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Monday, January 12, 2015

When I Face Attack, Learn To Rest In God’s Protection

In review of Psalm 23:5 it says, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”

Bottom Line:
You treat me well, providing the best for me; even in the presence of those who oppose me. You treat me as an honored guest and fill me up with blessing.

What this means to me:
You are so good to me, providing what is best for me; even in the presence of those may be against me. You have treated me as an honored guest and continually fill me up with your multitude of blessings. Given this I should rest in your protection.

This is good advice. It seems our world is getting ruder and ruder all the time. The Internet allows people to hide behind the screen and say things online that they would never really have the courage to say to others face to face.

All this really does is reveal the smallness of their hearts. A great person will make others feel great, but small person only belittles others. Those who belittle others have a little knot for a heart, and they make fun of others because they think it will make them feel better.

So how should I handle someone who is being rude to me. The answer is, that I shouldn't. Rather I should let God handle them in his own timing. I let God be my defender, not myself.

As illustrated in the Bible, King David was a pro at this. He knew what it meant to be attacked emotionally, verbally, and physically. As a young man, he was anointed by Samuel to be the next king of Israel, but he spent two years running from his predecessor, who wanted to kill him. He hid in caves while being criticized constantly behind his back. Yet David never said a bad word against the king. He never retaliated, because God was preparing him to be the king after his own heart. David says in Psalm 23:5, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows” (NIV).

David was recognizing God’s goodness to him. God would anoint his head with oil, which is the equivalent of saying to the world, “This is my guy! Back off! This is going to be the next leader.” David’s cup overflowed, which meant God kept blessing him and blessing him, even when others attacked him. It never looked like David was stressed out. He didn't have to use up all his energy defending himself because he trusted God to be his defender.

It takes a lot of faith and humility to rest and trust God when I’m under attack, when I’m misunderstood, when rumors are spreading about me and people are saying things about me. When that happens, typically everything in me wants to rise up and do something about it. But I can be most like Christ when I remain silent under attack. Jesus was constantly attacked, yet he never retaliated, even on his way to the cross. He remained silent before his accusers because he had entrusted himself to the care of the Father. The apostle Peter has this advice, “So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you” (1 Peter 4:19).

In considering this, Its not so important for me to have the last word. For me getting in the last word makes me think that I've won or have come out on top. However, if I’m going to be humble, I should never try to exalt myself this way. In addition, it’s a lot more helpful for my health to trust my defense to God instead of spending my energy and emotions on things better left to God. This is going to be much better for my health than to stress about it.

One thing I’ll need to learn to do if I’m confronted face to face with those who are attacking me, is to simply rest in God’s protection. So I either I should walk away (so I don’t do or say something stupid) or I should do something that would bless them instead, trusting God to take care of it in his timing.