Today’s Blog: Is This Even Possible?
TODAY’S PROVERB: When one’s ways are pleasing to Adonai, He makes even his enemies be at peace with him. Proverbs 16:7, TLV
Is this even possible? When our ways are pleasing to the LORD our enemies won’t hassle us? Apparently so. Remember the blog, “Do We Carry Joy?” (January 29, 2020)? The story about the Muslim man who missed his Christian neighbors when they had to escape the region? I would imagine they didn’t begin as friends. It most likely took a while for that relationship to develop. How did those Christians do it?
Perhaps we should begin with: What is pleasing to the LORD? How does this practically work?
We can begin with the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20), simple. And, if we want to make it even more simple, we can condense it down to: Love GOD First and Best. Love Neighbors as Ourselves. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Leviticus 19:18; Mark 12:29-31)
And, there you have it. The most difficult simple things we can do. How to practically do this was done by Yeshua (Jesus) while He was walking the earth.
Some people believe that the Law (Torah) is so restrictive. We can’t do this or that. Believe it or not, Jesus took the Torah even deeper. Yeshua’s statements right after His beautiful message we know as the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12), is very often skipped over:
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. Amen, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or serif shall ever pass away from the Torah until all things come to pass. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever keeps and teaches them, this one shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees and Torah scholars, you shall never enter the kingdom of heaven!”YESHUA, MATTHEW 5:17-20, TLV [EMPHASIS MINE]
Surprised? It gets even better.
Even our minds . . .
Not only do we have to watch our behavior — our actions — but our minds. For instance, if we hold hatred in our hearts, Jesus considers it like murder (Matthew 5:21-22).
Reading His “You Have Heard It Was Saids” (Matthew 5:21-48) gives us some of the most practical applications to loving our neighbors — enemy or not.
And we haven’t even discussed forgiveness. Like, how many times are we to forgive? Hint: Matthew 18:22.
Remember the “heaping coal” passages (Proverbs 25:22; Romans 12:20)? I still believe that heaping coals is another way to say, blushing (see April 25, 2019 blog). That when our enemy receives such kindnesses, he will be ashamed and embarrassed for his hatred.
Where do we begin?
Now that we know our Heavenly Father has provided ample resources and instructions for how to treat our enemies in close proximity to us, where do we begin? It can seem a bit overwhelming.
We begin with prayer. Ask Father who He wants us to connect with first. Once we know, ask how to begin. He knows this soul’s heart. He’ll know what will be the most meaningful beginning. It could be as simple as picking up litter on their lawn. Or a kind greeting.
I wonder if the battles being waged between political parties, could be resolved with this method? What if someone made the choice to change their attitude to loving their neighbor? Even the neighbors across the aisle. Not compromising principles, but managing it with wisdom and understanding?
What could happen if “loving our neighbor” spreads?
That would be miraculous. And, I’m certain, very pleasing to the LORD. And it begins with us.
May our ways be pleasing to the LORD, my friends.
DO YOU HAVE A TESTIMONY OF AN ENEMY LIVING PEACEFULLY AROUND YOU? PLEASE SHARE IN THE COMMENTS. AND IF THIS BLOG HAS BEEN A BLESSING, PLEASE SHARE IT. THANK YOU SO MUCH!