Tag Archives: enemies

Dependence


You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Psalm 23:5

The kings of old used to make a banquet after having achieved victory in battle. At the banquet the enemy king who had been defeated was placed at the foot of the table where the winner ate as an act of humiliation to the loser and hence as a gesture of exaltation of the victor. Anointing the guest of honor with perfumed oil was another way of exalting him, and the availability of wine to gladden the guests to the celebration speaks of joy and satisfaction for being able to carry out the task successfully. In this portion of the famous Psalm 23 King David tells us that the foundation of his success is the power of God and that only to him he owes the privilege of celebrating victory over his enemies.

Have you recently achieved success in the tasks you have undertaken? If so, have you recognized that everything you achieved was because you had God’s help? and if you did not have any success, was it because you did not depend on God, but of your own strengths and abilities? The word of God tells us to commit to the LORD whatever we do, and he will establish our plans, that is, he will ensure that everything is brought to fruition. If we depend on our own strength, two things will happen. First, we will utterly fail and second, we will feel faint because our forces are limited, especially when compared to those of our formidable enemies. Conversely, if we depend on God two things will happen, one is that we will win by decisively defeating our adversaries and the other is that we did not have to use our own energy because God took care of everything and in the best way possible. Which of these two options do you prefer? Only to God be the glory!

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Whatever comes our way


the taunts with which your enemies, LORD, have mocked,
with which they have mocked every step of your anointed one.
Praise be to the LORD forever! Amen and Amen.
Psalms 89:51-52

It is easy for some of us to be thankful to God when all is going well. Others cannot even raise a thankful glance to heaven or mutter a simple “thanks God.”  when everything is going superb. And there are those who, despite adversity, amid the most terrible storms, when everything falls apart and all hope is lost, can say “thank you Lord, for I know that whatever happens to me is for my own good.” The latter are those who have understood perfectly what the apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Not only are they have perfectly understood this principle but they have also taken ownership of this promise of God for His children. Be it storm or peace, they are always trusting that everything is under the absolute control of God.

The author of Psalm 89, Ethan, was one of these people because despite the wealth of aggression and adversity to which he was subjected he was able to send blessings to the Lord, knowing that everything that was happening in his life and also in relation the nation of Israel was part of the good, pleasing and perfect will of God. Do you understand this biblical principle? Can you thank God for all that you have received, whether good or bad, recognition or insults, blows or kindness, curses or blessings, hate or smiles, contempt or acceptance, health or sickness, scarcity or abundance, joy or pain, etc.? When you learn to maintain your spirits high despite the circumstances around you, you will fully understand what Ethan was thinking when he ended his long list of complaints and lamentations with a heartfelt blessing for God. So, the next time you complain, also give praise to God. Only to God be the glory!

Stubborn rebellion


Their enemies oppressed them
and subjected them to their power.
Many times he delivered them,
but they were bent on rebellion
and they wasted away in their sin.
Psalms 106:42-43

In much the same way that some beasts of burden react stubbornly to the instructions of their muleskinner, the human race is determined to resist the direction and guidance of God. Although God’s grace has always been there to favor humanity, men have rejected the authority of the Creator and have rebelled against him under the pretense of being masters of their lives. Those who act so do not know that every breath and every heartbeat depend on the wonderful life that God has given them and that they have no power or control whatsoever of these things. However, in open rebellion and victims of their own pride, these wicked beings have declared themselves independent and if this is something that is in their hands to do. For them the Lord has prepared various disciplinary actions but their pride and stubbornness prevent them from recognizing the majesty of God and his unparalleled love.

Let us not behave ourselves, God’s children, as those wicked rebels or stubborn beasts of burden who are opposed to any order or instruction they receive because they rather obey their own rebellious nature than their legitimate owner’s commands. Oftentimes we find ourselves under the oppression of the enemy because God is disciplining us and anytime we’re faced with adversity we must review ourselves internally to ensure that what is happening is not the result of our rebellion. Cry out to God for his compassion. His mercy is abundant and always available to rescue us from oppression. God is faithful and he will not forsake us.To God alone be the glory!

War


I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
I crushed them so that they could not rise;
they fell beneath my feet.
Psalm 18:37-38

The children of God are always involved in a very special battle. Unlike the wars that we hear about every day in various parts of this wide world, Christians do not have to fight with other human beings. The struggle of the Christians is against the passions that war within themselves. James, the brother of the Lord Jesus described it this way: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” [1] He also says: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” [2] The apostle Paul puts it this way: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” [3]

Our enemies are not our fellow believers, not even those who do not believe in God or who believe in false gods. Our enemies are within our own being and also in the spiritual realm. The hardest part of dealing with this situation trying not to make it personal against those who adverse and harass us. They are not who should be the object of our attacks or those against who must make a defense. Behind each of these people there are a lot of spiritual beings of various ranks organized to do battle against us. If we do not know who our enemy really is on the battlefield how can we point our guns against the troops that oppose us? So let us humble ourselves before the Lord and he will exalt us and grant us victory over our real enemies. To God alone be the glory!

[1] James 4:1-4
[2] James 4:7
[3] Ephesians 6:12

Reconciliation


Surely God will crush the heads of his enemies,
the hairy crowns of those who go on in their sins.
Psalm 68:21

God does not want to have enemies. He loves everyone equally with a love beyond all comprehension, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. Yet there are multitudes who have in their hearts (what’s left of it) a deep hatred of God and have declared themselves, even publicly, as enemies of God . Others are not concerned at all, at least externally, with what God thinks of them and they clearly demonstrate it by their unbridled, shameless and immoral behavior, which they know does not please God. It is an arduous thing to be opposed to God. The behavior of these people is more questionable than the conduct of those who do not know God. But even for all of them, as he did for us, God has prepared a way out of the damnation in which they are trapped.

God took the initiative to solve the problem of enmity between the humanity and him. God initiated the process of reconciliation with all mankind through His Son Jesus Christ: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Everything that God has made for us, starting with giving us life and culminating with the offer of the gift of salvation that we do not deserve is recklessly ignored by these declared enemies of God. If there is a tragedy of universal proportions, it is this one where many reject the reconciliation that God offers. Let us act as ambassadors of Christ to implore them on Christ’s behalf that these poor souls be reconciled to God. If in spite of all that God has done for them, these wretches persist in standing as enemies of God, they will have to bear the responsibility for their decision. It’s just sad but true. To God alone be the glory!

Today’s word for July 4, 2011


It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
Psalm 18:32-34

We can find in the word of God many expressions that compare our daily lives with a continuous war. Certainly we are involved day by day in adverse situations that are the result of attacks by some of our enemies, including our own flesh or sinful nature. Our families are under heavy artillery fire whose sole purpose is to divide us and make us fight against each other. We are in a field of a battle that fortunately belongs to the Lord and by definition the war is already won. But even though our enemies have been defeated they will not acknowledge it and they will continue attacking all those who are on the Lord’s side as long as God permits. Many may wonder why the Lord does not put an end to this long conflict that has affected humanity since the time of our first fathers. Both the duration and troop involvement in the conflict are part of God’s perfect plan and hostilities will end only when God is satisfied that his plan has been carried out and his goals have been achieved. Meanwhile, as soldiers in this fight, the Lord prepares us and empowers us so we can struggle and emerge unscathed from the encounter.

Among many other things that God confers us to go into battle with are: strength, security, swiftness, steadfastness training, and power as King David says in this portion of Psalm 18. All these features allow us to address the conflict with a reassuring sense of confidence, not based on our own strength but based on the strength that comes from God. If we know that we have these skills and we apply them in the battlefield, our spiritual progress will be solid and permanent as that of seasoned warriors. Thank God that the battle belongs to him and we are part of the victorious army. Thank God that He enables us so we can prevail over the many conflicts in which we will be involved on a daily basis until the Lord announces with the hammered silver trumpets that the final victory has been achieved. Only to God be the glory!