When we think of enemies, we tend to gravitate towards the physical enemies that stand out in society; murderers, rapists, terrorists, evil leaders; but enemies go deeper into the realm of our hearts where fear, control and doubts can rule our lives.
So an overall definition of enemies is anything ruling your life aside from the Lord Almighty and His Holy Spirit within us. Listen to David’s words that are true for us and our inner enemies as well as for the physical outward enemies and the spiritual unseen enemy forces all around us:
Psalm 18: 1-3
I love you, Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I have been saved from my enemies.
This is David’s song to God after he was saved from his enemies. King Saul had become David’s enemy not because David had wronged Saul in any way but because of Saul’s jealousy toward David. David was choosing to do all the “right” things all the while as Saul was trying to kill him. He treated Saul as the anointed king that God had appointed him to. Instead of killing him when he had the chance in the cave, he did the right thing. And he submitted to Saul’s authority when his soldiers had the chance to kill Saul and he commanded them not to. In this way, by submitting and obeying God and his anointed authority over him, God found favor in David.
David says, “he rescued me because he was pleased with me and delighted in me. David’s choice to honor and love God by his submission to King Saul was in essence putting himself under God’s authority; his protection, his provision, his favor.
Verses 39-41 in Psalm 18 tell us of God’s provision and protection: “You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me. You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes. What kind of “strength” does God arm us with to fight those inner enemies? He gives us courage to take action and conquer fear. God humbles us and helps us to stay humble and submit to his authority and his appointed authorities in the world. He give us wisdom to know when and what we are in control of and what is not in our control. The Lord grows our faith as we submit to and obey him, therefore eradicating the doubts in our heart and minds.
David makes it clear in his statement in verse 36, “You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn. God’s pathway is the only way to living as He intended and being able to conquer the enemies within our souls. I am reminded of a smooth cobble stone pathway. God’s pathway of smoothed out rocks leading us in His direction. Each of those rocks in the pathway are those things God provides when we stay on His path. There are rocks of trust,love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There are rocks of purity, righteousness, humility, courage, perseverance and on and on. We stay on this path and God provides all this and more. He gives us what we need to conquer the inner enemies.
I am reminded of the latest song by Jeremy Camp called My Defender. When we trust in God and put ourselves under his authority and his appointed authorities in the world, he defends us. We are able to conquer the enemies of our soul.
If you aren’t on that pathway of God’s or you keep veering off of it, please seek help with God, your pastor, trusted friend or a Christian Temperament Counselor that can help you see what your enemies are within you and give you the guidance you need to be living as a victorious child of God.