43 You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy;
44 But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 To show that you are the children of your Father Who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the wicked and on the good, and makes the rain fall upon the upright and the wrongdoers [alike].
46 For if you love those who love you, what reward can you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that?
47 And if you greet only your brethren, what more than others are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles (the heathen) do that?
I have at times read the above scriptures and thought about them and wondered why would Jesus give a mandate to love those that hate us and to pray for those who despise us and persecute us?
I think in a lot of Christian’s minds it’s a benchmark that Jesus set for us to “work” towards being “holy” or Christ like.
While I won’t argue that it is certainly “Christlike” I don’t think that is the singular thing that Jesus intended for us in making such a statement.
In fact, I believe that the main reason was less about us striving to be able to behave in a certain way and more about us understanding the power we have inside of us to break the strongholds of the enemy in the lives of those around us and to tear down the “gates of hell” the enemy has laid to keep us from taking dominion over that area.
I believe that the enemy is clever and can trip us up even as we read the Word of God keeping us on a merry-go-round of works, making us prideful when we think we have kept the commandment better than another and then making us feel powerless and unrighteous when we don’t.
Keeping us so engaged on the work that we miss the real way that such is accomplished and what it actually produces and what damage it does to the kingdom of the ruler of this world.
We must begin by seeking a spirit of wisdom and revelation. In addition to that, we must begin to believe and to understand the power that is given towards us that are in Christ and stop reasoning with a carnal mind, laying aside those things that are of the natural and embracing the supernatural existence we live.
That what is impossible, becomes the possible and even the inevitable because of who God is and who and what He has made us through Christ.
By opening ourselves up to be changed by the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to produce such fruit in our lives, by giving us the ability to love unconditionally, we affect our world in two major ways;
- We impact the life of those we love and pray for by releasing the Kingdom of God into their lives.
- We shift our way of seeing people in our natural eyes to seeing them through the eyes of Jesus.
All of what Christ taught in this respect always yields productivity several fold over and in many facets. We can certainly glean from this one teaching that by following these instructions Jesus gave that we change the people and the world around us and we also change ourselves and gain revelation by simply putting ourselves into a position to be obedient to Holy Spirit. It all begins with a willingness.
When we begin to come to the understanding by revelation that Jesus does not instruct us in these ways simply to give us spiritual assignments or homework in order to feel like we are doing something worthwhile in pursuit of holiness but rather, we are learning how to walk with power and authority and to release that into our environment we will see the fruit of it in those around us and in our communities.
If perfect love casts out all fear, then when we walk and display love that is unconditional and motivated by the heart of God, demons will shriek with fear when they see us coming into their territory just as they did when Jesus walked near the graveyard where legion possessed the man residing there.
What would begin to happen in our world if we began to see people no longer according to the flesh as Paul described but rather, we began to see them as Christ sees them. Not only that they are loved and worthy to be redeemed but to see them as they can be in Christ as if they are already such!
We see them by faith through prophetic eyes. This is why Jesus could see us as His inheritance and went to the cross, suffered and died and did so with joy in His heart.
Imagine the things we would declare and speak over people if we could begin to see them this way.
Imagine the things we would declare over our children even when they are rebellious and seem to be running from God or over their future spouses, our future grandchildren if we began to see them in this way.
This is why we don’t have to waste our time with condemnation or judging the world. How else can we expect someone to act who is under the influence and leadership of the ruler of this world? But, when we introduce love and we speak with authority in prayer over those that seem to hate us and persecute us, we are not simply following some moral code or obligation that Jesus gave to keep us busy trying to look like Christians, it was the ability to offer a counter attack on behalf of those who are caught and enslaved by sin and the world’s system of thinking and cannot defend themselves.
More and more it is imperative that we seek revelation knowledge in these areas, to see ourselves not as people who try to keep busy with religious activities but understand the power and authority we have and the very nature of our existence as something that is supernatural.