9/24 Isaiah 66:5

5 Hear the word of the LORD, you who tremble at his word: "Your brothers who hate you and cast you out for my name's sake have said, 'Let the LORD be glorified, that we may see your joy; but it is they who shall be put to shame.

Children of God are often the target of religious persecution, and sometimes it comes from those who claim to be of the same faith. Muslims shout, "God is great!" while they kill and maim Christians and sometimes other Muslims as well. Most church fights I have witnessed are simply over who is in charge. But when the religious attack those who are led by the Spirit, you often see those who are led by the Spirit refuse to fight back. They ask God whether to stand their ground or move on. Of course the religious will claim they only have the best interest of the church at heart. There is a book on the subject entitled, Well-Intentioned Dragons.

Jesus told His disciples that the time would come when they would be thrown out of the synagogues and even killed by those who think they are serving God (John 16:2) The apostle Paul declared that all who live godly lives will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12). We expect it from the world, but more often than not it is by those who claim to be of the same faith who are threatened by a true believer's devotion and dedication.

Certainly this was true of Jesus. The religious elite felt He exposed their hypocrisy and undermined their man-made orthodoxy. Those who follow Jesus whole- heartedly should expect the same. Yet, there is a promise in this verse. It is the persecutors who will be put to shame. It may not be until Judgment Day, but the truth will be known. In many cases, we don't have to wait that long. In the case of Watchman Nee, those who threw him out came humbly back to beg for his return.

Remember: In these kinds of conflicts, you can tell who is on the Lord's side by their demonstration of the fruits of the Spirit.