7 Minute Read
To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.
Today’s Bible Reading:
Listen to the Lord
Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.
Psalm 141:8-10 (NLT): “I look to you for help, O Sovereign LORD. You are my refuge; don’t let them kill me. Keep me from the traps they have set for me, from the snares of those who do wrong. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, but let me escape.”
Reflections from Scripture:
Everyone knows what it’s like to have someone who is out to get them. If you live long enough, you’ll have an encounter with someone like that.
Maybe you did something or said something intending to hurt them. Maybe you hurt them accidentally. Maybe they envy you for some reason. Maybe you got a promotion at work that they were denied.
The end result is that they are against you. Maybe they have resorted to cowardly gossip. Maybe they are insulting you. Maybe (a worst-case scenario) you are afraid for your life.
How should a Jesus-follower respond? What are we to do?
The answer to that question requires a mind that is greatly informed by a lot of Scripture intake. It also requires a lot of spiritual maturity and the filling of the Holy Spirit.
But, let me give you a few pointers based on Psalm 141:8-10.
- When someone is out to get us, we must focus our eyes on Jesus. We must realize that our safety is ultimately in His hands.
- We must pray specifically like the psalmist. He prayed that the Lord would “protect me from the trap they have set for me.” Further, he prayed for divine justice when he said: “Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I pass by safely.” So, pray, pray, pray!
- But, these previous two points do not negate taking steps to protect ourselves. As Jesus-followers, we have the right to NOT defend ourselves, and Jesus is our example. But, we also have the right TO defend ourselves if we desire. Maybe we need to let a person in authority know what is going on. Maybe we need to ask to be relocated at work. Maybe we need to have a gentle yet confrontational meeting with the perpetrator.
All of this requires spiritual maturity. But, you need to develop it because, eventually, it will come in handy … especially when you develop an enemy.
Spend Time in Prayer
Lord Jesus, there are undoubtedly other things that I can do AFTER seeking refuge in You. But, there is absolutely nothing that I should do BEFORE seeking refuge in You. I pray that I would be much more Jesus-focused in dealing with everything, including how I respond to those who desire to make my life difficult. You certainly experienced Your share of enemies when You walked this earth. Help me, Lord Jesus, to follow in Your steps in how You glorified the Father in Your words and actions. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.
Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on Facebook.