Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Know Your Enemy

Photo courtesy of Gideon via Flicker
CC Photo courtesy of Gideon via Flickr

I’ve walked with God for a long time, and there’s one thing I know: God often gets a bad rap for what the enemy does.

One of my greatest challenges in ministry is dealing with people who blame God for the disasters and failures in their lives. While some things are a result of our own poor choices, the Apostle Paul says in Ephesians 6:12, “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” (NKJV).

It’s time for you to know your enemy so you can place the blame in the right place.

Bottom line: God has a plan for your life that is good and the enemy has one that is for destruction. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10, NIV).

Pastor Jimmy Evans once said, “Satan attends every funeral.” He was referring to the fact that the enemy often uses death to divide people from God. He lies to them, saying that it was God’s fault or that He did nothing to save their loved one. The truth is that bad stuff happens to good people because we live in a fallen world. There are many things we won’t understand this side of Heaven. There are times we must trust God’s heart.

Sometimes people suffer from a disconnect that prevents them from seeing God as a loving Heavenly Father who has their best interests at heart. This is especially true of those who have been abused.

While it is sometimes challenging, I do believe people can be led to the truth if they desire it. But ultimately, each person must have their own encounter with God. Hopefully, it will result in their own change of personal belief systems to include (1) recognizing His sovereignty and (2) accepting the fact that we indeed live in a fallen world and in the midst of it all, God never leaves or forsakes us. Only then will their hearts embrace truth and the faith to move forward where they have been stuck.

It requires letting go of blaming God, releasing the anger held against Him and putting it where it belongs—toward the adversary!

Some time ago, the Holy Spirit gave me a great illustration to share with people when they are deceived about God and are seeing Him as their enemy. He showed me a picture of a person walking down a country road. All of a sudden along the way, without warning, a dark figure hiding behind bushes jumps out, approaches them from behind and begins to beat them with a baseball bat. He beats the person black and blue, to a bloody pulp, and leaves them for dead. All of a sudden, the injured person slightly raises their head up from the ground, opening one eye. Peeking from behind bruised and swollen eyes, they get a glimpse of the dark figure. This figure (representing Satan or one of his messengers) points toward Heaven and says, “He did it!” (referring to God, of course!). Because the injured person is in a wounded state, they buy the lie.

When you don’t understand how the devil works, you are wide open to destruction. The devil has to disarm you before he can defeat you. He lies to you and there is no truth in him. He never has a good day, and he never decides to go easy on you.

If this is an area in which you struggle, I encourage you to invoke God’s presence and ask Him to reveal His nature to you. Turn your eyes toward Heaven and declare as Jehoshaphat did, “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chronicles 20:12, NIV).

To get started, find a quiet place free from disruption. Take your time and don’t rush. Ask the Lord the following questions:

1.     God, is there a lie that I have believed about You?

2.     What is the truth?

3.     Would you show me how this has affected my relationship with you?

Prayer: Lord, thank you for showing me the truth. I receive that truth and let go of blaming you. I release the anger that I’ve held toward you. Lord, I invite your presence—reveal your true nature to me.

About Linda Godsey

Linda has been in ministry for over 30 years, including freedom, small group and women’s ministry. She currently serves as one of the freedom pastors and oversees the Freedom Team at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas. Her passion is to see people set free and experiencing their destiny in Christ. Linda believes that ministry is the overflow of what God does in our own personal lives. Scripture tells us that Jesus came to set the captives free (Luke 4:18). Because Jesus set her free and continues to do so, she loves sharing the message of freedom with others through speaking, teaching and writing.
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