Tuesday, March 24, 2009

You have enemies

You have enemies….


Hey all, today, I want you to understand something……you have enemies……What do I mean?


Whether you know it or not, whether you like it or not, there are people out there who hate your guts……Folks who hate you…..period…..Maybe you haven’t even done something to deserve their hatred, but they hate you nonetheless…….


For me, this was kinda hard to come to terms with…….I couldn’t imagine that there were folks who would be happy and rejoice greatly to see me fail, to see me fall or to see me miss out of God’s best for me…….


I used to joke in High School, that people either liked me passionately, or detested me utterly…..I didn’t think about it too much, and as my friends say, my “reckless anointing” kept be oblivious of their hate….But right there, the truth was out there, naked as a new born child……Whereas I didn’t truly understand why, I needed to understand and to come to the revelation of the fact that I did infact have enemies……..


So, as I write this, I am aware that you too have enemies, people who hate you, people who will talk badly about you, people who will despise and forsake you when things go haywire……Worse still, many of these “enemies” you won’t recognize and they will lie in wait as “friends”. Even those who love you dearly may hurt and despise fully use you….What to do?


Let’s consider for a minute, what Jesus said about our enemies


Matthew 5:44 “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”


Matthew 5:45 “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for he maketh the sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust”


I know many of you have heard, and probably even recited this scripture during Sunday School…..And Jesus was clear on the attitude that we should have towards our enemies…….but why should we love our enemies, bless them, do good to them or even pray for them?


The answer to that question is in the next verse………Jesus says “...That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven…”


In John 8:42, Jesus said to the Jews that if God were their Father, they would love Him [Jesus], because He [Jesus] proceeded forth and came from God……..


Later on, Jesus says that “Ye [The Jews] are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do” John 8:44.


What this means to me then is that we will do, that which is of our father……If God is our father, and we are His children, then we will be mindful to do that which He wants us to do…Put simply, I can’t be a child of God, who doesn’t do that which God wants..….Jesus told the Jews that their father was the devil and not of God……..I know right, yikes! Jesus’ identity was qualified by the fact that He did that which He was asked to by His father, and His father loved him for it…..If you don’t believe me…..


John 10:17 “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.”


John 10:18 “No man taketh it away from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again. This commandment I have received of my Father”…….


How does all this tie in to our attitude to our enemies? If we are children of God, we will behave, do, act, think and respond as God would have us. And just like God lets the sun shine on the good and the evil alike, He expects us to love even those we may call unlovable…….Just like he sends the rain on the just and the unjust alike, He expects us to do like He does and love our enemies………


And yes, it is hard to do it……And it isn’t something that He expects us to be able to do in our own strength…….But He expects us to be submitted to Him and to do that which He would have us do……I know man and woman struggle with the issue of submission, but understand that the whole gospel of Jesus Christ began in submission……Jesus was wholly submitted to God that He did His will, no matter what……..And Jesus expects us to be equally submitted unto the Father, and to keep His (Jesus’) commandments……He expects that a man be wholly submitted to God and to love his wife, His wife submitted to Him and children to be submissive to their parents………..I should add here, that Men, we cannot be wholly submitted to God without also being submitted to our wives and families…


And because Jesus humbled himself to death on the cross, and was submissive and subject to the authority of God, the Father exalted Him, and gave Him a name that is above all names…..that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father……..


One thing that has helped me love my enemies is to understand that I was once an enemy of God…..There was a time when I didn’t love Him, but yet He loved me, and died for me…..When I truly understood that Jesus had already done for me that which no one else could, it became easier to love man…….And when I began to look at my enemy with love, I began to realize that they too were lovable in God’s eyes…..


Infact my prayer for mine enemies has been that the Lord not destroy or utterly cast them out, but that we may be reconciled in Him, and stand together praising Him…..For in truth, it doesn’t benefit me any to see mine enemy destroyed…But it pleases God that His child, who was once lost is now found…


When I began to pray that way, the Lord helped me understand that my enemy was not that person standing beside me, but the devil himself……In Mark 8:31-33, Jesus was talking about how the spiritual leaders of the time would reject Jesus and kill Him, Peter rebuked Jesus, saying that that wouldn’t be the case……Jesus rebuked Peter saying “Get thee behind me Satan”……..


See, Jesus realized the opposition that he was receiving wasn’t from Peter, but from Satan…..and so he rebuked Satan……Look at the audacity of the enemy in using Peter, one of Jesus’ closest disciples, to oppose the work of Salvation…..


When I read this, I began to understand that the enemy will use anyone (my friends, my relatives, my parents, my enemies, etc) to oppose God’s will in my life…..Thus, anyone can be a friend one moment, and an enemy the next…...And so rather than being pissed with that person, striving with them, shouting, yelling, and fussing, I need to rebuke the accuser of the brethren, the prince of the air and love on God’s people…..Basically, my enemy is not clothed in flesh and blood, but we wrestle against principalities, powers, evils, and spiritual wickedness in high places……


My prayer for you is that you oppose that which in your life is retarding you from attaining your God given destiny (that which is retarding you is your enemy), but love on God, imitate Him in your ways, God’s people and delight yourself in Him…..Work out your salvation with fear and trembling and be focused on God……


My encouragement to you, comes from Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that rises against you in judgement you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, says the Lord”


As the servants of the righteousness, bought by the blood of Christ, go forth and condemn every tongue that rises against you in judgement and understand that no weapon that is formed against you will prosper…Understand that this is your heritage! But love your enemies….Who knows? God may show mercy on them because of your love for them and have them as your closest pals…...


Understand that Saul was one of the biggest opponents of the gospel….infact, one could go as far as saying that he was an enemy to the early Christian church…..But it took a divine encounter with the Lamb of God, to change his heart, and Paul became one of the greatest ambassadors of the gospel.


With God, your biggest adversary can become your strongest ally……So love them, bless them, do good to them and pray for them …….

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