Thursday November 23 2017

MCC Pulse – 08/11/17

Remember Who the Real Enemy Is

 

“My enemy can look like a million different things, depending on the day: but in truth, I must recognise that it is always the same.” ~ Marian Vischer

 

Live any length of time and you will find yourself with a story you probably would have written differently, even if it’s just an unwanted chapter or two. We want a life that is lovely, full of adventure, abundance and peace not feeling any real lack, desperation or insecurity. These deep-seated longings are not wrong; they’ve been inside us all along, caged in our hearts and passed down throughout the ages. Man woke to life in a perfect garden, a place of unimaginable beauty, abundance, fellowship, and perfection. A place where work was delight instead of drudgery. A place where relationships were free from pain and complication. A place where shame and anxiety were not even words. We’re all trying to get back to that place, aren’t we?

 

Even if we acknowledge the broken world as an enemy —

Even if we acknowledge our own flesh or ego as an enemy —

We often fail to acknowledge that there is real darkness waging war against real light.

 

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

 

Functional amnesia causes us to disregard the unseen enemy and to aim our arrow at the lesser foe right in front of us: Our spouses, our kids, their decisions, our co-workers, our jobs, church and its leaders, elected officials.

 

If we can direct our anger, our energy, and our words toward a counterfeit enemy, the real enemy can prowl around unnoticed, growing all the more powerful as we become all the more blind. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have antagonistic people, legitimate conflict, and tangible forces working against us. We do. But consider the real enemy before you waste all your energy going to battle against a puppet or a distraction.

 

My enemy can look like a million different things, depending on the day:

It looks like someone I’m angry with. It looks like the cancer that’s making my friend sick. It looks like certain circumstances that will never change. It looks like a nation viciously divided. It looks like abuses of power and heartbreaking victimisation. It looks like poverty. It looks like wealth. It looks like the internet. It looks like rejection of truth and beauty and peace.

 

God doesn’t tell us to wait for the enemies to be vanquished before we receive our own lives with trust and gratitude.

 

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Psalm 23:5

 

I’d honestly never noticed this before. This is a Psalm about being led by still waters and having a Shepherd who quiets our souls. It’s a song about goodness and love and being anointed with oil and having a cup that overflows.

 

All while enemies are still present.

As we remember who the real enemy is, may we also remember who the real Savior is. {Hint: It’s not us.} Jesus is both a warrior and a shepherd, a king and a servant.

 

He deals powerfully with our real enemies even as He cares for our wounded and weary souls. ~ Marian Vischer