protects us. He is our representation. He will speak for us in times when it is needed. He will even word our mouths when the time is right when necessary. His light shines and illuminates what is right. In Exodus 14: 14 (CEV), it says “The LORD will fight for you, and you won’t have to do a thing.” We don’t have to try to defend ourselves, run down a lie or lift a finger. All we have to do is stay focused as instructed in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things”. We have to fix our hearts and minds on those things that bring life.
Over the last few weeks, I have been studying Psalms and the Old Testament prophets with a friend. I saw the Lord described as the God of the Angel Armies several times in the text. I am reminded of the story of David when he stood before Goliath. The passage reads as follows:
1 Samuel 17:45-47
David answered, “You come at me with sword and spear and battle-ax. I come at you in the name of God–of-the-Angel–Armies, the God of Israel’s troops, whom you curse and mock. This very day God is handing you over to me. I’m about to kill you, cut off your head, and serve up your body and the bodies of your Philistine buddies to the crows and coyotes. The whole earth will know that there’s an extraordinary God in Israel. And everyone gathered here will learn that God doesn’t save through sword or spear. The battle belongs to God—he’s handing you to us on a platter!”
Several things stood out to me. First of all, David did not come in his own might. David made it clear that he came in the name of the Lord and in the confidence that the Lord would bring him victory. Secondly, I love the fact that He ended His proclamation with a praise. David not only made it clear who He represented but He also let it be known that God would get the glory and everyone would know who won the battle.
We need to follow David’s example. When we are faced with opposition, we need to learn how to walk in confidence that God will fight for us. We also need to be determined to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh so God can be glorified.
Friends, my life got easier when I realized that I no longer had to fight. Besides, I learned that my opposition was not about me but an opportunity for God to do something great in my life and bring victory on my behalf. Exodus 14: 14 says, ” The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still”.
Are you facing a Goliath? Rest well! You are covered. We serve a God who is just as mighty in battle as He is full of love. He is fighting for us.