We witnessed the first administration in over 70 years who removed "God" from the National Day of Prayer Proclamation. The administration did observe the day, yet they did not honor it.
The believers in America are alarmed. The hatred toward Christ-followers and Israel is cause for grave concern.
In my prayer chamber, I heard the Lord say, "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you" (John 15:18, NKJV).
And I heard, "Do not be surprised as to the fiery trials the enemy has planned against My people."
Are we surprised the enemy has plans to attack the saints? No, and we shouldn't be.
Are we prepared to handle the attacks of the enemy? Yes! God gives clear direction in His Word on how to handle conflict, aggression and confrontation. We must first remember we do not fight against people.
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12, ESV).
Our enemy is the devil and the spirits that operate under his headship. There are times that self-defense is warranted. If the enemy attacks with bombs and missiles, we must counterattack the enemy. There is a time where protecting yourself has a place.
But if attacked for our faith in Jesus, we have clear guidelines from Jesus: Jesus taught us to turn the other cheek.
"But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also" (Matt. 5:39, NKJV).
Would you say it's easier to fight back or turn your cheek? It takes more fortitude to turn away than it does to fight back. The best way to get God's results is to do things God's way.
What Jesus Taught and Modeled for Us
"For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 'Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth'; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously" (1 Pet. 2:20–23, NKJV).
Jesus never fought back. Jesus never protested. Jesus did not use His wisdom to cull His enemies. Jesus never threatened.
Jesus submitted Himself to God. So, what is your plan if attacked or berated?
Stephen responded this way, "They continued stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, "Lord Jesus, receive and accept and welcome my spirit!" Then falling on his knees [in worship], he cried out loudly, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them [do not charge them]!" When he had said this, he fell asleep [in death]" (Acts 7:59-60, AMP).
Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?" (Matt. 5:43-46a).
I pray the body of Christ is ready to respond like Stephen and to obey the words of Jesus.
This post first appeared here.
Thomas McDaniels is a pastor and writer. He has written for churchleaders.com and currently is a contributing writer for Fox News. He is also the founder of LifeBridge.tv and the Longview Dream Center in Longview, Texas.
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