Summary: We’ve all heard the question, Who is my neighbor? But no one ask the question, ’Who is my enemy?’ Inside you will find out the answer to this question and may be surprised just who our real enemy is.
WHO IS YOUR ENEMY?
Pastor Ryan Akers
Warrenton Wesleyan Church
Romans 12:14-21: 14Ask God to bless everyone who mistreats you. Ask him to bless them and not to curse them. 15When others are happy, be happy with them, and when they are sad, be sad. 16Be friendly with everyone. Don’t be proud and feel that you are smarter than others. Make friends with ordinary people. [a] 17Don’t mistreat someone who has mistreated you. But try to earn the respect of others, 18and do your best to live at peace with everyone. 19Dear friends, don’t try to get even. Let God take revenge. In the Scriptures the Lord says, "I am the one to take revenge and pay them back." 20The Scriptures also say, "If your enemies are hungry, give them something to eat. And if they are thirsty, give them something to drink. This will be the same as piling burning coals on their heads." 21Don’t let evil defeat you, but defeat evil with good.
I’m coming to you this morning with a simple message. The front of the bulletin and the notes within were the message I planned to preach. It was the message I sat down and prepared for and was ready to stand up here today to deliver. But it wasn’t the message God desired for you to hear today. Next week you will hear it, but today comes a message straight from my heart.
I want to ask you a question this morning. It is a simple question. But your answer and the actions you take behind your answer may have an eternal impact. The question is, “Who is your enemy?” Now that’s a strange question. I’ve heard hundreds of pastors preach messages on who is your neighbor. And that’s easy my neighbor is everyone around me whether I know the person or not Jesus says they are my neighbor and because they are my neighbor I am commanded as a believer in Christ to love and honor and help my neighbors. But I have never heard a pastor ask, “Who is your enemy?”
Well that’s a little more challenging question. No one ask Jesus who our enemy is. "I don’t know who my enemy is, I love everyone everyone is my neighbor so how can I have enemies?"
How many of you (don’t raise your hands) have ever had somebody in your life that you just couldn’t stand? That when they walked into the room when you saw them or heard there voice you just cringed. You were instantly annoyed. When someone even just mentions their name we are just like, “Man I can’t stand them. They did this or they do that. Or they did this and really hurt me, or when they are around they act like this and its just annoying.” I don’t know why you can’t stand this person. Maybe they hurt you. Maybe they are a know it all or are incredibly demanding or are always wanting their own way. Maybe they are incredibly selfish. But for whatver reason I have a hard time believing that most if not all of us in here at one time or another have not had someone come into our lives that challenged our patience.
ILL(For me the person was Pedro Rinzler- exchange student, disobeyed my parents, he was rich and thought he could do anything he wanted. Arrogant)
My battle with Pedro was keeping me from going to the next level in my relationship with Christ. Through Pedro God showed me how to overcome the real enemy in our lives.
HOW TO OVERCOME THE REAL ENEMY
1. REALIZE WHO THE REAL ENEMY IS…
This may shock you. This may be hard for you to hear, but I want you to listen to me then we are going to get into God’s word to back up what I’m about to say. The real enemy is not the person who annoys you. Its not those who bring you harm. Its not people who blame you. Its not those who laugh when you fail. The number 1 enemy in your life is not even Satan. The number 1 enemy in your life is you.
What!? How is that possible? How can you make such a bold statement? I make it because its true. The number 1 enemy in your life is you. The number 1 enemy in my life is me, because we control our own lives. We control how we think, what we say, how we act. We control what annoys us. We control what grudges to hold, what attitudes to have, how we will react in every situation whether good or bad. We control how we treat others, how much love we give out or don’t give out. It’s up to us.