Weekly Sabbath Survey
Enemies — 8-6-2016
It may be true that most of us want to believe having a pure heart and righteous motives means we will have little trouble from enemies. Hey! We’re the Good Guys! Yeah, but putting that big ol’ Good Guy “S” on the front of your jersey like a super hero has automatically put a huge target on your back!! God’s plan and His people will be continually opposed by enemies from without and from within.
Moses faced down Pharaoh “without” and his people “within” including his own brother and sister. Miriam bragged that she had the same leadership ability he did. And Aaron, the one chosen to be their High Priest, headed up that metal smelting project and produced the infamous Golden Calf. There were other minor and major complaints from the people when the going got tough. “Why did you bring us out here to die in this desert?” “We hate this manna! We want to go back to Egypt where we had leeks and garlic and cilantro.” (Yeah, and slavery! Did they forget already?)
Later, David had the Philistines, Israel’s long time enemy without, headed up by Goliath the devil’s spawn himself. He had to be eliminated to loosen the Philistine stranglehold. Once that was done, the next opposition was King Saul, an enemy within. He was also an enemy of God by his own willful spirit. Saul would rather murder David, the Lord’s anointed replacement for Saul (per Samuel), than to let the crown slip away from his own legacy, his son Jonathan. In all the attempts on David’s life, and opportunities he had to kill Saul, David never did give in to it. He would not ‘touch’ the Lord’s anointed, sitting King.
Jesus Himself found deadly opposition among the Jewish leaders, enemies without, even when He had the popular vote. Once He called Peter “satan” for disagreeing with what He was sharing about God’s plan in the coming days. It seems Peter was acting as an enemy within by his attitude and big mouth.
The most dedicated of the Lord’s people are going to have opposition. (And sometimes they may be the opposition!) In my experience at times it has been a big surprise just who joins the opposition. I have seen leaders unseated by their hand-picked “First Officer.” Stabbed like Julius Caesar! Sometimes family members may oppose us and have no idea “what spirit they are of” like John and James when they wanted to call down fire from heaven on the opposition. People are not always as loyal as they once were, and they can be more judgmental and unforgiving than we had any idea they would be.
We don’t always realize the spirit and voice of the devil in play. The evidence of that is lying, jealousy, pride, anger—all those things opposite of love, joy, peace, etc. It is easier to spot these things in the ‘without’ people. When it comes to ourselves or our kin folks and friends we trust, we have more disbelief than discernment!! We weep and get wounded instead of saying, “Get thee behind me!” like Jesus said to Peter. We can’t see who or what it is that opposes us. (It’s not flesh and blood!)
Steps to Victory: 1) Understand that we are in a war! There will be fighting. Keep your head down, your knees bowed, and your warfare on a spiritual level. 2) Check your spirit man regularly to make sure you are solid on God’s team. You don’t want to become anybody’s opposition, or your own worst enemy. 3) Keep following Jesus no matter who tells you to quit—even your own whiney “chicken” heart. 4) Be Brave! Be strong! Run your race. There is a crown of righteousness waiting for all of us who cross the finish line.
Jesus said, A servant is not greater than his master. The servant shares his master’s destiny. If the master has been called “satan” how much more will they call his servants?. . . Do not think I came to bring peace. I bring a sword. Matthew 10:24-25, 34
Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
Copyright May 2016
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