Monday, August 1, 2016

Who’s Your Biggest Enemy?

            So, who is your biggest enemy? When you read that question, did a dozen people’s names scroll across your mind, and your blood pressure rise a little? Could you tell me in ten seconds or less how they offended you, or what they did to end up in your mind’s enemy column?
            But do you really know who your worst enemy is? My husband has a friend who’s been so mad at a close relative that he hasn’t spoken to that person in decades. When my husband asked him what the other person had done to warrant such an avoidance response, the offended person’s answer was: “I don’t know! I don’t remember anymore. But I know they did something wrong, and I’m really mad at them!”

            Can you imagine wasting that much energy on being mad at someone like that, and for that long? And I say “wasting energy” because this person’s anger has seeped over into every other area of his life. He’s negative and complains about everything. Nothing ever works out for him (he claims), life’s awful (that’s actually a tame word compared to how he describes life), he’s terribly unhappy and manages to suck everyone around him into the unhappy pit with him.
            This person thinks he know who his enemies are, but does he really? My husband says this friend of his doesn’t really know who his biggest enemy is, and that is actually the crux of his problem.

            Then you hear some people say they don’t have any enemies, and that people are not our enemies. I’m not sure I agree with the thought that people aren’t our enemies, and my reason is because Jesus referred to our “enemies”. In Matthew 5:43-44 He says, “You have heard it said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Then later, in Matthew 7, He refers to some people as “dogs” and “swine.” Pretty strong metaphors to use. Based on just those two references, I get the impression that Jesus saw some people as enemies. And if He sees them as enemies, then I think I should too.
            Now I could go into a discussion about this passage, how we’re supposed to treat our enemies, pray for them and all of that, but that would be sidetracking from the bigger question (and realization) of today, which is:
            Who is your biggest enemy? The one that surpasses every other enemy who’s done you or your family wrong. The one you need to know and recognize as being alive and well on planet Earth and in the heavenly realm, whose sole intention is to take you down with him or destroy your witness as a child of God.
            He’s your biggest enemy, the one you need to understand. The one who’s causing all of your “littler” enemies (people and nations) to do the evil they do against you. The one who has the greatest influence over the world and the people inhabiting it. (And, no, please let’s do away with the ridiculous notion that people are inherently good. They’re prone to follow this big enemy’s guidance at the drop of a hat.)

            The following blog post (link below) is an excerpt of Jennie Allen’s book Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul. It’s a story about areas in her life that were under severe attack, a revelation about who her biggest enemy is, and how she leaned into a battle against him. Actually, she picked a fight with him, and is still fighting. But not alone. Never alone.
            Read the full post by copying and pasting this link into your browser.
The new edition of her book has just been released, which you may also want to check out.

            The post is a good reminder that we are at war because we’re not yet in heaven. It’s an even better reminder that we always need to be prepared, that we always need to have our armor on and ready for the attacks. Unfortunately, we can’t let our guard down.
            Because knowing your enemy is the first step in winning the battle.

Until next Monday, may your week be full of blessings that you receive and give, your heart be full of joy and thankfulness, and your days be filled with laughter. Build a little heaven in your life right now, and watch your heavenly garden grow!



When the eyes of the soul looking out meet the eyes of God looking in, heaven has begun right here on earth. ~ A. W. Tozer

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