A Nugget from New Life Network
(excerpts from Dr. Larry Ollison)
Scripture for the Day – July 29, 2019
Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple (Romans 16:17-18).
A few years ago, one of my longtime friends was moved to a position of great authority in Washington, D.C. In fact, after the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, he was regularly on the national news. He personally met with the President of the United States every morning that the President was in town. My friend was and is a great man of God. After each of his morning meetings with the President, he would have a Bible study with his immediate staff.
Once, while Loretta and I were at a prayer conference at the Hyatt Hotel in Washington, my friend called and asked if we could come to his office and participate in the morning Bible study with his staff. What an honor it was to sit with a national leader and hear him as he required his entire staff to memorize and quote a complete Psalm. They shared testimonies and it was a precious time. Truly God has placed godly men and women in high places and we must remember to pray for them.
His staff left after the Bible lesson and we had a few moments of personal time. He gave Loretta and me some prayer requests for his family. Then he made an interesting statement. He said he knew when he moved to Washington there would be enemies and that there would be those who would attempt to destroy him and push him out of office. He knew that there would be opposition because he knew that we have an enemy (Satan) who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). But he said that the thing that surprised him the most was when people betrayed him who he thought were his friends and his allies.
I am sure that you can relate to this. One thing that has become common today is betrayal and desertion. Yes, there have been many attacks from the enemy and these attacks from the kingdom of darkness come as no surprise. Of course, we expect those kinds of attacks. However, we are rarely prepared and often caught off guard by the attacks that come from within our own group of friends, family, and co-workers.
Today I want to remind you that for every attack that the enemy brings, whether it is from the outside or inside, God has already empowered you with sufficient grace (2 Corinthians 12:9) to outlast and overcome the enemy. Not only has He equipped us with sufficient weapons (Ephesians 6:10-18), but He has published the final outcome for all of earth and the heavenly hosts to see.
Jesus had a close group of twelve friends. They were hand-picked and trained by Him. Throughout all of Galilee, they traveled together assisting Him as He ministered. As thousands of people pressed in to touch Jesus, His twelve friends were His protection and shielded Him from the massive crowds. Yet, when the soldiers showed up with their torches and swords to arrest Jesus, they were led by one of His inner circle. And to ensure that the soldiers arrested the right person, Judas walked up and sealed the fate of Jesus with a kiss of friendship (Luke 22:47-48).
By definition, betrayal must be exercised by someone who is close and trusted. I’ve heard it said that you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer. The truth is that not everyone who calls you friend actually is your friend.
The Bible clearly tells us that we are to put away hurts, offenses, and thoughts of revenge (Ephesians 4:31.) Jesus is our Avenger-meaning He carries out justice for us and rights the wrongs done to us-and we must let Him do His work. We are commanded to walk in forgiveness, to walk in faith, and to walk in love. This cannot be done if we are offended and
continually rehearsing the betrayals we have experienced.
Walking away from hurts and offenses does not acknowledge that the person who has betrayed you is right, or that you condone anything that they have done. It simply cleans your heart so that you can clearly hear from God and accomplish what God is calling you to do.
So the next time you experience a betrayal, don’t attempt to negotiate and appease the enemy. Walk in love and forgiveness. Of course, we should attempt to restore relationships through love and forgiveness. However, you cannot control and manipulate other people. If restoration is unattainable, stop wasting your time. Do not allow the enemy to emotionally destroy you. Continue to walk in love, forgiveness, and joy and consider saying goodbye!