WHEN YOU HAVE AN ENEMY

July 07, 2023

WHEN YOU HAVE AN ENEMY


I’ve had my enemies along the way. Several times in my earlier life and ministry, I led churches into uncomfortable and challenging places. Often it would upset the status quo. I made many leadership mistakes that complicated the issues and I know my incessant pride has caused many stumbles and failures.

But sometimes, you simply have enemies. Jesus did. Paul did. David did. It’s hard to find anyone who seeks to pursue God fully that is not opposed. If you walk with God, you are a threat to the prince of this world. You are shining a light into his darkness, and he will use every means to stop you … and he often uses adversaries in human skin.

WHAT DO I DO?

… is always the question. God anticipated this query and laid down answers in black and white before you were born. And Psalm 37 is a treasure trove of wisdom in such moments. If you are facing an enemy, turn to this rich Psalm (written for you by your Commander-in-Chief) and read it over and over again until the whole tenor of God’s instructions permeates your life. Notice just one portion ...

7 Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
8 Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.
9 For evildoers will be cut off,
But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.
10 Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more;
And you will look carefully for his place, and he will not be there.
11 But the humble will inherit the land
And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.

 

BE STILL

Rest (be still) in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. (vs. 7)

There’s no reason to feverishly run around seeking answers elsewhere. But you must replace that frenetic activity with deliberate, focused attention on the Father. If you wait for Him He will fight your battles and calm your soul.

If you take the deliberate, daily time in the Word and prayer to become consciously aware of His presence, everything will come into perspective. You will see that God always takes care of His children, always vindicates the humble, and that the wicked always come to a sure and certain fate. You will find the promises of God for your situation and it will still your soul and prevent foolish, knee-jerk responses.

DON’T FRET!

Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes … Do not fret, it leads only to evildoing. (vs. 7-8)

Worry and nervous anxiety about an enemy is worse than useless. It robs you of peace, fills your mind with senseless and unfounded speculations, and gives the Enemy a strong foothold in your mind. It will lead you to make premature assumptions and wrong steps.

Worry is a clear sign you are not resting in Christ. That you are not taking the time to get your soul settled in God’s presence. That you don’t have His mind about the real issues. There is absolutely no need for worry for those who are in Christ.

Remember the purpose of the exercise. God sometimes allows problems and enemies to pull us back into the right relationship with Him. Manley Beasley said, "Needs are God’s messenger boys telling you He has an answer.”

CEASE FROM ANGER

Cease from anger and forsake wrath. (Vs. 8)

Anger is, without question, the most common yet the most destructive response. Its foundation is pride, for in our selfishness we feel someone has done something to us that we don’t deserve. They’ve trampled on our rights.

The contented believer has laid his rights at the feet of Jesus. He lives for Christ and for the chance—in each situation—to glorify God with a gracious, godly response. To witness, even to their enemies, that God is bigger. If we are angry, it is an immediate and clear sign that we have lost our seat at the feet of Jesus.

Do you have some enemies? Then live in Psalm 37. It will take you to the Father and to blessed rest and certain victory.





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