38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:38-48
Now, we respond to what Jesus said here in many ways.:
We might say: I can’t just stand there and let someone attack me and not fight back. My survival instincts will take over. It is foolish not to try to defend yourself.We could think, I have to protect the things I worked for. No one can just come up and take what belongs to me without a fight.
Or we could say, and some commentators say that Jesus was speaking to a 1st century Jewish audience. He gave them the wise way to handle the abusive tactics of the Roman soldiers. He was teaching how to live in a godly, dignified way in the face of an oppressive state.
I might even say, I don’t understand what Jesus is saying. But I know this. No one is going to disrespect me. I can’t be a push over. I can’t be used and abused. I can’t be a doormat, a pushover, a punk, a weakling, a wuss. Lay a hand on me and draw back a nub
In the difficult days we face ahead (not being prophetic, it is a part of life that not everything goes as we would prefer) we need the insurance that God is with us. That he is not just with us but taking and active interest in our affairs and working on our behalf behind the scenes. And He is working: though we may not always see him at work.
We need to learn to see Him. We need to learn how to be conscious of His presence and His workings at all times. A phrase some Christians use is “Practicing the Presence of God.” The following are some verses which can help us detect our Lord and increase the strength and accuracy of our “Godar.”
Genesis 17:1: God is behind me.
And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
Deuteronomy 13:4: God is before me.
Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
Psalm 91:1 : God is above me.
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Psalms 40:2 Beneath me as my rock
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy
Psalm 16:8 : God is on my right.(south)
I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Job 23:9 : God is on my left (north).
On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:
Psalm 34:7 : God is all around me.
7 The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them
Colossians 1:27 : Christ is in me.
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
(adopted from http://www.ministrylive.org/index.php/2008/09/15/practicing-the-presence-of-god/)
If we know that God is:
To our right
To our left
With me and,
We can understand what the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 1.6:
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
And also Philippians 4:6,7
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus