“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.”Ephesians 6:10
Ray Lambert, D-Day survivor and author of Every Man A Hero, recounts his emotions as his unit prepared to fight their way to the beachhead on that dreadful day, June 6, 1944. They could hear the German artillery and gunfire as they neared the drop-off point. When the ramps dropped, “you could see bullets hitting the water like hail,” Lambert remembered. He was immediately shot through the arm but pushed forward to the beach. “We had nothing between us, and the bullets were flying all over,” said Lambert. In the face of death, Lambert kept darting into the surf to collect the wounded and was critically injured in the process.
What would possess men like Lambert and the 20,000-plus men in the first wave of the attack in Normandy to march forward and meet the enemy head-on, despite such insurmountable odds? One word—courage.
Two thousand years ago, a man named Ananias was asked by God to meet with his enemy in person. He was to go to Damascus to lay hands on and pray for this enemy. This was a daunting task because his adversary had killed many Christians, was a persecutor of the church, and despised the new-found Christian faith. That man was named Saul of Tarsus. Ananias was unsure about the task God had given him as he responded, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem.”
Ananias had two choices: he could ignore the will of the Lord or overcome his fear and meet his enemy face-to-face. When Ananias arrived, he learned that God had done a miracle. A man once blinded by his own zeal was now a follower of Christ. When Ananias walked through that door, he didn’t find a foe but instead found a friend of the faith. This reminds me of the power of Jesus to change perspectives and to change a man’s heart. I also believe this is why Jesus says, in Matthew 5:44, to “…Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” When we pray for our enemy, our perspective of that person changes as we demonstrate our desire and belief that Jesus Christ can get ahold of that person and create in them something new, just like he did with the Apostle Paul.
Maybe your enemy isn’t a person but a circumstance. Maybe it’s an addiction that you can’t seem to overcome or a lack of forgiveness you are holding against another. Whatever it might be, we must understand that our circumstance looks big when we are not looking to Christ through our situation. Instead, we must remember that we serve a powerful God. Isaiah 40:29 says, “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.” The point is, when we see our enemies and circumstances through the lens of Christ, they don’t look so overwhelming. So today, take courage! Face your enemies and remember: “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Questions for Thought
- What application does the command of Jesus to pray for our enemies have in your life now?
- What circumstance is defeating you today? Is it possible you are viewing Christ through your circumstance, instead of viewing your circumstance through Christ?
Pray for someone who has persecuted or wronged you. If there is any unforgiveness in your heart, release yourself from those shackles.
Brent’s life calling involves helping others athletically and spiritually, so he loves using sports as a vehicle to reach people for Christ. Brent and his wife, Bethany, have been married since 2015 and are the proud parents of two little girls.