Do you have an enemy?
I’m pretty sure back in elementary school, I had a few “you’re not my friend anymore” situations but I don’t even know if back then, I would have said they are my enemy.
Today, thankfully, I don’t have any enemies (that I know of) but I think many of us have people that we may still put in the “you’re not my friend anymore” status.
There’s one scripture in particular that comes to mind when we refer to our enemies. Next to John 3:16, it might be one of the most well-known passages in the Bible – Psalms 23.
We love the picture of our Shepherd walking with us, the green pastures, still waters and a soul restored. But I also enjoy the part about Him preparing “a table before my enemies”.
What comes to your mind when you read that? For me, it’s pretty self-serving. I picture me being honored while my “non-friends” look on. Sometimes, it looks like someone in authority saying I was right and telling the other person they were wrong.
While there may be some element of truth in that, I think I’ve missed the main point.
While I am picturing the faces of people I know looking on as I feast at this luscious banquet table, I’ve forgotten who the real enemy is. Maybe you have too.
Those people, my “non-friends” may have wounded me, but they are not my real enemy. You may argue with your husband every day but he is not your enemy. Your teenage child who seems to want to defy you in every way possible is not your enemy.
But our real enemy will try to convince us that these people are the ones we should be fighting.
Scripture tells us that is not the case.
Ephesians 6:12a For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies…
How do we get to that point? It all starts when we choose to engage the real enemy. He talks to us. We listen. And we react. Pastor Louie Giglio said it like this… “…just like that, we have invited a killer to our table.” This table that was meant to be for you & your Shepherd, just got a little more crowded. The enemy that was suppose to just be looking on, has now been invited to join in.**
Isn’t that how it all went down in the Garden of Eden? Satan talked. Eve listened. And history was changed forever.
The enemy is so good at this that he convinced Eve that God was against her. If he can do that with a perfect and loving God, how easy is it to do that to a person who didn’t play with us at recess?
We need to remember who our real enemy is. And fight accordingly.
Ephesians 6:13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
The next time we are tempted to turn our weapons against someone we can see, let’s turn our eyes back on our Shepherd and let Him lead us…after all, that’s what He intended all along.
James 4:7 (MSG) So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time.
* Picture of table setting from HGTV – Fixer Upper
**Here is Pastor Louie Giglio’s sermon that inspired this post – he does an incredible illustration of how we converse with our enemy. The video begins with that but I encourage you to watch the whole thing if you have time!