Do You Know Your Enemy

So, do you?

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That’s a tough question isn’t it.  Not exactly a pleasant one to think about.  But it’s an important one that we all have to face sooner or later.  I think we can all agree that Satan is our enemy, but is he our only one?  It would be nice if he was but that’s not what God’s word tells us.  It tells us we will face many enemies, many workers of iniquity, deniers of truth, deceivers, scoffers, workers of darkness, antichrists.  Ponder for a moment the following verses:

Tit 1:16  They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Psa 92:9  For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.

Psa 5:8  Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.

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Psa 6:7  Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.

Psa 42:10  As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?

Mic 7:6  For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.

Luk 19:43  For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,

And that’s just a very few of the verses!  Suffice it to say we are going to have enemies and we need to know how to handle them.  Do we ignore them, run from them, hate them, spit on them?  Eph 5:11 tells us we are to convict them – and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of the darkness and rather even convict, .  Yet Jesus tells us to love them – Luk 6:27  ‘But I say to you who are hearing, Love your enemies, do good to those hating you, .  So are we just supposed to accept what our enemies do then, to turn the other cheek, ignore it, participate in it?  Is that loving them?  How can both verses work together?  It’s easy actually and they do work together.  Yes, we are to love our enemies just as Jesus says.  If we look at the next few verses in Luke we get a fuller picture of what we are to do for our enemies.

Luk 6:27  ‘But I say to you who are hearing, Love your enemies, do good to those hating you,
Luk 6:28  bless those cursing you, and pray for those accusing you falsely;
Luk 6:29  and to him smiting thee upon the cheek, give also the other, and from him taking away from thee the mantle, also the coat thou mayest not keep back.

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So we are to do good to them, bless them, pray for them…  Does Jesus get how hard that is?  Why is he telling us to do that?  And how do we do that without having fellowship with the works of darkness of our enemies?  It’s easy actually and the doing of it will be our witness, upholding our testimony.  We can do good to them by loving them, caring about them, for them.  Bless them – with money, time, joy, a kind word, a gentle voice, a simple God bless you.  Pray for them, most of all pray for them.  Pray hard, pray often, pray loud, quiet, just pray.  Petition God on their behalf, asking humbly that their eyes be opened, their hearts softened, the Truth revealed.

That doesn’t sound too hard now does it?  But who might these enemies be?  Some are obvious those wishing to harm us, those who despise us, those who hate us.  Strangers and acquaintances mostly.  Mostly?  Yea, sometimes those who are unfruitful workers of darkness are closer to us than that.  They’re neighbors, friends, relatives, even spouses – anyone who has not picked up their cross as a follower of Christ.  So how do we handle them.  Obviously these enemies aren’t going to be obvious, they won’t wish us harm, despise us, etc.  At least we hope not.  They present a bigger challenger than a stranger in many ways.  We are told not to fellowship, or spend time with, those who are workers of darkness, so how do we approach these enemies?  We of course do all the things already discussed – love, care, bless, pray.  But we can go a step farther if we are wise and place our trust in God to lead us and to keep us (as we know he will per Joh 17:11  And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.)  We can convict them not only through prayer or in passing but directly, face to face, strongly, boldly proclaiming the Gospel message.  I will deal mostly with how we can do this with neighbors, friends and relatives – spouses obviously require an additional approach.  These are people we are going to be around, in direct personal contact with so we have several unique advantages that give us greater opportunities for witness.  Spend time with the person if possible, if they are willing.  I would recommend meeting in a neutral place, not necessarily their home where it is harder to refrain from being a participant in their sin, such as a local restaurant, coffee house, park to talk letting the light of Christ shine through in the words you say.  Confront their sin but don’t belittle or demean them, tread lightly.  It doesn’t always require even a direct confrontation.  Say they enjoy listening to rock music, instead of joining them at a raunchy, lewd, profane concert instead introduce them to Crowder, The Newsboys, For King and Country.  If they enjoy movies be selective and choose one of the many great options by Christian artists, producers.  Companies such as Pureflix and Affirm Films offer excellent films that are faith based while still being well done.  Just by choosing activities that point us back to God we are planting seeds, our lives and choices are bearing witness to our faith.  If we allow God to lead us our words will follow, our life will bear witness to our testimony.   So know your enemy, approach them wisely and confront them boldly in Christ.  Then watch the light chase away the darkness when the seeds you sow begin to take root, sprout and flourish.

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