The Basics of Life—Know Your Enemy

This is one of the incredible statues at the Light of the World Garden at the Gardens of Thanksgiving Point in Sandy, Utah

Most of us would probably say that we know our enemies. We are aware of most of the people who don’t like us. We are aware some people don’t agree with us and are opposed to us because of our beliefs BUT that is not what the Bible says.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (NASB)

God’s Word tells us that people are not the problem. Our struggle is with the spirit behind the people or person. So let’s quit contending with people and begin to struggle on our knees—on our knees in prayer.

  • Let’s pray that we would have a right attitude and be part of the solution, not a part of the problem.
  • Let’s pray for the person or people who is opposed to us,
    • that they might know Truth
    • that they might be in or come into genuine relationship with our Creator
    • that they would seek to live in response to relationship with that One who created us

If you have the basics, the fundamentals right, everything else will come into place but if the basic premises of your life are wrong you will wander around lost.

Bottom line: there is a God and I am not Him (and neither are you)

He is the first cause of every good thing. He desires that we know Him and be in relationship with Him and so He caused men moved by His Spirit to write what we call the Bible. In the Bible He communicated His purpose both to and for us, His love for us, and His standard for us.

If we create our own standard and live apart from His, we are being god in our own mind. I know because I have done this. In the end it does not work.

A good parent does not give their children everything they want the moment they want it. The good parent knows that a child is governed by wants and wishes that can destroy them, and so that good parent says no. How many of us have heard the words, “You don’t love me,” because we wouldn’t give our children what they wanted when they wanted it?

The truth is, the world is full of pretty poison that will destroy us, given the opportunity. This pretty poison is concocted by the enemy to take us away, to lead us away, from the loving One who made us for Himself. These poisons may be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. Our society and others around the world are descending into a quagmire of poisons. This is an invitation to climb out.

The gifts that God has created to bless us have been perverted into poisons to destroy us. Our relationships, our sexuality, the technology based on the science He put into place, religion—every good thing has been twisted by that enemy to draw us away from the love we are created for. Good, nice people are building their lives around things that will never satisfy.

We spend our Sundays –the anchor of our week—trying to catch up with what we couldn’t get done during the week, or taking our children to events that we believe will enrich their lives and increase their chances for a college scholarships, or we just sleep in. All the while we miss the call to come apart and worship, to remember Him, to remember who we are and what is truly important. Sunday is the wedding ring that speaks of our relationship to Him and we have taken off our ring. We have taken back the time He has invited us to share in worshipping Him.

Worship is not God’s ego trip. Worship is “worth-ship”. We are called to worship in order to know Him, to know that the answers to all of life’s challenges and problems are found in Him.

The Lord God is not just loving but He is love. Not just sentimental love, not just warm fuzzy feeling love, but love in will, in action. (Read John’s first letter to flesh out your understanding of Who God is.—1 John, it’s near the back of the book)

So back to the beginning of this rambling, we struggle with other people. But we are not really struggling with them—we are struggling with the spirit behind them and even sometimes the spirit behind us if we are not living in His Holy Spirit. What do we do when confronted with those other spirits? We respond in the opposite Spirit. We respond in love. We respond in the fruit of that opposite Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. We step back and truly see and hear what is going on. We shrug off the myriad distractions of our society, culture, and world. We chose to live consciously , purposefully, and intentionally in relationship with God. Then out of that relationship we chose to live in love with others—true love—the love that always seeks the true best for other. The love that points the way back to Him so that we and they don’t have to wander around lost anymore.

Who is my enemy? My enemy is the one who chose to oppose God and the reason God has created us. That one has a name and he wants to pull us and our attention away from the Lord of all creation. I admit to being easily distracted. I have to continually refocus. I have to continually remind myself what is truly important even as I constantly forget. I know I fall short. I know I fail over and over and over. Failure is only permanent if I quit. I keep getting back up.

You were made by our Lord God—God the Father, God the Son—Jesus the Christ, Yeshua the Messiah, and God’s Holy Spirit. You were made for Him and by Him. There is no right to do wrong. There is no right to make our own standard or worship our own gods.

Know your enemy and turn away from that enemy to our very good God.