14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,
“I will take revenge;
I will pay them back,”[a]
says the Lord.
“If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
burning coals of shame on their heads.”[b]
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
We have an enemy in this world. We have an enemy whose mission is to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10) This enemy will use whatever means necessary to win. This enemy will take whatever action needed in order to make you stumble and fall or doubt yourself. He is the master of what he does and often succeeds in accomplishing his task because he moves in such subtle ways.
His attacks are cunning and sly. He sneaks in while you’re not looking and oftentimes you are totally unaware of his presence. He starts in a simple way. He can use the words of another that lead us to question who we are in Christ. We begin to doubt our worth to God.
Our mission is to share God with the world. We are to make His name known and He has blessed us each with unique gifts that we are to use in order to be His hands and feet. For some it is hospitality. We love to entertain and have people into our homes. We enjoy loving on people and showing them the love of God through our service. For some it is music. For some it is writing. For some it is speaking. The list goes on.
The enemy knows our gifts and knows that we are equipped to use them to share God’s love. This is where he will begin to attack. If he can destroy what gift God has given to us then he has a victory under his belt. We must think of these attacks as if we are fighting a physical war. Though this battle is spiritual and we cannot often see what is taking place, spiritually we are able to feel the effects.
We must go into battle with our counter attack planned. Satan has been defeated. He will not ultimately win in the end and he knows this but his plan is to take as many down with him as he possibly can. Will you fall victim to his schemes?
God has equipped us with all we need in order to defeat the enemy. One of the key verses above as a counter attack is “Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.” It is so hard when someone has hurt us to hold our tongue. Our tongue is wicked. Human nature (the world) says to defend and even lash out but God’s word tells us something completely different. (James 3:6) Instead of lashing out, we pray. Have you ever prayed for someone who has hurt you? It is hard not to find a place of love for that person when you are lifting them up in prayer. It is even harder to hold back forgiveness.
Our counter attacks against Satan are not difficult. “So humble ourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God and God will come close to you.” James 4:7-8 They only require that we love God with all of our heart, mind and soul. By doing those things, we are able to focus on truth. We are able to think on things that are “…true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me-everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9)
When we focus on God and His truth, we can easily defeat the attacks of Satan. The word of God is the most powerful weapon we have and the enemy cannot stand up against the truth of God’s word. We are able to go into battle without fear and the assurance of victory because no weapon fashioned against us can stand against God!
“We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. 4 <sup value="[a]”>[a]We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:3-5