We Have Enemies
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are going to have enemies. We are going to have people who will be jealous of us, who will resent us, who will be embittered towards us, who will hate us, reject us, speak evil against us, and who will persecute us for righteousness’ sake. And, that is because they do not like what we stand for, and because they hate the light and so they refuse to come into the light for fear that their evil deeds will be exposed.
Now, this is not saying that there is not a chance that they might not like us because of something we have done in the flesh that offended them, or just because they do not like our personalities. And it may have nothing to do with our faith or with our testimony for Jesus Christ and for his gospel.
For, the reality is that not everyone in this world likes everyone else in this world. And the reality, too, is that we are not perfect people, so it is possible that we might offend someone just by our own carelessness or negligence, or just because we aren’t like them and we don’t do things the way they do.
But, the reality is also that Jesus said that if we become like him, and we follow him, and we do the kinds of things he did, and we teach what he taught, that we will be hated and persecuted as he was hated and persecuted. So, we should expect that we are going to have enemies, and that people will not want to be with us, or to be in our lives at all, because our walks of faith in Jesus Christ are just too weird for them.
Yet, our true struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the devil and evil forces in the heavenly realms. So, we do not fight those evil forces with such weapons of warfare as guns, knives, bombs, slander, gossip, and cutting remarks intended to hurt others. But we fight against the devil and evil forces with truth, righteousness, faith, the Word of God (the Sword of the Spirit), our salvation, and the gospel of Jesus Christ (Eph. 6:10-20).
A Lesson from 1 Samuel 17
The Israelites of old had enemies, too, who were enemies of God, and one group of them were the Philistines. And, the Israelites were frightened by them, for they had a giant named Goliath on their side. But David, who then was but a lad, was not afraid to fight against Goliath, for he knew God was on his side. And, he was not disheartened when the king thought David was not capable of fighting against Goliath because he was still a youth, either.
And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!” (v. 37)
And, this is the attitude we need to have, too, when our enemy Satan is coming against us, and when he is using other humans to do his dirty work, and so they are opposing us. And, they may have a “Goliath” on their side, too, but God is way bigger and much more powerful! We should not fear what man may do to us, but we need to walk in the fear of the Lord.
So, not matter how huge or how fierce or how seemingly impossible it might seem for us to be able to defeat our opposition with the armor of God, we need to trust in the Lord, that if we are obeying him, and if we are doing his kingdom work, that he is going to fight for us, and we will be victorious, even if it costs us our lives. We can be confident that God will deliver us.
But, then there are going to be people who are going to try to convince us that the way to fight those who are coming against us is with slander, cutting and bitter remarks, gossip, turning others against them, and trying to make them look bad so that we look good by comparison, etc.
Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off. Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine. (vv. 39-40).
The ways of this world are not the ways of God. The ways of the flesh are not the ways of God. So, we must put those off. We must reject them. For, God does not want us to fight like the world fights. He has armor for us to put on that the world does not know. And, they may laugh at us, and they may even mock us because we do not fight like they do, but we must wear the armor God has given to us that is suited for us, as his followers.
And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” (vv. 42-44)
Our enemy is going to mock us, too. He is going to taunt us, and he is going to try to convince us that we will never win. And, he will try to instill fear into our hearts and minds in hopes that we will give up and that we will retreat out of fear that somehow our enemy is too powerful for us.
And, Satan is going to use other humans, too, as his instruments, like Goliath, to try to make us afraid, and to try to discourage and dishearten us, and to try to confuse us and to get us to doubt God. But we must resist him!
Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.” (vv. 45-47)
Amen! We need to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty strength, and we need to put on that armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against us. And we need to answer our enemy with the Word of God and with confidence that this battle between flesh and Spirit is the Lord’s and that our Lord already won that battle for us on the cross. So, we can walk in victory over our enemy, and we can defeat him in battle.
When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.
So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David. Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. (vv. 48-51)
Amen! And, this is how we need to defeat our enemy, too, with the armor God supplies for us, and not with the weapons of warfare that this world is offering us to use against one another.
We need to believe that God already won this battle against sin and against Satan, and when temptation arises, or when we are being persecuted, or when we are being encouraged to be afraid and to retreat and to give up and to surrender to the enemy because the battle has gotten too hard, that is when we need to pull out that Sword of the Spirit and use it against our enemy Satan who speaks through human beings, too.
And, figuratively speaking, we need to cut off Satan’s head, his authority, his mind, his thinking, etc. which battles against us in attempts to defeat us. And, we need to put on truth and righteousness, and sing praises to God. When in battle we must not yield to the enemy! We must call on God, pray for help, quote Scripture, ask for prayer, play Christian songs, and fill our minds with the things of God so that Satan’s thoughts have no sway over us.
But we cannot defeat Satan in the flesh. We must obey our Lord.
Be with Me, Lord
By Thomas O Chisholm
Be with me, Lord – I cannot live without THEE,
I dare not try to take one step alone.
I cannot bear the loads of life, unaided,
I need THY strength to lean myself upon.
Be with me Lord, and then if dangers threaten,
If storms of trial burst above my head,
If lashing seas leap ev’rywhere about me,
They cannot harm, or make my heart afraid.
Be with me Lord! No other gift or blessing
THOU COULDST bestow could with this one compare –
A constant sense of THY abiding presence,
Where’er I am, to feel that THOU ART near.
Be with me, Lord, when loneliness o’ertakes me,
When I must weep amid the fires of pain,
And when shall come the hour of “my departure”
For “worlds unknown,” O Lord, be with me then.
*Caution: This link may contain ads