Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Why God's Children Have Enemies

From the Desert Rat 

“O Lord, rebuke me not in Thine anger, neither chastise me in Thy wrath. Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak: O Lord heal me, for my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore troubled: but Lord, how long wilt Thou delay? Return, O Lord: deliver my soul: save me for Thy mercy’s sake” (Psalm 6:1-4, Geneva Bible).

This is how David describes his enemies (6:7,8,10) – not as unfair persecutors, but as instruments of God’s anger and wrath. This is not unloving anger and wrath, for David recognizes the Lord to be simultaneously a merciful soul Who hears the prayers of His covenant people for deliverance: “The Lord hath heard my petition: the Lord will receive my prayer” (6:9).
The Lord uses even the enemy to bring us closer to Himself: “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin [in the sense of sinners, see 12:1-3]. And ye have forgotten the consolation, which speaketh unto you as unto children, ‘My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, neither faint when thou art rebuked of Him. For whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth: and He scourgeth every son that He receiveth.’ If ye endure chastening, God offered Himself unto you as unto sons: for what son is it whom the father chasteneth not? If therefore ye be without correction, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Moreover we have had the fathers of our bodies which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: should we not much rather be in subjection unto the father of spirits, that we might live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure, but he chastened us for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastising for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: but afterward, it bringeth the quiet fruit of righteousness, unto them which are thereby exercised. Wherefore lift up your hands which hang down, and your weak knees, and make straight steps unto your feet, lest that which is halting, be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without the which no man shall see the Lord. Take heed, that no man fall away from the grace of God: let no root of bitterness spring up and trouble you, lest thereby many be defiled” (Hebrews 12:5-15).

Even if our enemies are unjust in their actions/accusations/annoyances, we are never without need of correction from God on this side of eternity. It’s not about our enemies, it’s about the God Who’s teaching us to rely on Him and seek Him out more and more. Turn away from self-righteousness/defensiveness in the face of the enemy and seek the One Who purchased you with His blood – this is why God has put these enemies around you. In the name of Jesus, the Lord will hear your petition; the Lord will receive your prayer.

Learn this basic truth of discipleship and divine adoption in Christ and you’ll rest more and more in the love and mercy of God, no matter the hateful noise of the enemy.

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