We are all fighting battles in life and we all run into those people once in a while who are determined to make our life miserable and do us harm. Without realizing it, we allow them to steal our joy because the anger or hatred within us grows to the point that we see them as the enemy. But the truth is, we give these rebels far too much credit: they are not the enemy of peace and unity.
We have only one enemy. He is the same enemy that defies God and is competing for the throne that Jesus will sit upon when He returns in the very near future. This enemy is the devil, and he’s trying to hurt as many of God’s children as possible while attempting to destroy the world He created.
- Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.—1 Peter 5:8 NKJV
He uses people to come at us, hoping that their own personal issues will be magnified with his help so that they can do as much damage to us as possible. They are fueled with their own emotions and driven by the enemy’s purpose—to destroy us. And if we don’t realize that the people themselves are not the enemy, then we will be deceived and we’ll fall right into the enemy’s hands.
- The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.—John 10:10 NKJV
God tells us in Matthew 5:44 to pray for our enemies. We often wonder why we’d want to pray for someone who is causing us so much stress and grief, but it’s because they are not the enemy. They are being used by the enemy for a purpose and that is to destroy us. And if we don’t realize this truth, then the devil will succeed and the people he uses will be one step further away from God.
Christians want to fight the people who come against them on their own and feel that they are capable and that’s because they forget who the real enemy is. But no one is able to fight against the devil except for God. This is why His Spirit lives in us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, so that we can pray to God and give Him our issues. And when we also pray for those who come against us, God will not only give us the wisdom and the ability we need in the situation, but He will turn things around in our favor. AND He will also deal with the one or ones being used to give us the problem.
- For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.—Ephesians 6:12 NKJV
We can’t fight the devil! We aren’t qualified on our own and we shouldn’t think such foolishness, but God can! In fact, God already defeated him through Jesus who overcame the world at the cross—(John 16:33). And when we realize who the enemy is and that Jesus has already defeated him, and when we give our problems to God, we will get His peace and we won’t have any hatred for the person that the devil is using to hurt us. Instead, we’ll have a concern to pray for their salvation so that they, too, can know God and get His peace.
- And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.—Philippians 4:7
The devil wants to destroy the peace that Jesus has given to us and when we accredit the people he uses as the enemy, we lose that peace and we lose the unity with people. Not everyone will love us or perhaps even like us, but they are people and God tells us to be good to all people. We aren’t to judge them because of their actions; however, we need to be wise and knowledgeable of their ways and their purpose. But we may be that one challenge for them where they actually see God in us and turn to God for salvation. Some problems are allowed to cross our path for just that reason—because God knows that they will see Him in us and get saved.
We need to learn to not allow ourselves to get so upset. We need to learn to resist the enemy and not allow the people he uses to have room to move in and get to us. And we do this by resisting the devil—by not playing into the hands of the one coming against us, by not provoking them or encouraging, by keeping peace at all times.
And God also tells us that we are not to rejoice when the person or persons who come against us suffer. Most of these people have their own battles to fight and sometimes we just get in their way and they pour their anger onto us. But when they are hurt, we are not to say, “Yay! They deserved it! I’m so happy they got hurt.” This is not a Christian attitude because as Christians, we need to realize that they don’t know God and that the devil is just using them before he destroys them. Let’ not let that happen!
- Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles.—Proverbs 24:17 NKJV
Whether it’s a family member, neighbor, co-worker or someone we have to deal with in life, we must always remember that they, too, are people who need God. Even Christians can be used by the enemy if they allow themselves to be used. In fact, sometimes our greatest challenges come from “Christians”. But when we pray for our “enemies”—the ones who the devil uses to hurt us—and we give our circumstances to God and trust Him with them, then we will see God intervene in a mighty way. And we will begin to realize that people are not the enemy of our peace and unity.
- You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, ‘love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you’.—Matthew 5:43-44 NKJV
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