Have you ever heard someone say “I’m my own worst enemy?” I have, and I’ve even said it myself on more than a few occasions. I confess that at times I’ve had things go wrong-I’ve made dumb decisions that cost me and others a lot unfortunately- but who hasn’t, right? And who hasn’t, at one time or another, felt like the decisions he or she has made brought God’s judgment down in their life?
Well, I was wrong to believe this. I’ve come to realize that I am not the enemy. No matter how many dumb things I’ve done, no matter what the consequences may have been, I am not my own enemy. The truth of the matter is, we only have one enemy. He’s called “the accuser of the brethren” and he’s earned that name. He owns it, and he’s proud of it. But he’s a liar. The Bible calls him ‘THE FATHER OF LIES’ and he’s earned that name too. So the one who accuses you of being your own enemy is lying. The truth is not in him.
So many Christians these days are still laboring under the false impression that, “God is angry with me and is punishing me for the things I’ve done.” Or “God is using this time of trouble to test me, and to test my faith.” Well, I just can’t find evidence of that in the Bible anywhere. A preacher that I listen to said recently, “If you’re wondering what God is really like, look at Jesus.” Jesus WAS God, walking among us. Jesus himself said “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.” So show me a time in the New Testament when Jesus tempted anyone as a test, or put anyone to a “faith trial,” or punished someone for their bad acts.
No, Jesus was saddened by the actions of some, provoked to straighten things out (like He did when he “encouraged” the moneylenders to take their business outside the temple) and He even cried over Jerusalem. But Jesus never acted out of spite, or tried to provoke fear in anyone. Jesus never even talked down to anyone. All Jesus ever said to those who came to Him were words of encouragement, peace and reconciliation.
The enemy, on the other hand, is a coward, like most bullies. Rather than come out into the open so you can see who he is and what he’s doing, he’ll hide and take shots at you. He’ll try to make you think that person you work with, or work for, is your enemy… that they’re out to get you, and you have to defend yourself before they bring you down. The devil is such a coward that he’ll even try to make you think YOU’RE YOUR OWN ENEMY. He wants you to think that in the battle of life, you don’t have any hope. You’re just doomed, so you might as well give up.
That’s a lie… one of Satan’s best. Let’s say you’re living with the consequences of something you did (and welcome to the club, I might add…). Do you know that God has already forgiven you for that sin or hurtful action? That He has not only forgiven you, but He doesn’t even remember it? If you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, you’re clean. It’s gone. It’s over. It never happened, as far as God is concerned. He keeps no record on you of any offenses, mistakes or sins. That was the point of Jesus going to the cross… your entire life record-past, present and future- has been expunged. When anyone goes to the big file cabinet in Heaven and looks up your file, all they’ll find is a picture of Jesus who paid the price so you could go free.
God wants you to know that your “old (sinful) nature” was crucified with Christ and in Him you are now a new creation. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit have joined forces to work on growing you up in your new identity as a joint heir with Jesus. They want you to join them and focus only on becoming Christlike. That’s it, that’s all. We, just as the apostle Paul, need to forget what lies behind and with our eyes on the goal press on to the high calling we have in Jesus.
So the big question is- are you still hanging onto the past sins and failures of your life? Are you staking your life on God’s love, favor and grace, and Jesus’ payment for the sins of the world, or on all the ugly memories of stuff that, thanks to Jesus, God no longer remembers? Are you keeping alive inside yourself your worst times, or have you laid them on God’s altar, so that he can help you forget them once and for all? Or, as a man of God once said to me, “What’s playing on the screen of your mind?”
No, the enemy isn’t going to quit. His voice is loud and shrill and hard to ignore as opposed to the “still small voice” of our Lord, which speaks always in love, and never in condemnation or accusation. It’s up to you to choose which voice you want to hear, which channel you want to be tuned to and what motion picture you want playing on the screen of your mind.
There’s a great saying that goes “The enemy knows your name and calls you by your sin. God knows your sin no more, and calls you by your name.” Let that sit on your heart awhile.