Bless my enemy?
The idea of blessing my enemy has always puzzled me. That is the exact opposite of what I want to do when someone rises to the status of my enemy. It’s like turning ON the heat when the car is overheating. It will solve the problem, but it goes against every fiber of my being. The cause is the cure. It’s weird.
I guess I knew the basic reason to pray for my enemy, but I have always focused on the enemy, not on what the Lord really wanted to do in “me.” You see, when we bless, i.e. speak well of; when we pray for those who despitefully use us, yes, we are praying for them, but since we do this in secret, they don’t hear us blessing them. Of course, we are supposed to speak well of our enemies in public too.
Here’s the thing, when I speak well of and pray “life and blessings” upon my enemy I am filling my own immediate private atmosphere (and heart) with blessings and words of life. Not only will the Lord actually answer my prayers for my enemy in the long term, but He will bless me immediately for my obedience because obedience always brings a blessing in one form or another. (Deut. 28) I’m ultimately praying a blessing upon myself! I believe I will receive exactly what I’m praying for my enemy. Nothing more, nothing less. Similarly, if I curse my enemy every chance I get, I think a curse is what I will get!
What if my blessings and healing come through these prayers for my enemy? What if God, as the vinedresser, is making sure that no weeds of bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, hatred, etc. are even allowed to take root in me? The Bible says, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it, many be defiled….” (Heb. 12:15)
God is not only protecting my heart with this command to pray for my enemies, but He’s also keeping those around me from being defiled by a “Jack and the Beanstalk” sized cancer that seeks to overwhelm us in the Body of Christ. The enemy of our souls is the conductor of each and every concert of death, and by disobeying the Lord’s command to pray for our enemies, we are the willing instruments through whom the devil plays. By not praying for our enemies, we end up sowing the seeds of bitterness, hatred, revenge, gossip, and slander to those around us. All the devil needs are willing participants to spread, receive and repeat his lies. What if praying for my enemies has little to do with my enemy, and a whole lot to do with me (and my brothers and sisters) continuing to grow as a healthy, vibrant, fruitful plant? Yup. Nip it in the bud with a blessing. I do believe our all-knowing creator God knew exactly what He was doing when He told us to pray for and bless our enemies.
Here’s where the power lies with me: I will forgive through prayer, I will be healed through blessing, and I will be protected from the enemy’s grip by being obedient (without delay) to the Lord’s word to “…love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Obedience is a good thing even when I don’t understand the reason for the command. But even better is when Jesus shows me why He made the rule in the first place. This particular rule was made to protect my heart; I guess they all are. Our wonderful Counselor… He knows exactly what we need.
So, I will turn on the heat when my car overheats, and I will speak blessings on the one who uses me, persecutes me, and hurts me. It’s crazy, but it solves the problem. May we, as believers, understand the absolute urgency of being obedient to our Lord even when we don’t understand the command and we don’t think someone deserves a blessing. If the scripture is true (and it always is), we will reap what we sow. (Gal. 6:7)
All of that being said, how are you praying for those who have hurt you? What kind of harvest will you receive through the seeds you are planting? It’s entirely possible that what we are praying and saying about our enemy will come back to us like a boomerang. If it’s going to come back to us, we might as well make it a Boomerang Blessing.
Thanks so much for reading!
Shalom, Big D
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