The wounding in a person’s heart will sometimes come out like venom toward those that are in that person’s life. Many people don’t know any other way except to hurt others. As far as they know, this is the right way. Their mantra or “inner lie” becomes I must hurt others before they hurt me.
This can become a defence mechanism, much like the defences that come into play in any war. When a city was besieged in the Middle Ages, things began to happen when an army was approaching the front gate. The gate would close, the archers would be readied on top of the wall, and the attack would commence when the opposing forces crossed into striking territory.
Without the security that comes in Christ, there is something warlike that lives in and haunts the heart of man. But you and I as soldiers of Christ, we are to live differently. Our sword is not steel. Our love does no harm. Our ability to overcome petty grievances is our honour and not our weakness. We will win many hearts by turning the other cheek. We must lay down our right to strike back.
I had a dream last night in which I saw a few young men. They were clawing and scratching at everyone that came near them. I saw one person’s face that one of these young men tore with a nail in his hand. As I stood before these young people, I felt fear in my heart but I continued to stand. One of them even pricked me with a tack that was in his hand. I continued to stand, despite the fear of my face being torn like the other man.
The truth is, when we start in the Army of the Lord, many will come against us with their words. Their own minds are filled with a thousand lies, and everything that you say in the name of Jesus’ will be interpreted through the lens of lies that besieges them. When they hear you talk about Jesus, they cannot understand you. They are deaf to the ways of Christ. They are blind to his precious ways. They neither see him, nor hear him, because they are deeply wounded by the aggression common to the hearts of men.
They have not experienced the compassion or the love of Jesus. The only way they will is if you and I lay down our rights to fight back. We must turn our cheek to the war of their words and overcome by the blood of the lamb.
In my vision, I heard the young man say, “I have pricked him with this tack many times but he has never complained.” When I stood before him hearing his words, I didn’t realize I had not complained. All I was thinking about was avoiding his hand the next time.
Many would run from those that hurt them and spitefully use them. Many would run from people who cause them great pain in their hearts. In the past when I was hurt by someone, I would avoid them at all cost, but this will not help to win them to the Lord. Our strength as Christians is to love despite the cost. Our relationship with these people becomes very human and real when we continue to love. We must not turn from those who would hurt us, but consider it a blessing when we face trials of many kinds. Our greatest offense is love. Our greatest defense is love. We will overcome when we allow the Holy Spirit to manifest the love of Jesus in our hearts at all times. The fruit of the Spirit in our lives will keep us on track.
There are many places that I travel to as a minister, where people hurt me while I am there. I am not telling you this so that you will feel bad for me. I usually can discern that this will happen before I go. I go anyway, because I know that the people need the Jesus inside of me to manifest his glory and love in their lives.
I actually feel this love increasing in my heart in this season. I sense a new fire rising to destroy the yoke over many lives. When we are with them, we are to brush aside the pain they are trying to inflect upon us. If we act in the spirit of Christ they will see Jesus in us.
I pray for you to be strengthened in your heart today so that you will overcome all things. I pray that you will withstand the persecution and consider it pure joy just to be alive and shine for God.