When I read this verse, the first thought that comes to mind is, “I don’t really have any enemies…”
While I know there are those that hate Christians, and despise those who claim that Jesus is the only way of salvation–I personally have never felt threatened or afraid because of my faith. The freedom we enjoy in this country has not come without a price–many have given their lives to protect it. While we live in comfort and listen to the bells of freedom ring, there are many that live in places where they hear resounding threats of abuse, arrest, persecution and even death. Their enemies are very real and the threats are very real, just as they were for believers in the New Testament church.
Though this threat is minimal for me, I know that danger lurks in the corner of my mind.
Enemies, just as real for many of us, are the ones that take us captive on a daily basis:
So, the question becomes, “How do we face these enemies?” What can we do to protect ourselves from being overwhelmed with the things that try to take control of our lives? (And they will, if we let them!)
If it’s true, and I believe that it is, that the Bible has the answers we’re looking for, then the why do we look somewhere else? Maybe it’s because we don’t really want the answer. Sometimes we allow the enemy to take control of us and choose to stay under his control. Sometimes we just need someone to come along and pull us out of its grasp.
Wherever you are in this process, the answer is always found in what is true and real. The Bible is something we can trust and count on to give us answers. God’s intention has always been for us to know Him and follow Him. His desire for you is that you choose to trust Him despite your circumstances.
He knows your need:
“Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I stand up; You understand my thoughts from far away.” Psalm 139:1
He knew you before you were ever born.
“Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.” Psalm 139:16
He knows the number of hairs on your head.
“But even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Don’t be afraid therefore; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
AND He gives clear, practical answers to the question, “How do we face these enemies?”
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which passes every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6
Turning to the One who knows us and loves us is the key to finding the peace we are all looking for. Too often we’re looking for God to change our circumstances, when in reality, He wants to change our hearts. Having a relationship with Him makes all the difference. He gives peace despite the circumstances and hope when life gets difficult. In this world, we will face enemies. We have to decide who the real enemies are and choose to fight them or submit to them. How much better to submit to the Creator of the universe and let Him fight those battles for us.
“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable–if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise–dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9
In this busy season I’ve lagged behind on my goal to memorize scripture, but for some reason as I finished these two books on the kings of the Bible, this verse jumped out at me. I realized that the battles that each of us fight can be very different, but the key to victory is the same: Keep your eyes on TRUTH and He will lead you. Sometimes into battle, but He will always go with us and give us victory, even if it’s just the battle in and for our mind.