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Dont Get Even-Get Prayer!
2/2/2009

Dont Get Even-Get Prayer!
    
    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, Matthew 5:44 (NKJV)
    
    When I was much younger growing up, I was pretty much like most kids in life, attempting to enjoy my youth, and have fun. As I started to get older, I quickly found out there were some bad people in this world. No longer could I mind my own business and just go my own way. The simple task of walking down the street could be enough to provoke someone to be angry enough to attack me.
    
    I remember one particular Saturday morning back in 1972 in Long Beach at the age of 12. The place I worked was called Arlos refrigeration, and my job was cleaning and sanding old refrigerators so they could be repainted and refurbished. I was walking back from a liquor store, where I had taken a break to get a soda, and I had a gang of older kids stop by in a car and ask me for a smoke. I told them, I dont smoke& But they just kept repeating their request. It didnt take long to realize, this wasnt going to end good.
    
    For many years thereafter, I thought about how Id like to find each one of these guys, one on one, and get even. I carried this attitude with me throughout high school and eventually into business.
    
    So why did I react this way? Why do we want so badly in our flesh to get back at those who have hurt us; those who have attacked our character; those who have done us wrong?
    
    Because it is our nature in the flesh to react in this manor. The Apostle Paul admitted he struggled with this nature, and he told it straight up when he said: I know that in me (that is my flesh), nothing good dwells (Romans 7:18).
    
    We tend to pay back evil for evil when we are being attacked by others, and it will always be this way unless we allow Jesus to take control of our lives and enable us to change the way we view things. I am not saying, you wont be tempted to become angry with those who attack you, once you have accepted the Lord and become a Christian. What I am saying is, you will identify the cause of your anger and realize it is not what God is wanting from you, and then you can submit and lay your attitude at the Lords feet. Bring it to Him in prayer. Simply tell Him, I cant handle this Lord, Im weak and Im going to blow it! But I will allow You to handle this situation through me.
    
    It is absolutely justifiable to be angry at the sin; just dont go off on the sinner in the process.
    
    So what should we do when someone gets under our skin? Pray!
    
    Pray God might give you the wisdom to work through the situation. Lift up the very person who has made your blood pressure pop and extra 25-points higher. Bless this person when they curse you, and then pray for God to expose and convict their hearts and the sin in their life.
    
    What you are going to find out is the situation will eventually change as you continually pray for them, and bless them. They will change and you well too. Hey, maybe they dont deserve it, but either did you at one time, and yet God forgave and blessed you.
    
    We will find many times where we must bring our walk into focus and remember some basics in Christ Like living. One is, to love your neighbor as you love yourself, and this includes your enemies as the scripture above talks about. The second is to be an imitator of Christ (See Ephesians 5:1). Because this is the way Christ would respond or act. You must remember though, you will never be able to do it in your own effort. You must fully give yourself to God, because only He can help you overcome your selfishness to take actions into your own hands. And we must have Gods power and love to do these things consistently.
    
    The result will be a glorious testimony of our love for God, as we treat our enemies well in spite of how they treat us.
    
    If you find there are times when you simply fall short, go to the Lord, and begin to pray for this person, and ask God to help you to love them in a way only He is capable. It is when we are at our weakest where God can show His mighty strength. We just have to be willing to allow Him to do it through us.
    
    It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect. Psalms 18:32 (NKJV)
    
    I want to encourage you today to not give up when it comes to trying to love those who are unlovable. We will always have limits as long as we live in this corruptible body. But God doesnt have these limits, and we have His power on tap in our lives once we have accepted His Son as our Lord and Savior. Dont put limits on God! Let Him do what He does best; love others, and grace them with love and mercy. Let Him do it through you.
    
    STUDY QUESTION: According to Psalm 18:32, where do we get our strength to love our enemies, and to bless those who curse us?
    
    PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to allow God to work through you the next time you are tempted to respond in anger to someone?
    
    APPLICATION: Lay each of these hard situations at the feet of Jesus in prayer. Tell Him, you cant do it, but you are willing to allow Him to do it through you.
    
    Father, Thank You for Your power and ability to love those who curse me. Help me to continue to transform in this area, and help me to remember to allow You to empower me and to work through me when I get into these situations. In Jesus precious name, amen&
    
    Be Blessed, Pastor Scott
    
    

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000