Isaiah 54:17 (AMPC) gives us a wonderful promise from God. It says, "No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced]; this is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me ... says the Lord."
No one likes to be judged or criticized by others, and this verse clearly says "every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong." The question is this: How do we show those who judge and criticize us unjustly that they are wrong? Do we defend ourselves? Do we get mad at them and say equally bad things about them, trying to get back at them? No, none of that works, and it's not what this Scripture is talking about.
Jesus is our ultimate example of how we should live, and the Bible says in 1 Peter 2:23 (NIV), "When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges fairly."
When someone comes against us, we're often tempted to defend ourselves and say something like, "You're not going to talk to me like that!" Or "If you think you're going to treat me that way, then I'm going to do this to you!"
But the way we show those who judge and criticize us they are wrong is by behaving in a godly way instead of letting what the enemy—the devil—did through them cause us to act the same way.
It's Spiritual Warfare
As believers in Jesus Christ, we are in a war, but it's not a war against human beings. Ephesians 6:12 (NIV) says, "Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
I realize that talking about the devil is unpleasant, and many people don't want to do it. I attended church for years, and although I knew the devil was real, I didn't understand that he could be a real problem in my life.
The truth is that the source of all of the evil in this world is our enemy, the devil. It's so important for us to really get this if we want to effectively fight and get victory in the spiritual warfare we face.
The Way It Works
Sometimes we take a verse, like Isaiah 54:17 (AMPC), and focus on the part that we like, expecting to reap the benefits of the whole thing. For example, we like saying, "No weapon formed against me will prosper, and everyone who says wrong things about me will be proven wrong!" But we need to take the rest of the verse to heart too. It says, "This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced]."
The heritage we have in Christ—His peace, righteousness, security and triumph over opposition—is experienced by those who follow the example of "the ideal Servant of the Lord," which is Jesus Christ. This means that true faith in Christ produces a lifestyle that represents His heart ... His character and His behavior.
When you're born again—when you have a real relationship with Jesus—His Spirit comes to live in your spirit and shows you how to live right; He changes you little by little, from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18). And you won't be comfortable with an ungodly lifestyle as you grow closer to Him.
The Best Retaliation
So, practically speaking, what does it mean to act like Jesus in these situations? The first thing we need to do when someone comes against us is pray for them. They need to have an understanding of how dangerous is it to treat others this way. Matthew 7:2 (NIV) says, "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged."
We need to keep our eyes on Jesus and trust Him to give us the wisdom and strength to do what He would do. Remember the greatest commandment God gives us: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself'" (Luke 10:27, NIV).
I want to encourage you to be a wholehearted believer in Christ who lives for Him in every area of your life! Commit yourself completely to Him and pray, "Lord, I give You every part of my life—there's nothing that is closed off to You. Do what You want to do in me and make me everything You've created me to be."
Loving God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength is the secret to certain victory in spiritual warfare. In Christ, no weapon that's formed against you will prosper!
Please note: The views and opinions expressed throughout this publication and/or website are those of the respective authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Joyce Meyer Ministries.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Get Your Hopes Up! (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.
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