Lord, give me a wise and understanding mind, 1 Kings 3:9 that wisdom which in all cases helps one to succeed; Ecclesiastes 10:10 that wisdom of the prudent which is to discern his way. Proverbs 14:8 This I pray, that my love may abound more and more with knowledge and all discernment, so that I may discern things that differ and may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11
Have you ever been attacked? I don’t mean “mugged”, because I’ve never been “mugged” by a thief, but attacked physically and or emotionally. If you’re human you have been attacked. And sadly, if you’re a Christian you’ve probably been attacked by:
a. The Unbelievers around you.
b. Wolves in sheep clothing.
c. Other Christians.
d. Your own mind.
Frankly, I doubt very seriously that the devil, that old Satan, ever attacks the average Christian. He is not, after all, all powerful nor is he like God everywhere. Satan is a created being – a being of light – an Angel that stood up against God and in pride tried to be God. Though he said:
Isaiah 14:13-15 …. I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
You cannot rebel against God and win. Satan tried. He convinced a third of the angels of Heaven (Revelation 12:4,9) to follow him, but did not prevail. But he and his followers came to this earth and, once on the earth, began to teach others to do as he did.
To rebel against God.
To be evil and hateful.
To gossip, tear down, attack others.
To bring pain and suffering to the children of God and the Church of Christ.
Our Lord Jesus told those of us who follow Him …
John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
The Unbeliever will always attack the Christian. God calls the Christian away from the abnormal, selfish lifestyle that so many unbelievers naturally adopt. No longer are we to walk in the “works of the flesh”
Galatians 5:19-21 …. sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance — as I told you before — that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
but we are to allow the Spirit of God to produce in us “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control” (Galatians 5:22-23). This “Fruit of the Spirit” is the Light that Christ has given us, a “Light to Lighten the Gentiles” (Luke 2:32). As many lights cling to the Christmas Tree, adding beauty and visibility to it, every Christian in this world – while on this world – is to be that kind of Light. God shines through us, through our varied characters, to be like Jesus. To be light.
This is why we are attacked.
The Unbeliever and the “Wolf in sheep clothing”, the pretender to the Christian faith, do not like the light. They will not come to Christ because, as the Scripture says,
John 3:19-20 … men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
The Unbeliever and the pretend Christian do not like the light – they like sin. So they stay in sin, and justify sin, and attack while trying to draw others into sin. Like Eve, they tempt to evil but do not understand that their way is not the Way of Christ. Unlike Adam we must not lower ourselves to defy God, to enter the darkness, to strike back when the Unbeliever and the Hypocrite strike. If we are indeed Christians we have no place in the darkness, no home in the mud. The pretend Christian is clearly seen when – gossiping and backbiting – they violate the standard of love. They who do not repent of the darkness and seek the Fruit of the Spirit are pretenders, perhaps Churchmen, perhaps even teachers and preachers, well awarded for their service in the Church by unwitting followers. But if “the dog is turned to his own vomit AGAIN, and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” (2 Peter 2:22), then that person was never born of the Spirit, saved by Grace in the first place. The Children of God act like the Father Who made them. They love. They love.
When Christians attack Christians – if they are indeed Christians – it is not long until the Father corrects the problem. If one professes Christ but produces none of the Fruit of the Spirit, their profession has no more substance than the department store Santa’s promises to the children on his lap. The genuine Christian does not long stay in darkness. God rules in their hearts, and they love. He who will not love is NOT of God. Is this not what James wrote?
1 John 4:19-21 We love him, because he first loved us. 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
We have all been tempted to lower ourselves to where the attacker is. Do not do so! I have been attacked by pastors, preachers, teachers, deacons, and prominent family members of Churches. It is a strong temptation to attack back, and sometimes I have succumbed to that temptation. Never has attacking back been a good idea. Anytime I have done so, lowering myself into the mud slingers domain, I have muddied myself. A untempered remark – a few seconds said – lingers and darkens for months and even years. Better to do as the Apostle Paul did when attacked by the hypocrite. Let God have Alexander the coppersmith (2 Timothy 4:14) and Hymenaeus (1 Timothy 1:20). God can take care of the Unbeliever. God can take care of the Hypocrite. God can take care of the wayward Christian. God can take care of me! That’s what we all need to do when attacked. Don’t – like Eve – take Satan’s bait. Reject the evil. Do not wallow in the mud. You are not a pig – you are a Prince of God, a child of the King. You are not a dog, but Dominated by Love. Be the Light!