Summary: Enemies . . . you have them. You need them. You must be aware of them and handle them correctly. Welcome to the fight!
Pt. 1 – Enemy Appeal
Text Backdrop for Series:
Read these to you as a backdrop for entire series and then will come back and read some specific text for today’s thoughts.
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 3, 8
1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
David declared in 2 Sam. 22 and in Psalm 18, that God taught his hands to war. We need to ask Him to do the same today. We like to quote Joel 2 – in last days – but we also need to go read Joel 3 which reveals that we are in a war! The prophet calls out the nations and says prepare for battle! We are at war!
9 Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the fighting men draw near and attack. 10 Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say, "I am strong!"
Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are my constant guide.
11Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
We are at a disadvantage if we don’t know the devices of our enemy. We must fight intelligently or we fight disadvantaged. The one with the knowledge has the advantage. That is why every government has an intelligence department to learn about their enemies!
Came to tell you that like it or not. You have an enemy. I came to sound the alarm and tell you that you are behind enemy lines and you must recognize that we are at war.
There are 3 ways to live life. We can live enemy oblivious and continue to be defeated and destroyed and never figure out why. Or we can live enemy obsessed. We can blame everything on the devil. Some of you blaming stuff on the devil that you did to yourself. You just played the fool and now you are suffering the consequences of natural law of motion which says To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. So a demon didn’t bring the pain you did. That pain and outcome was the result of your action! There isn’t a demon behind every bush. So we cannot be enemy obsessed. The proper way to live is to become enemy conscious again! You need to recognize that there is an enemy that is out to destroy you. You must recognize that we are not at peace. We are not friends. His one desire is to kill you and he will use any means necessary. Notice I said we must become enemy conscious.
I don’t know why it surprises us that we have enemies. Israel has come to the conclusion that having an enemy is normal! That is why their air travel is the safest in the world because they live life expecting to have an enemy. They aren’t surprised or shocked that someone hates them enough to try to destroy them! Check out Jesus’ experience. He had enemies. His disciples had enemies. They were boiled in oil, beaten, stoned, crucified and tortured. And we freak when someone looks at us funny! We want everyone to love us and desire the best for us. We want everyone to be in our fan club and think we are cool, awesome, and the bomb. We don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable or offend anyone. However, I have news for you . . . if we are going to live according to the Word we will have enemies. There is no way to avoid it! Jesus said that not only should we expect it we should count ourselves as blessed when they persecute, revile (hate our guts), and lie about us! Grow up and deal with it. The Gospel is offensive and Jesus is offensive. We should think it is normal to have enemies. There will be folks that don’t like us, respect us, or root for us! We must remember that we aren’t fighting flesh and blood and our weapons are not carnal. We don’t stoop to their level or tactics. However, we do recognize that spiritual warfare is carried out through humans both for the good and the bad.
Now with all of that said, I believe that there is an insidious doctrine that is being shoved down our thoughts and we are being strong armed into believing that tolerance is a God idea. And although our culture is basically honing in one area of tolerance we have swallowed it in every area our lives and we have become tolerant of everything! What Christians used to blush over we now buy and bring into our homes. What we used to stand against we stand beside. What we used to battle, now we barely blink! The only problem with that is that God never tolerates enemies! We have become so tolerant for sin that we are best buds with what is trying to kill us! What we used to distance ourselves from the discussion is now how close can I get without going over line.