When the Lord knocks let Him in

Sometimes I feel like our house was built on an ant hill.

These little pests pop up out of no where.

There is not a room where they don’t invade.

No matter what we do they just keep coming.

There are effective solutions but it takes constant vigilance.

Satanic deterrents are always invasively popping up.

And like our cat they’re agile, athletic and enjoy hiding everywhere.

They sleuth around with stealth skulking our every move.

Our cat is good and is very facial.

While I’m sleeping at night I’ll wake up with the cat purring in my face.

Now cats aren’t as creepy as ants.

But boy are they sneaky and quiet.

So why did God leave all these sinister menacing opponents around?

Why so many enemies?

Enemies tell us what we need to hear.

Their hate drive us to the love of God.

Jude encourages us

But you are God’s loved ones,

So build yourselves up and get comforted in a growing faith

Develop & stir your faith up.

It’s faith that sets us apart as the special loved ones of God

Make progress & rise higher & higher in knowing how much Jesus loves us.

Pray confidently in the Holy Spirit in the realization that our voice is valuable

to the Lord Jesus

And God loves to hear every feeling we’re having.

Our Father delights to carry our burdens & heartaches

Our best Guard & greatest protection is to keep ourselves in the love of God

The expectation & hope we should cultivate is that our Lord Jesus Christ

is pouring His mercy on us

God’s love is the only thing that keeps us from stumbling.

He’s the only one who keeps us safe from slipping or falling.

His voice represents us in Christ as unblemished, blameless & faultless.

In His presence there is glory, triumphant joy & exultation.

Jesus is our source of unspeakable, ecstatic delight.

To this one & only God & our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord,

We experience His glory & majesty, might & dominion, power & authority

And that’s what enemies do.

They drive us into our Fathers loving arms to experience our God

Jude 1:20-25 paraphrased

PSALMS 18:1-2 LOVE’S REASONS

THE LORD IS: OUR SENSITIVITY

We will love you, O Lord,

Overwhelm us with Your love for us

Deepen our love for You Lord.

Our love for You is deepened the deeper we realize Your love for us

Show us constantly how You’re the Lover of our soul

Where our treasure is there will our heart be also.

So our enemies show us what we treasure most.

Jessica Mitford, English author, journalist & political campaigner wrote:

Lifelong enemies are, I think, as hard to make & as important

to one’s well-being as lifelong friends

Walt Whitman noted

I call to the world to distrust the accounts of my friends,

but listen to my enemies, as I myself do

What an odd prayer it is ask that a person be turned over to Satan

for the destruction of the flesh!

The flesh isn’t being destroyed but our confidence

that there is something to gain by our catering

to our low life appetites needs a death blow.

We are told we are dead to sin.

This theme is convincingly repeated over and over.

Why in the World would sneak into the graveyard.

Why would we dig up our gravesite.

Why would we pry open our roughy coffin.

And suddenly we’re mouth to mouth with our rotting skank corpse.

The wages of sin is death.

We die to God’s voice.

Our feelings of His presence dies.

Our sense of His caring listening ear disappears.

No wonder the enemy of our souls keeps attacking

So we find ourselves in the fires of God’s crucible

to burn away the dross and drive us to God.

THE LORD IS: OUR STRENGTH

God allowed Israel’s enemies to oppress them

because they forgot that The Lord was their strength

and they became unfaithful to Him.

The oppression from enemies turned Israel back to God.

As unsavory as it is it’s enemies who are a signal of our approval with God!

Jesus said we are blessed when persecuted for righteousness’ sake,

because we have a great reward in heaven,

and we are in good company, because all the prophets had persecutors

Matt 5.10–12

We’re not oppressed and hounded because we’re so righteous.

We’re ill-treated because we want to be near Jesus.

We want Him as our life source.

James & John, rejoiced,

“that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for Jesus name”

Acts 5.41

Naturally those who oppose will identify every inconsistency in our life.

But, “If we’re reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are we,

for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon us”

1Pe 4.14

So we’re driven to God crying:

Make us consistent in exchanging our weakness for Your strength

Pour Your enabling grace into us

Deepen our prayer dependence

Increase our trust in You

Reveal how You are our life

When Christ who is our life appears

Define for us how our old life dead

Describe to us how our new life is hid with Christ in God

Enemies Sharpen Our Skills

When we struggled with severe critics we need constant reminders

of the value of tough times and tough people!

“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”

Ugly pressure produces perseverance, which produces character

and that produces hope as the love of God engulfs our heart.

Rom 5.3–5

So we count it all joy when we fall into various trials

that are brought on by our enemies,

knowing that the testing of our faith produces patience.

But let patience have its perfect work,

that we may be perfect & complete, lacking nothing

Jam 1.2–4

I’m sorry, best as I can understand from my 60 years in the Book;

We won’t learn perseverance, character, hope & patience without enemies?

Enemies Tell Us What We Need to Hear

Antisthenes, a Greek philosopher and pupil of Socrates wrote:

Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover our mistakes

Edmund Burke noted

He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill.

Our antagonist is our helper

Gene Fowler added:

Everyone needs a warm personal enemy or two

to keep him free from rust in the movable parts of his mind

Enemies delight to show us our errors.

Don’t get me wrong real friends help us too.

Paul dealt with the problems of those he wrote to in His letters.

When he corrected the Galatians

he knew they might not like what they would hear,

He wrote

Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?

Gal 4.16

If a friend corrects us or opposes us, has he become an enemy?

Not necessarily, though it does happen.

Proverbs 27 shows that what friends do to us they do for our good,

but enemies seek to destroy us, even when they act friendly,

Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend,

But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Proverbs 27.5, 6

Enemies do not care if they offend us.

Enemies do not fear losing our friendship.

Friends fear both things.

Therefore, friends might hold back the constructive criticisms we need.

Enemies criticize, though they intended it to be destructive.

Real friends consider what they say, and use it constructively,

Rebuke is more effective for a wise man Than a hundred blows on a fool.

Prov 17.10

Whether it’s from an enemy or a friend they can both be saviors,

“in preventing us from superficiality” Joyce Carol Oates

“Atheists make us think harder on why I believe in God.

Evolutionists challenge us to consider my arguments in support of creation.

Without someone opposing us, we take our ease.” Don Ruhl

THE LORD IS: OUR STABILITY

The Lord is our rock

Make us steadfast

Make us unmovable

Cause us to be always abounding in Your work Lord

Impact us in the reality that our labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Stabilize us to stand our ground

Keep us pressing ahead

Don’t let us hold back

Direct us to push ourselves into Your work & Your beautiful design

Give us confidence that nothing we do for You is a waste of time

Show us that nothing we do for You is a futile effort

Enemies Reveal Our Loyalties and securities and insecurities

Jesus warned,

Woe to you when all men speak well of you,

for so did their fathers to the false prophets

Luke 6.26

If all we have is applause and pats on the back

we should question our effectiveness in Christ.

THE LORD IS: OUR SECURITY

and my fortress,

Let us awake to Your image

You are so sympathetic to us

You pity us

You are merciful to us

Lead us by Your Spirit of love

Our stability and what keeps us in Balance

is sometimes the most awkward things

When we think we’re achieving something great, enemies humble us.

We need building up, but we also need humility.

Enemies grant that service to us.

Enemies keep us from getting comfortable with ourselves,

and with our efforts.

Paul had cool visions of heaven

and that could have made him think he was greater than he was,

So to keep him from self exaltation by his cool insights,

a thorn in the flesh was given to him, (OUCH)

a messenger of Satan to buffet him,

So he wouldn’t be exalted above measure.

Yes, of course, like we all do, He pleaded with the Lord three times

TAKE THIS UGLY AFFLICTION AWAY.

And Jesus says to us, ‘

My grace is sufficient for you,

for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’

Therefore most gladly we boast in our infirmities,

that the power of Christ may rest upon us.

As crazy as it sounds:

We take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs,

in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake.

For when I am weak, then I am strong”

2Co 12.7–10

THE LORD IS: OUR STRATEGY

and my deliverer;

We need Your deliverance

Thank You

You are our mighty Savior

Liberate us from all temptation

Rescue us in every test

Release us from fear & danger

Preserve us in Your truth

THE LORD IS: OUR SOVEREIGN

We praise

Your boundless beauty is adorable

We’re in awe of You

Your supremacy We worship

Your unlimited dominance we bow too

Your absolute royalty we recognize

Your unrestricted abilities awe us

You’re so amazing in every way

Your unbounded power is our rule

Your infinite love

Your unrestrained kindness makes us great

Your infinite wisdom is unsearchable

You are our regal monarch

THE LORD IS: OUR SUPERIORITY

my strength,

Give us Your vibrant Spirit energy

Move in & through us with Your vigor and force

Live in us in spiritual potency

Make us powerful prayer warriors

Expand our biblical capacity

Make us excel in Biblical competence

Cause our communication to be effective and effectual

Give us an aptitude to use each moment usefully

Develop in us adequacy & capability in You

THE LORD IS: OUR SAFETY

in whom we will trust;

Develop a complete trust in You

Make our belief in Your Spirit unshakable

Increase our confidence in Your providence

Inspire a deep conviction in Your continual control

Establish our thoughts in optimistic reliance

Give us a dependent hope & secure expectation

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