Yesterday, as I was driving from one destination to another, I began thinking about some of the things that hold us back as a people of God.
Strongholds, idols, unresolved feelings that taint how we treat ourselves and others – all of these things came up. But there was more.
I began asking myself who were the greatest enemies that we have. You know what two things came to the top of the list, as clear as a bell? Satan, of course, was number one. That was obvious. Number two was the stunner and yet sadly, it was not. Number two was self.
Did that surprise you? Yes and no, right?
It’s a hard truth. It is one that many of us will totally get and yet it is also one that many of us may wholeheartedly deny.
We can sometimes be our own worst enemy.
What or who is an enemy? An enemy is one who dislikes or opposes another. He is one who engages in activities which antagonize another. He is one who struggles against another.
If we were to relate this to self, we could easily see how we might, at times, dislike, oppose, or even struggle against self. Or at least against our holiest self.
The holiest self lives for God, but the unholiest self lives for me, myself, and I.
The holiest self has a servant’s heart, but the unholiest self has a heart that repeatedly gives in to his own desires. Desires which go against and are in direct violation against God’s.
The holiest self is concerned about God’s glory and acclaim, but the unholiest self is arrogant, proud, haughty, and high-minded.
The holiest self engages in kingdom work, but the unholiest self engages in worldly pursuits and carnal activities.
The holiest self is truthful with self, but the unholiest self is deceived by his own passions. He lies, giving in to deception, half-truths, and untruths.
The holiest self pursues God, running after, chasing, seeking and believing in Him to be the LORD and King over his life. The unholiest self lets go of God, rejecting His power and influence and releasing Him as the Master of his fate.
An enemy is concerned only with hostility, hate, and/or harm.
Being an enemy of self or to self is about a life that embraces self-loathing, to some degree. It is about living, in some moments, with an extreme or with an intense sense of disgust directed at self.
When we sin, many of us fall into a destructive cycle. That destructive, negative cycle steers us toward more sin or doubt. It drives us toward fear, feelings of hopelessness, depression, or even unbelief. That feeds into the faith issue and whether or not we are even for God, Christ, or the things of the Spirit.
Do you see where I am going with this?
Enemy Mine can be very debilitating and very disturbing to our lives, if we fail to recognize it, its presentation, its patterns, its reach, and its modus operandi.
God is faithful. He is a God who is not willing that any should perish. He is a God who loves His children and who wants His children to come. To Him. To Jesus Christ. To His place of dwelling.
Are you willing?
Are you willing to come, to go, to follow? Are you willing to no longer be an enemy to self? Are you now ready to love the LORD and to love yourself in the LORD?
Release the self-loathing. Release the self-hate. Release the disgust, the dislike, and the penchant for sin. Let go of the destructive patterns and the negative pursuits. Stop cutting yourself and beating yourself up about the things of the past that you engaged in, whether it was yesteryear or yesterday.
Embrace the pure and holy love of the Father. Accept His Truth. Allow His mercy and grace to be written on and over your life and heart. Let the LORD’s power, provision, and protection combat the greater enemy, Satan and the lesser-greater enemy, self.
Scripture Study: 2 Peter 3:9
Prayer: Wow, LORD! When you teach, you certainly teach in a big way. Enemy Mine is real and it happens to all of us. But some of us get stuck, Father. Some of us get lost in it, and it shakes us to the core, causing us to doubt ourselves and to question our very faith. It moves many of us that much further away from You and the holy lives we seek to live. But right now, LORD, in the name of Jesus, we reject the enemy mine mindset, and we accept the mindset of Christ. We declare that we are victors, no longer opposed to You or to self. Amen.