28 Jan 2013

Knowing Your Enemy

1 Comment Freedom


I’ve walked with God for a long time and one thing I know – God often gets a bad rap for what the enemy does. One of my greatest challenges in ministry is dealing with people who blame God for the disasters and failures in their lives. While some things are a result of our own poor choices, the Apostle Paul says in Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Bottom line, God has a plan for your life that is good and the enemy has one for destruction. The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

Pastor Jimmy Evans once said, “Satan attends every funeral.” He was referring to the fact that the enemy often uses death to divide people from God. He lies to them that it was God’s fault or that He did nothing to save their loved one. The truth is that bad stuff happens to good people because we live in a fallen world. There are many things we won’t understand this side of heaven. Those are the times we must trust God’s heart.

Sometimes people have a disconnect that prevents them from seeing God as a loving heavenly father who has their best interests at heart. This is especially true of those who have been abused. While it is sometimes challenging, I do believe people can be lead to the truth if they desire it. But ultimately, each person must have their own encounter with God. Hopefully, it will result in their own change of personal belief systems that include (1) recognizing His sovereignty, (2) accepting the fact that we indeed live in a fallen world and in the midst of it all, God never leaves or forsakes. Only then will their hearts embrace truth and the faith to move forward where they have been stuck. Bottom line, it requires letting go of blaming God and releasing the anger held against Him and putting it where it belongs – toward the adversary!

Sometime ago, I felt the Holy Spirit gave me a great illustration to share with people when they are deceived about God and are seeing Him as their enemy. He showed me a picture of a person walking down a country road. All of a sudden, without warning, a dark figure hiding behind bushes along the way jumps out, approaches them from behind and begins to beat them with a baseball bat. He beats the person black and blue, to a bloody pulp, and leaves them for dead. All of a sudden, the injured person slightly raises their head up from the ground, opening one eye. Peeking from behind bruised and swollen eyes, they get a glimpse of the dark figure. This figure (representing Satan or one of his messengers) points toward heaven and says, “He did it!” — Referring to God, of course! Because the injured person is in a wounded state, they buy the lie.

When you don’t understand how the devil works, you are wide open for destruction. The devil has to disarm you before he can defeat you. He lies to you and there is no truth in him. He never has a good day and decides to go easy on you.

If this is an area where you struggle, I encourage you to invite God’s presence and ask Him to reveal His nature to you. Turn your eyes toward heaven and declare as Jehoshaphat did, “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.” 2 Chronicles 20:12

 

written by
I am a Pastor in the Freedom Ministry at Gateway Church in Southlake, TX. I love to teach, write, and help others. I especially love my kids and grandkids.

One Response to “Knowing Your Enemy”

  1. Reply Diane Lillie says:

    Hi Linda, What an awesome article! The key words here I believe are, “if we desire it.” I was angry at God for a long time, but by His grace and mercy now walk in freedom. Its important to be honest before God if we are angry with Him, bring it to the light of His presence and ask for His help-and turn your eyes toward the cross, to our suffering Lord.

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