We all have enemies, let’s face it. No matter how nice we are, there are always going to be people who won’t like us, and who will rise against us, just because we are not like them; just because we are different.
Yet, for those of us who have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, who are following him in obedience, and who are surrendered to his will, we will have even more people who will hate us, because of what we stand for, and because of the gospel of Jesus Christ being lived out through our lives. Our faith in Jesus Christ is an offense to them, because they want to continue in their sin without guilt and without remorse.
Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;
Set me securely on high away from those who rise up against me.
Deliver me from those who do iniquity
And save me from men of bloodshed.
Psalm 59:1-2 NASB
There are no guarantees, when we follow our Lord in obedience, that we will not suffer at the hands of those who do not like us. In fact, scripture teaches that we will, and that this will increase in severity as we draw closer to the time of our Lord’s return. So, the Lord may or may not physically deliver us from such circumstances as what would bring about rejection, hatred, and mistreatment from others into our lives. But, he will always deliver us inwardly, in our hearts and minds, from fear, worry, unforgiveness, bitterness, emotional pain, and doubts, etc., if we will let him, and if we will give these things over to him and let him carry our burdens for us.
An Attack Against Me
For behold, they have set an ambush for my life;
Fierce men launch an attack against me,
Not for my transgression nor for my sin, O Lord,
For no guilt of mine, they run and set themselves against me.
Arouse Yourself to help me, and see!
You, O Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel.
Psalm 59:3-5a NASB
First of all, we must bring to mind that our real enemy is Satan, and he is the one behind these attacks against our lives. He uses humans to come against us, for certain, but this is a spiritual battle, and thus we must fight this battle with the spiritual weapons of warfare at our disposal.
The enemy is going to try to make us afraid, and to feel as though we are without recourse. He will put doubts in our minds to get us to question God and where he is in all of this. When people rise up against us, the enemy is going to try to make us feel as though he is the one in control and as though he has real power over us, but he doesn’t! Nothing can happen to us but what God allows it, he allows it for a purpose, and he will give us all we need to endure, to persevere, and to know how to respond to these attacks against our bodies, our minds and our hearts.
They return at evening, they howl like a dog,
And go around the city.
Behold, they belch forth with their mouth;
Swords are in their lips,
For, they say, “Who hears?”
But You, O Lord, laugh at them;
You scoff at all the nations.
Psalm 59:6-8 NASB
Our God is not the least bit intimidated by those who would try to intimidate us. In fact, he laughs at his enemies, for their foolishness in thinking they can outwit God. Just because the enemy growls at us does not mean God is not still on his throne. He is! Just because our Lord is very patient, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, does not mean God is soft on sin or that he will not one day have his recompense. He will one day judge his enemies, and they will pay for what they have done in the flesh, and against God and against his servants. Our enemies may feel like they are getting away with something now, but they will have their day in court when they will have to account to God for their actions.
O my Strength, I will watch for you,
for you, O God, are my fortress.
My God in his steadfast love will meet me;
God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.
Psalm 59:9-10 ESV
When we go through trials and tribulations which test our faith, and when we have enemies hotly pursuing us, attacking us, trying to trip us up, trying to make others not like us, and trying to frighten us, we can turn to the Lord. He is our strength and our fortress at all times, but especially at times when we are being mistreated by our enemies and forsaken by our friends and family members. None of this has caught him by surprise. And, we are not without recourse. Our God is absolutely still in control! We have nothing to fear.
Will we have to go through hard times? Surely! But, this is all part of the process taking place in our lives in God purifying our hearts, making us more like him, maturing us in our walks of faith, and strengthening us in purpose, mind and will to stay the course with our Lord in following him in obedience and in surrender to his will, doing what he has called us to do.
Caught in Pride
On account of the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips,
Let them even be caught in their pride,
And on account of curses and lies which they utter.
Psalm 59:12 NASB
Since our Lord has asked that we love our enemies, that we pray for them and do good to them, and that we hope good things for them, not in the flesh, but that they know the Lord, too, then we should not be quick to call on God to cut our enemies off from the face of this earth.
However, I do believe we can pray for them to be caught in their sin, not because we want to see them punished, but for their sake, that their eyes would be opened to the truth of what they are doing in living a lie. The purpose in such a prayer would be that they would be humbled before God so as to repent of their wickedness and turn their hearts to the Lord in humble surrender to his will for their lives. But, also that they would cease to do harm to others. In this way, this would also be a prayer for deliverance for those who are being harmed in any way by them.
I Shall Sing!
But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength;
Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For You have been my stronghold
And a refuge in the day of my distress.
O my strength, I will sing praises to You;
For God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness.
Psalm 59:16-17 NASB
One of the greatest ways I have found to defeat the enemy in my mind is to sing praises to God. Our enemy wants us to be afraid, to cower in fear, and to cease doing what God has called us to do. So, fear is one of his biggest tactics he uses against us; that, and doubt. He wants to get us to question God’s calling on our lives or his purposes for the things he allows in our lives because he is hoping he can convince us to give up. So, he will put the pressure on us from all sides, sometimes. But, we must not fear him!
Instead, we must turn to our Lord for our comfort, aid and support. We must persevere in following our Lord in obedience, and in surrender to his will, for we are in a spiritual battle here, and the battle is for the souls of humans. Satan wants to draw all people back to him, and so he will fight to keep them still in bondage to sin, and he will even convince them that God’s grace allows for that, and that God smiles on it, in fact.
So, we have to fight this fight as part of the Lord’s spiritual army in order to break these chains which bind human hearts. But our weapons are faith, truth, salvation, prayer, praise, our testimonies and the Word of God.
Lord, I Need You
Songwriters: Christy Nockels / Daniel Carson /
Jesse Reeves / Kristian Stanfill / Matt Maher
Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness…
Saturday, February 3, 2018, 4:30 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for these words of hope, healing, comfort, salvation, peace and assurance in Jesus, our Lord.