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
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”
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”
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.
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
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,
Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?
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.
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
Woe to you when all men speak well of you,
for so did their fathers to the false prophets
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”
THE LORD IS: OUR STRATEGY
and my deliverer;
We need Your deliverance
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
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
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