Did Someone Need a Blessing?
Recently two electric garden tools were stolen from our garage, a weed-whacker and a hedge trimmer. This was unusual, because nothing had been stolen from our property since 1973, even though we live in a high small crime area. I sought the Lord wondering why we had seemingly emerged from under His blanket of protection. I looked for sin in my life. It wasn't too hard to find some. I repented and prayed for the thief or thieves. I felt the Lord's strong unction as I prayed. Later my wife said that she felt a prompting that the thieves were strangers that we had recently allowed on our property to pick fruit from one of our trees. Why would the Lord let that happen, I wondered? And as I pondered all of this, several things came to mind that I think were of the Lord.
Ephesians 3:9-11 says that God desires to demonstrate His wisdom through the church to the powers and authorities in the heavenly places. In 1 Corinthians, Paul explains that the wisdom of God is demonstrated by the cross of Jesus Christ. So it is the wisdom of the cross that God desires to demonstrate through His church. The wisdom of the cross is that we are to bless and pray for those who take advantage of us, not just those who are our friends. Even the unrighteous cater to their friends, but we Christians are called to bless those who persecute us and thus testify of the life of Jesus within us. I realized, based on the obvious unction of the Lord as I prayed for the thieves, that God was seeking a blessing for the thieves! He was seeking a demonstration of His wisdom through His church! He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to the saving knowledge of His Son. I then realized a multi-blessing in the theft. The thieves were blessed because they received prayer which they obviously needed. I received a blessing because I was allowed to demonstrate God's wisdom of the cross. God was glorified. (There was some cleansing going on in me as well having to do with false assumptions I had made about who might have "borrowed" the tools.)
Looking back on my history as a believer, I see the wisdom of God in allowing people into our lives, particularly Christians, who took advantage of us financially and in other ways. God was seeking a blessing for them!! And He was offering a blessing to us as well if we would react to the offense in the wisdom of the cross. For years this had perplexed me. Why would God allow fellow Christians to walk on us? It now begins to make sense. They needed prayer! They needed His blessing! They were allowed to stumble so that His grace could abound. He desires to demonstrate His grace as well as His wisdom.
The days ahead will allow ample opportunity for Christians to demonstrate the wisdom of the cross in light of ever-increasing lawlessness. Jesus said that during these times, many would fall away and the love of most would grow cold. We should not fall away nor should our love grow cold in spite of any offense that may come our way. Perhaps we could look at these offenses as an opportunity to demonstrate God's wisdom of the cross to someone who needs a blessing. Isn't that what loving your enemies is all about? Let's populate the Kingdom with our enemies as well as our friends, and allow demonstration of God's wisdom through us!
We, the saints, will overcome satan by the "Blood of the Lamb, the word of our testimony, and by loving not our lives unto death". That death is more than the final physical death of the body. Paul said he died daily. So must we in order to demonstrate the wisdom of the cross and glorify our Lord.