As Christians we are constantly reminded about the role of the evil one against us in our quest to build and expand the Kingdom of God in the earth realm. We have catch phrases that signal to other discerning Christians when we believe that the enemy of our souls is at work in a situation. Some of us even take joy in boasting about how we (including God) “whooped demons” or “stomped satan’s head”, etc. when we perceive natural or spiritual victory on our behalf has occurred. A first account of something like this is when in Luke 10:17-19, seventy disciples returned to Christ boasting that the demons were subject to them in His name. We love testimonies on how prayer or faith actions ushered in a major breakthrough where many are blessed as a result. The danger is when personalities and personas of people whom Christians don’t like or disagree with become villainized and basically equated with representing demonic / satanic entities that require vanquishing.
To be totally honest, this is a tough one – because when a Christian becomes aware of the impact of the unseen spiritual world on our natural environment, it is easy for everything and everyone to become spiritualized in that person’s perception. I think this is especially true for intercessors and those with prophetic giftings because we are so sensitive to the movements in the unseen spiritual realm. I can only draw from my own personal experiences so, if you don’t immediately relate please understand that what I am sharing can happen even if it has not been your experience. When I was in my mid twenties I really felt the call of God to grow and to seek to fulfill the destiny that God planned for my life. I became very interested in getting back on the right path because I knew that there had to be more than just going to church on Sunday, then doing what you want the rest of the week. I wanted a true relationship with God and was also attracted to the concept of living in the Glory. My actual life was pretty empty then although I tried hard to fill it with people and things, plus I always seemed to be unpopular which made things much more difficult. I realized that I was looking for love and that only God could provide unconditional and everlasting love, so that is what hooked me. Then I found out about deliverance and how stubborn problems may be results of spiritual activity. All of this intrigues me, along with increasing prayer, praise and worship, and reading the Bible, I also began reading deliverance and intercessory prayer books. I participated more at church and attempted to “give all” into serving. At the same time it seemed like there was always more strife and opposition against me at work and at church. The only place and people that didn’t seem to cause any problems for me were at home (by myself) or out in the nightclub / party atmosphere. Of course this created an imbalance in my life and holes in my relationship with God. I loved the presence of God and serving in church, but unfortunately I would unload all my burdens during prayer before the service, but would leave just as burdened after interacting with other church members by the time I left. The only place that I felt like I could have fun and just be without judgment were with people that did not seem to care much about God at all. I did not give up, I persevered through that time and was able to give up all of the things that I enjoyed but led to a sinful life. I willingly gave them up when prompted by the Holy Spirit, and yet one thing did not change in my life – opposition and strife from people who desired harm against me for some reason. I must have offended them, or not honored them properly. Maybe I was just a convenient target or there was some vendetta that unbeknownst to me needed to be settled. In all honesty, I had so many issues with depression, anxiety, being unpopular, being the person that could not hide my pain and sadness and on top of that the place where I am supposed to find peace (the church) I am finding strife instead. I was doing the right things in the wrong place and probably with the wrong people. However, if you have read any of my other articles you could probably see the trend forming about being labeled and blacklisted in a way where it makes participating in ministry very difficult for someone like me. The point of me sharing this is that I was not seeking to make enemies at any of the places that I found them – at work, at church, and with people that I tried to participate with on various projects.
When things became worse in my life the more spiritualized my perception of the situation became. I called a lot of arbitrary things and even people evil or concluding that they had a demon of some sort. What I was saying was not necessarily wrong, but it did not have to be said at all, especially since most of the time other people did not agree with me, Relating spiritual things to everyday situations probably made people around me uncomfortable, and believing every word that I was saying, at the time I didn’t really notice. I was also pretty passive when it came to standing up for myself. My feelings would be hurt, especially while serving, but the attitude around me was not fostering an atmosphere of care or concern. So it was easy to be convinced that the people that were opposing me must have some type of demon or are involved in some sort of evil practice. That seemed to be the only answer, so I leaned into my deliverance and warfare prayers. Sometimes this is a valid strategy – we are not supposed to let the enemy run all over us. However, there can be an imbalance even with this. When in a person’s perception they equate a person with an actual demon and begin to address the person as if they are only this evil entity that you perceive that is dangerous. 2 Corinthians 10:4 teaches us that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal or worldly. We are supposed to be tearing down strongholds – not people. Even Jesus explains that He did not come as the Messiah to condemn and punish humankind, His primary goal was to destroy the works of the Evil One.
A lot of arguments that Christians use to “justify” why they are opposing (actively working against them – like an enemy would) usually involve some sort of judgment or accusation against the person(s) that are being targeted. It could be character flaws, past or present sin, an account of something the person said or did, or for the extreme a whole campaign detailing everything that someone does not like about that person. Spiritual people will list the attributes and equate them to demons detected – which is only helpful when you are praying for deliverance for that person not against them… Recalling some sort of disrespect or conspiracy theory on how that person is to blame for something horrible. Basically gossiping about and monitoring the person for “new info” like they are literally using military tactics to take down a terrorist. God does not require this of us. If we have an issue with someone we can always go to God and the Word for counsel. We can pray for clarity and God’s desired outcome for the situation. We can ask for understanding and wisdom on how to relate better with those who are different from us and how to conduct ourselves in difficult situations. So you heard about something someone did, you are shown pictures of why this is supposed to be a bad person – are you their enemy now? Is it your responsibility to take action against someone based on gossip? Are you being led by God when participating in harming someone or causing undue hurt and pain for someone? Where in the Bible did Jesus set this example? Yes we know that He rebuked Pharisees and whipped at money changers, he also spoke strongly to his disciples (whom he was in relationship with and had authority as their Rabbi), But you never see Jesus involved with gossip, He even instructed people on certain occasions not to speak of Him healing them to others. He was attempting to keep a “low profile” and exhibited humility in its purest form. Jesus is never sitting around with the disciples tearing down a Pharisee with His words, complaining about how the Pharisees and Saduccees don’t like him and how He would like to make them pay. To the contrary, when a Pharisee named Nicodemus (John 3) went to see Jesus, He welcomed him and answered his questions.
The true Enemy loves when Christians attack each other, especially publically. This is where he can cause so many people to become distracted from working on their own relationships with God while instead they get entangled in the conflict and begin to pick sides. This is what happened many times with doctrines and new denominations being formed, and in modern times politicizing Christianity when it is convenient to create laws that reflect particular moral and ethical ideals. Our current society loves to scandalize things, placing more importance on trivial things while remaining indifferent on things that should be actual concerns. None of us are perfect, and in today’s cancel culture there is no grace to make mistakes, or to withstand the scrutiny and disdain that others may feel regarding any person who gets targeted. The Apostle Paul would not have a chance in today’s cancel culture. If the Apostle Paul had to carry out his mission today, the whole time he would be trying to spread the Gospel and establish new churches people would be calling for him to be canceled because he used to oppose followers of Christ ferociously. There are plenty of “bad actors” and opportunities to embarrass, “expose”, and tear down anyone that we believe “deserves” it, and there are many tools that could be used to accomplish this. Just remember that you have a choice on whether to be an enemy or an ally. Everytime that you respond to the enemy to fight back in your own strength, you are letting him manipulate your time, energy, and emotions – all of which could be surrendered to God for His purposes. Plus, what if the person that everyone hates today becomes the hero tomorrow? What if the view that a person expresses today are renounced after that person has a new experience? What if someone’s bad actions are actually a cry for help not a declaration of war? What if God wants you to stay focused on what He wants to communicate to you instead of getting emotionally involved in a matter that does not concern you. What gets your attention more: opportunities to help or opportunities to harm?
What about “Friendly Fire”? Many of you may know this term as a military expression when a soldier or squadron from an army (or other military unit) fires on (attacks) another soldier or squadron from the same army. In warfare battles this can happen, especially where confusion, poor communication, and distraction is present. In Sunday school we are taught lessons on becoming part of God’s Army, hymns and worship songs are sung with this idea that we are on the battlefield participating on God’s side. Satan always loses and the victory always belongs to God – except when Christians start shooting down other Christians. This is not about repressing differences of opinion, or honoring what is disrespectful. This is about choosing to dismiss the brotherhood/shared fellowship with another Christian in order to actively destroy that person or ministry for whatever reason that person finds. If a Christian decides that another Christian’s work is the work of the evil one should that person actively work at destroying the other Christian? For some Christians the answer is yes, for others the answer is no, for me personally the answer is “it depends”. Historically, there have been plenty of people that presented themselves as Christians that had other agendas and ideas on what to teach and establish as a ministry. Cults and other groups that led people away from Christ have risen and fallen since the 1st church was ever established. But when does it become a personal responsibility to attack with the intent to harm or destroy another Christian come into play? Maybe I will get the opportunity in the future to explore that question in a blog post in the future – however, please do not wait for me to begin that conversation. For many Christians it comes down to sin, setting poor examples, teaching things that do not reflect the Bible, and practices that put people in danger. For me, personally in most cases I can choose not to participate with a Christian that I do not agree with and share the biblical point of view that I do agree with. I used to try to answer back attacks with teaching and highlighting scripture with the expectation that finding out the truth would change those who were against my point of view. Trust me, many times that is not going to work and just make people more upset or vocal about why they are against you. Answering or attacking back just drives confusion and strife and may cause other unintended casualties. So someone decided to be my enemy, I don’t have to be theirs. I do not have to spend my time working against and plotting evil against those who are doing the same to me. I do not have to concern myself with what they are doing because my main concern is what God is doing. I do not have to clap back or mock, or even show disdain or disappointment when an enemy is revealed. I am human and it does hurt my feelings sometimes when a person that I am not expecting harm from does something evil against me, but that is that person’s choice and I have no control over that. There is no glory in being the victim, there is also no glory in being the accuser, so if someone comes against you there is only glory in letting God fight for you. God gets all the glory and we can experience it in the midst of the battle when we let Him fight for us. If you can’t tell, I like to be able to express myself, however when under attack silence is a great weapon. If you express anything at all, take your cues from Jehosephat’s army and violently praise, violently worship, and strategically pray and let the Glory of God be unleashed as your victory is won!
Are You Any Enemy or an Ally?
13 Do not be surprised, believers, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into Life, because we love the brothers and sisters. He who does not love remains in [spiritual] death. 15 Everyone who hates (works against) his brother [in Christ] is [at heart] a murderer [by God’s standards]; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 16 By this we know [and have come to understand the depth and essence of His precious] love: that He [willingly] laid down His life for us [because He loved us]. And we ought to lay down our lives for the believers. 17 But whoever has the [c]world’s goods (adequate resources), and sees his brother in need, but has no compassion for him, how does the love of God live in him? 18 Little children (believers, dear ones), let us not love [merely in theory] with word or with tongue [giving lip service to compassion], but in action and in truth [in practice and in sincerity, because practical acts of love are more than words]. 19 By this we will know [without any doubt] that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart and quiet our conscience before Him
-John 3:13-19 (AMP)
This is the part article that some may call “woke” because they aren’t going to like it. The culture in the United States and many other “Westernized” countries are very individualistic. People only want to be concerned about themselves or who they take interest in. They do not want anyone telling them that they should care about “irresponsible” people or those in extreme poverty. However according to John 3:17 we don’t even have the love of Christ if we are ok with watching people suffer – going without what they need, when we have the resources to help them. We aren’t supposed to be just extending “Community” to other people that look, think, and talk like us or who makes us “comfortable”. This message is not about ignoring sin and compromising to evil or calling good evil and evil good. This is about living by what the Word of God actually says instead of echoing rhetoric and philosophies that turn Christians into enemies instead of allies. We are commanded to give to the poor – so providing assistance to the houseless, and asylum for refugees should not be a problem for Christians – we are supposed to be the experts at this. We are supposed to have the strategies, solutions, and “know how” to address these issues as Kingdom Ambassadors.Yes I know that there are many “charitable causes” that end up being scams, and that people need to take responsibility for their own lives/choices etc. However, that does not let us off the hook to provide care, and assistance for them while they are “figuring things out”. This is the type of love that stretches us and conforms our image to be more like Christ’s. Even if you are not at a point of wanting to or being able to give to those in need, why carry hatred and contempt in your heart towards people that are already in a bad situation? Why try to prevent those people from being helped, while if you were in the same situation you would gladly receive the help and call it a blessing from heaven. If you do not have the resources to help physically, prayer is always a help. Let’s make a commitment to include those who may not know how to pray for themselves in our prayers.
On a personal note, before I shared this, I had to let God work some things out in me. I had to repent for things that I did, said and / or attitudes that I held in the past that did not reflect Christ. I had to agree with God that the people that set themselves against me are not the enemy, even if they indicate what the enemy desires for my life. I had to acknowledge that there are people that find pleasure when harm or bad things happen against me and they are choosing to be my enemy, while I can choose not to be theirs. What comes against me does come through the works of people in many instances, however those people belong to God and He is the one who will hold them accountable. So I do not have to become an enemy to those that want to oppose and resist the plan of God for my life. They are fighting against God, not me. You can take the same posture as well if it seems like enemies seem to find you or there is a lot of strife and discord in your life. I know that I share a lot about my own experiences and maybe you do not relate to this, but if you know someone who seems to always speak about people being against them, share this blog post with them and pray with and for them. Opposition in any form is a real thing and detracts from the greater good that could be accomplished if we were on one accord. In this 5783 year of Breakthrough can we put unity and working together as Christians regardless of denomination and other differences on the agenda please? It’s bad enough that there is an actual enemy that seeks after our souls, let’s agree not to push others down when we could be helping them up. Maybe you are actually right about a situation and those that are coming against you are wrong, is fighting back in your own strength worth the confusion, stress, distraction, strife, and never ending return attacks and casualties? This is what happens in gang violence – it should have no place amongst Christians.
In conclusion, the main point is that As Christians we should not be acting as enemies to other Christians seeking to sabotage or destroy what God is doing in their life. One thing that I was told by a very wise person is that the Holy Spirit knows how to convict people of their sin. It is not our job to go around pointing out everything that we perceive as wrong. In many cases, especially if you are an intercessor, God may be showing you things about those people so that you can pray for them and He will supply the grace and direction for them to change or repent. Sometimes what we judge as evil may have other aspects that we are not aware of and seeking the Lord for discernment, wisdom, and understanding may be needed when an attack from another Christian occurs. I do not believe that we should not fight when the evil one shows up, I am suggesting that we be led by God and surrender the battle to Him, especially if it involves another Believer. When we do not agree on a matter, as believers we should always be able to agree to surrender the battle to God so that His plans will be established in the earth. Before you hit the “post” or “send” buttons to publicly attack someone just remember that there is no glory in that and that you are accountable for what you do before God. The final point is that unity, fellowship, honor, and true love for others comes from God and he is our source and motivation to treat others well. We can not resist becoming an enemy when we are not filled with God’s love and compassion. So let’s also make a point to allow the Holy Spirit to refill us and revive us. I was listening to a teaching on the Hebrew month of Chesvan and one point was about resting during this month. Take a rest from your striving – surrender the battle to God and let Him fight on your behalf!
4 The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]. Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ, 6 being ready to punish every act of disobedience, when your own obedience [as a church] is complete.
7 You are looking [only] at the outward appearance of things. If anyone is confident that he is Christ’s, he should reflect and consider this, that just as he is Christ’s, so too are we. 8 For even though I boast rather freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed [of the truth], 9 nor do I want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters;
- 2 Corinthians 10:4-9