ministry · Responding to trials

How To Respond To Your Enemies

 

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Do you have an enemy?  Oh, they might not call themselves that, but it’s some who

  • Is happy to see you hurting.
  • Desires to help you go under.
  • Rejoices to see that you’re suffering in some way.

Ugly words, threatenings, gossip to others, mocking, cynicism, pride – these are all responses of an enemy.

If you are in any kind of spiritual leadership and have been there for more than a year, I’d say you will be nodding your head right now.

These actions are the devil’s tools to discourage, dishearten and ultimately destroy God’s servants.  I’m looking around me and watching so many ministry people that are wounded, due to the attacks of “enemies” that it sometimes makes me literally nauseous.  I’ve been where they are.  I know the emotional pain it inflicts.  I know the discouragement it can bring.  I know the devastation that follows among those that listen to the cruel words.  But you know what?

This is nothing new.

Satan has always stirred people up to do his work.  Yes, the one behind all of this is the one who hates Christ, and will do all he can to discourage His servants to the point they just want to quit.  Have you been there?  Me too.

However, God sends just what we need at just the right moment so we will stay faithful, not give up, or feel overcome by our enemies!!

Psalm 59 gives some pretty ugly details of what David was dealing with.  Consider:

  • The men after David were out for his blood (v. 3)!
  • They waited for him so they could hunt him down. (v. 4)
  • The men were wicked. (v. 5)
  • They came back in the evening and and whined like a dog about David. (v. 6)
  • They yelled out gushing words and wicked things about David, thinking that God didn’t hear them. (v. 7)

I’ve had some pretty ugly things happen in our ministry lives, but I don’t think I’ve ever had someone stalking outside my house, just waiting for the time I’d come out and they could attack me!   David was literally running for his life, and this didn’t just last a month or a year or two!  One commentator said this may have lasted 10-15 years! How wearying this would be!!

How could David stand it?  How did he not crumble under the pressure and discouragement of it all?

  1. He recognized Who His Defender was! “O my God; defend me.” (V.1) “Deliver me,” “Save me,” (V. 2) God is my defence. (V. 9)
  2. He reported their actions to God! Rather than telling his fellow-soldiers what the enemy was dong to him, he went to his Commander!  He told God everything these men were doing!  (V. 4, 6, 7, 12) He wasn’t informing God, of course!  God already knew, but David takes his complaints to the Source Who could actually do something about it!
  3. He relied on God to punish them. Rather than planning an attack (and remember that David was a mighty warrior!), he asked God to deal with them.  (V. 11, 13, 14, 15) David asks God not to slay them in V. 11.  He asked God to scatter them because this lesson would last longer! Then later he does ask God to destroy them.  He is however, letting God be God and do what He knew best.
  4. He rejoiced in His God. He doesn’t keep his thoughts on the enemy!!  He sings of God’s power and mercy as He remembers that God has been his defence in the past and his refuge in the day of his trouble.

    Hear the calm in David’s heart!

He isn’t panicking!

He isn’t quitting!

He’s looking up into the face of the One who can win over his enemies.

Now friend, what about you and your enemy today?  How are you and I to respond to the cruel treatment that seems unjust?  The total disregard by others that seems like they don’t know God sees what they’re doing?  You and I can do exactly what David did!

Remember that God will defend you.

Rehearse in God’s ears what is being done.  Unload on Him the pain in your heart.  Tell him before and more than you tell others.

Release any effort to try to “get them back” for what they’re doing.  God is a just Judge and He will do what is needed.

Rejoice in God!  Sing!  Go on your merry way!  It will make your enemies wonder what in the world you’re up to!!  You will know you’re simply standing firm in the love and promises of your Defender!

How do you respond to your enemies?  Like someone who knows their God.

I’m always saddened to hear of ministry people who are dealing with hard things, but if you are in that place, know that the Lord is encouraging your heart today with this Word because He sees what is happening and He cares!

Cheering you on,
denise a

 

 

12 thoughts on “How To Respond To Your Enemies

  1. Thank you for becoming my friend on facebook. I got to watch the conference you spoke at and really enjoyed and was encouraged by your message. My husband and I have been in ministry for years and we have had some troublesome times but God has always been faithful to fight our battles and keep us on course.

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  2. Thank you for this. I needed this right now. I am sharing it with some other pastors’ wives. Your blog is such a blessing to me. Is there a link for the conference that you spoke at that Tammy mentioned above in her comment? I would love to listen.

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    1. Thank you for sharing this. I’m so thankful that it encouraged you in your situation!
      You can find the link to the ladies’ event if you go to Facebook and search Kerwin Baptist church, Kernersville, North Carolina. You will see the video there. 💕

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  3. Denise, I should have asked your first but I didn’t even think about it. I forwarded this to my pastor who is fighting battles all around him. He is a fighter and just announced to the congregation last Sunday he is not giving up the battle.

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  4. WOW, I’m always amazed that you have just what I need, just when I need it. You are such a blessing and encouragement to me. God puts the right people in our path at the perfect time. Thank you, this really lifted me.

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