Thursday, December 08, 2005
Do You Have Enemies?
I suppose we all feel at times we have a few. In our sophisticated
and proper society, this concept of someone being your enemy may
seem extreme, but if you would allow me to use this broad term to
deal with a few realities we all face.
The character I will base this on is one outstanding Bible
Characters, and my personal favorite in fact. David lived his life
with a series of circumstances that positioned him in a place where
he had foes and enemies, those that did not wish him well and in
fact worked to do him harm either proactively or by their actions
placed him at a disadvantage.
We find that his circumstance of birth played against him, for he
said "I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive
me." He shows us a deep secret of shame, for he finds that this
fact has conspired against him. Often we may feel like there are
things that have followed us from childhood. Attitudes, ideas,
family traits that have haunted our path like dark shadows in the
forest, conspiring for our downfall.
We follow this to see that this mindset was reflected in how David
was treated and perceived by his family. His family, his father in
fact shows this contempt held for the young boy when he is asked
about his sons, he only remembers David when pressed. We see this
played out again when David goes to bring his brothers a little
bread from home; his brother despises him and chides him for his
presence on a day that would define him.
This day when David faced the famous Giant, we see that David
overcame the fear that had bowed down a nation, the scorn of his own
brothers and the timid ness of the King. He walked out that day
with the only things he had proven in his young life. A memory of
past victories and few stones he knew he could throw and an Intimate
knowledge of a God that would not let him down.
Here in the First act of David's life, we see that in spite of the
circumstances around his birth and his own family's opinion of him,
he stood on top of the dead giant with his head hanging from one
hand while the sword thrust toward the sky and a battle cry erupted
from his lips. I can see as this played out, the formerly fearful
band of beleaguered soldiers solidifies into a force that overcomes
the enemy with an unstopped momentum, till the song of victory rings
through the valleys of Judea.
Act Two - Victory, the beginning of personal hardship.
No sooner has David climbed off the chest of the defeated, and the
enemies of David begin to form. His Leader, his beloved King goes
from curious to crazy. In just a few moments he finds his harp that
opened the door into the kings court no longer soothes the evil
spirit, and the King hurls his hatred-powered javelin toward young
Imagine how the young man felt. Everything was supposed to change,
but on the other side of an amazing victory a greater force begins
to mount against him.
His first enemy was the enemy of being ignored and invisible. Now
his enemy is because he is visible and someone to be reckoned with.
And someone on the rise threatens human nature. Very few, and I
mean very few men, no matter their own anointing feel threatened and
attack the younger generation who God has ordained to take the
Kingdom to the next step of his purpose. When they should be able
to rejoice together, often the young man must flee down the dusty
paths of obscurity till God must resort to other means to bring his
purpose about. I have been blessed to know a number of great men
who could see the future and attach their blessing to those who will
accomplish what they had not been able to do. It is the following
generations that fulfill the vision of previous generations. Just
as David planned the temple and paid for it's building, it was not
accomplished until Solomon came on the scene. The lesson in
David's life is how he dealt with this second phase.
When Favor with God becomes the motivation for your enemies. How
we respond here is so important. If David were like many of us, he
would have told Samuel, God and Saul, "Bless God I am supposed to be
King, so either your going to move aside, or I will push you aside."
The many examples of this faulty foolishness are repeated over and
over. David took the low road. He ran and hid and did everything
in his power to just survive without killing his enemy, who was on
the same side as he was. It is difficult to deal with your enemy
when he wears the same color uniform and salutes the same flag and
has been appointed by the same God, but he has the power and all you
have is a promise. If you ever have a Saul after you, run and hide
and don't fight against him. David would not touch his leader,
even when he was wrong. Even when the Bible says that God had
rejected him. Even when his error was hurting Israel, David let God
take care of it.
You can tell who is in the wrong by who is attacking the other.
Find who is humbly taking the low road and pray for them to
continue, because God will fight for the humble and fight against
the proud. The bad guy always loses, the good guy always wins. The
good guy don't wear a white hat but walks the low road.
We know, the day came and King Saul and Prince Jonathan died. In
one day, David lost his worst enemy and his best friend. I think
we see what happens to us in these terrible situations, because
enemies never die alone, they always die with something and someone
we love. David rent his garments and all of Israel mourned the
death of Saul. No matter the situations around Saul, he still was a
called and anointed man of God.
The next enemy comes from an unexpected source. Imagine with me,
David is King and rules in Jerusalem. He dwells in a nice palace
and everything is right. He is finally brining in the Ark of God
into its proper place. David's great victory. All of Israel is
Celebrating and finally David sends them all home with a loaf of
bread a side of meat and a flagon of wine. God is blessing. He
walks into his house and what happens? His wife meets him and
scorns his attempt at worship. But watch what David does, he tells
her, "You can scorn me, but I am still going to continue to worship
God." There are times that many will face a time when their spouse
or children will scorn their efforts. Don't let it steal your
Act Three - Mid Life Crisis - What to do when you have won and
One of the last enemies David faces is Himself. After struggling
against all of these external forces, he is almost defeated by his
own actions. Temptation comes, sin is committed and finally he
holds a dead baby in his arms. What do you do when your failure
has hurt others? What do you do when your failure has reached
beyond and afflicted beyond and you see your error for all its
ugliness? This is by far the hardest enemy to overcome. To
overcome failure is the true test of us all. For then we see, that
we need a saviour as much as anyone else. This is a humbling fact
that will save you if you will recognize it.
However David continues to show us how to deal with our enemies. He
repents, he weeps, and he gets up washes his face and moves forward
in his walk with God. Many people face many enemies, but have the
hardest time forgiving themselves when they have fallen. Follow the
example of David. Repent. Repent Deeply and completely. Be broken
and humbly honest with God and those around you. Wash your face and
move forward in the Life of purpose that God has for you.
Act Three - The Trial of the Aged - What to do when your at odds
with the pride of youth.
In this mans life we see finally that his own son, one who favored
him the most, begins to plot David's destruction. Rather than
divide the kingdom over this, he again takes the low road and leaves
his enemy behind. And we see again, God deals with Absalom when the
prideful locks of Absalom become his undoing. I would say, this
always the undoing of the prideful generation who thinks they will
get rid of the old man and his old fogy ways, the unshorn locks of
their own pride becomes their untimely demise.
How did David survive in the face of all of these enemies? I think
it boils down to one thing. If you will keep your heart right with
God, God will take care of you and your enemies. No matter how
plentiful and powerful they may be, if you will simply understand
the time tested principle I am going to close with, you can stand in
faith, run in hope and even hide yourself from your enemies when
they seek to destroy you with their words and devious plans.
So you have enemies?
"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can
be against us?"
You can overcome them for one Reason, God's purposes for your life
are more powerful than the plans your enemies thrust on you.
The Bad Guy always loses, and the good guys always win,
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