Rightful Revenge

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”

Much of what we see play out in the news today is spun to garner an opinion. Even the talk shows; whether radio or television, are made to get your ire up and spout out about what you feel. I have gotten sucked into this conversation and drawn in to this discussion because of the subject matter. I was passionate about it enough to call, wait my turn and then… I was going to give them a piece of my mind!

Then, it was as if God touched my shoulder and said, “So, how will I be glorified in this?”.

I did a quick survey of my emotions and found I was doing this because I was mad. I was offended by what was being said. I was going to set the record straight and give them a lesson in doctrine as to why they were wrong.

I quietly and quickly ended the call before any further damage had been done. I realized that those listening wouldn’t care about my doctrinal position. They would not be able to relate to anything I was going to say:

1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

You and I can take up a cause. We can hold and opinion. We can take a side. Yet, so often I have to remind myself – I truly have no opinion. God’s cause is the only one that matters and if sides are to be taken, I must always be on the Lord’s side. Victims and abusers will always be with us. I can see the injustice done and feel for the one offended. I have dealt with enough folks on either side to know that there are really no winners – both suffer some sort of loss.

I have also realized that if there is justice to be meted out, the position I may hold to is biased at best and the justice I may desire may not always be the best for all involved. I must defer to God’s justice and allow Him to take care of the situation. I may share my opinion with others and garner support for the victim mentality I portray and gain a majority of people’s thoughts to my side.

God has had to remind me on a number of occasions that He and He alone is the only one to have perfect justice; and if vengeance is to be taken – He alone has reserved the right:

Romans 12:18-19 “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”

But as I was meditating on this verse today, I had always been drawn to that statement in verse 6 of 2 Corinthians:

And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”

You and I can and should take this verse seriously. It is a matter of heart attitude toward our sin. Shame on us when our hearts become so apathetic toward our sin that we dismiss the conviction of the Holy Spirit. It is as if we stand guard of our heart to be ready to confront any and all intruders.

A voice of compromise comes and whispers, ‘No one is watching…’ and our response should be:

2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.”

Another voice states: “See, there is no judgment so it must be ok…” and we must remind ourselves:

Galatians 6:7-9 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

The revenge we take on our disobedience must be met with the Word of God. To take any other position will not stand against the wiles of our enemy. He knows the Word of God – often better than any of us.

The personal revenge must be upon my own disobedience – not on others. That is the beauty of my personal relationship with the God of Heaven. He knows me better than I know myself. He can point to any part of my life and tell me to take care of business. Then, through my confession and repentance, He brings me back into close fellowship once again.

There is a part of us that likes to see justice prevail; the criminal get his due. We take comfort in knowing that they didn’t get away with it. Yet, when dealing with our own sin, we seek mercy and longsuffering over justice. We want God to wink and say, “Its OK…” and look the other way.

Our mind is the melting pot for all of our emotions and activities. It is where it all begins. That is why God asks us to deal with the imaginations of our hearts – it is where pride, anger, injustice, vengeance and selfishness take their residence. It is also the place where my revenge must be against that which rises up against God in my heart.

In America, our nation is more divided than ever. Racially, culturally, socially, morally and spiritually; and we have no easy nor quick way to fix it. But if change is to come, it must first begin at the house of God.

1 Peter 4:17 “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”

If you are saved, we should know better – it is our responsibility. Not only to revenge our disobedience, but to fulfill our obedience as well. We are truly in perilous times. No one can predict accurately when the end may come – all we can know is that there is an end and we must prepare for it.

God can and will change our nation – one heart at a time. We must be willing to subject ourselves to the One who knows us best and listen as He leads us and guides us into all truth.

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