“When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Proverbs 16:7

Is there someone who considers you his/her enemy? Or someone that you consider your enemy? It might even be a hidden wall of enmity in your heart where you really can’t stand the other person even though you’re stuck with their presence and try to hide your feelings. Look at our scripture again and we’ll find God’s plan for eliminating most of our enemies.

That’s because it all starts with you and me. We claim Jesus as the Captain of our salvation, and so He is. But it is because His ways pleased His Father – submitting to the indignity of the Cross in humble obedience – that we were turned from being God’s enemies (Romans 5:10) into being called “friends.” (John 15:15)

That’s why today’s scripture is not passive but active. It assumes we are going all out to please our Lord and not ourselves, and this includes complying with His orders on how to treat an enemy. Jesus commands us to do four things to enemies: 1) love them (like Jesus loved His enemies), 2) bless them (wanting God’s best, not His worst, for them), 3) do good to them (deliberate acts of kindness whenever possible), and 4) pray for them (note the three “musts” that must precede our prayers for God to touch their lives (He must first touch ours!).

This puts us on the road to overcoming evil with good and creates the possibility of God turning war into peace. What about those who choose to remain your enemies? Even King Saul, though unrepentant, admitted that David’s loving kindness in the face of his own hatred would bring the Lord’s deliverance and bless­ing on the future king. “When a man’s ways please the Lord… ” should be life’s great obsession!

My prayer: “Just as Your ways, Lord Jesus, pleased the Father, so work in me until my ways please You.”

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