I was meditating, recently, about the “one another” reference in verse ten of Romans chapter twelve. Perhaps, because I had just read an article about a call for legal action against Major General Craig Olson for daring to invoke Jesus’ name at the National Day of Prayer Task Force event when crediting Him for his success in life. The group calling for a court martial was the so-called Military Religious Freedom Foundation. I was wondering How the Major General felt about the unwanted notoriety and how he would respond. I was seeking God in the vein of the Who is my neighbor? question that Jesus was asked by the lawyer in Luke chapter ten. See, the people who are opposing the right of officers to mention their faith claim to be “protecting” Christians, among others, from having religion different from their own imposed on them from higher up the chain of command. That would kind of make them neighbors, would it not? Still, I’m having an extremely tough time reconciling the things this group says their aims are with the things they actually seem to be doing. Anyway, enough about the origin of my quandary. Down toward the end of the chapter, it starts to talk about “those who persecute you”, and “never pay back evil for evil to anyone”. Clearly, those are more expansive than even “neighbor”. I said, “This looks hard, Father!”
The Father reminded me of His provision for my own sin. “I permitted the un-neighborly sort you are thinking about to crucify My Son. Did that qualify as persecution? Did that fit the definition of evil done? What did I do in return?”
I had to admit that He has blessed me with salvation and a relationship with Him in which I can talk to Him freely. He is returning immeasurable good for the evil done by me; for the evil amassed by my sin and repeated against Him at intervals over a lifetime. I am ashamed that the un-neighborly sort has at times been, well, me.
As long as you’re here, I’ll let you eavesdrop on the rest of our conversation:
ABBA: “You must seek My heart about the evildoers. Outside of becoming one with My heart, this call is too challenging for you. This is what it means to stand under My banner of Love. The world can absolutely not understand how good might overcome evil. They would return evil for evil, retribution for injury. There is a day of vengeance; a day when the blood of My Son shall be recompensed from those who have not been baptized in its cleansing fountain. Today is not that day. Today is a day in which I am patiently waiting for any who would yet avail themselves of that purifying flow.
“When you read or hear of evil in the land, or experience it done to you or the ones you love, remember My heart toward you while Jesus was yet suffering on the cross. Then, seek Me with your whole heart. Let My heart become one with yours. Let My heart guide your attitude toward the evildoer. Remember they are but slaves of the evil one. Pray that they may yet see and seek Me to find the Way of Escape.”
Me: I pray You will help me with this, Father. I have so far to go to have a heart like Yours. Please help me to learn to love with Your love. I have not really appreciated the notion of standing under Your banner of love at the front of the battle where evil rages on every side and Your call is still Your limitless love! I have prayed every morning in Your name, Jehovah Nissi – God our Banner –without comprehending even a fraction of what that means. Please help me to learn to be like You in this regard too. I love You!