Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Growth Opportunities: Vengeance is the Lord's

Sometimes our human nature can take over when we feel we have been wronged. Someone gossips about us and it gets back to us.  We are hurt and angry and the first knee-jerk reaction we have is to strike back.  We want those that hurt us to hurt.  We want to inflict pain to ease our pain.  But that way of natural thought is part of our carnal mind and is not in agreement with the Spirit of God. 

Romans 8:6-8

6 - For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 - Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
8 - So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Part of the growth process is learning how to die to ourselves.  What we think, what we feel, what we want...none of it matters anymore after salvation.  What matters is what the Word says and how we should conduct ourselves according to the commandments and precepts put forth in the Word.

Our emotions often lead us into trouble.  It is not our job to enact vengeance for the wrongs that have been committed against us.  It is our job to pray for enemies.  It is our job to always do good - even to those that hate and despise us.  (Matthew 5:44) 

In fact, we allow the Lord to work on our behalf when we give Him the problem, the hurt, the pain, the wrath...and ask for forgiveness.

Romans 12:18 - If it is possible, as far as is in you, being in peace with all men.
Romans 12:19 - not avenging yourselves, beloved, but giving place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord."
Romans 12:20 - Therefore if your enemy hungers, feed him. If he thirsts, give him drink. For in so doing you shall heap coals of fire on his head. 
Romans 12:21 - Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

We must be very careful to not be overcome by evil.  Evil has been defeated and God repays the evil done to us.  I believe the Lord's vengeance is much worse and much more emphatic than anything I could do or so on my own to any enemy of mine.  We also have to remember we are overcomers in Christ.  Our life is in Him.  To keep our minds focused on Him brings life and peace.  We cannot get distracted with the things of the world. 

Our spiritual growth will not be complete if we cannot learn that our fight is not against people.  Our fight is against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.  Our battle must be fought the mind, in the emotions...with our focus staying on Christ.  We must give Christ our undivided attention, our lives as living sacrifices, and obeying the Word in Romans as we pray for our enemies and overcome evil with good.  We must give every situation, every hurt, every wound, every wrong to our Healer, our Creator, our Comforter.

Giving everything to Him and maintaining our focus on Him will allow us to grow and mature as we seek Him first.  We will begin to kill our pride and lose ourselves as we cease to become important and make pleasing God important. 


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