Enemy

 

best friends or worst enemyThis is a strong word. I started really wrestling with this word during my reading of the Word this morning. I started trying to figure out who my enemies are. I looked up the definition first on dictionary.com. An enemy is “a person who feels hatred for, fosters harmful designs against, or engages in antagonistic activities against another; an adversary or opponent.” I probably have enemies that I don’t even know about. I really do try not to make enemies. I try to get along with others as far as it depends on me.  I’ve found myself over the years biting my tongue rather than speaking into the lives of others who I feel are doing something wrong or harmful to others. I’ve tried to amend that part of my life. I must be willing to hurt feelings and lose friendships over speaking the truth and defending the truth.  I don’t want enemies. I don’t seek out enemies.

Enemies can be subtle or overt. They can be public or private. Thinking about enemies has brought a bit of stress to my heart this morning. I can’t control who sees me as an enemy but I can control who I see as an enemy. Check this out…

The Lord says to my Lord:

“Sit at my right hand
    until I make your enemies
    a footstool for your feet.” (Psalm 110:1 NIV)

I can disagree without hatred.

I can debate without hatred.

I think what makes an enemy is hatred.

After observing one of the hardest and most hateful presidential elections in the history of our nation, we seem to have a lot of hatred in our country. The sharp divide in ideology is profound. I contend that we don’t have to hate just because we disagree. We must learn to debate and stay on the issues instead of allowing our emotions to dictate our behavior. Hatred is a devastating emotion that leaves destruction in its path. I don’t want enemies, but I probably have some. If a person comes to my door to try to harm my family, they will be perceived as an enemy and I am not afraid to use force to stop them no matter what. So, at that point they will certainly be an enemy.  It still hurts my heart to think of having enemies. I want to do my best to love others with the same love that the Lord has shown me. This life is not the end game – eternity is.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

P.S. If any person reading this sees me as their enemy, PLEASE, let’s have a conversation and remove hatred from the equation.

Push Back

Woman talking through a megaphone and a man plugging his earsThere are times when I strongly disagree with an idea or a direction of the leadership that I’m under. We live in a democratic society so I can disagree and if done properly, I will not be perceived as “disagreeable”. I may very well have a different perspective than others in leadership. This is what I call “push back” – a disagreement over ideas, plans or procedures. Often the way I “push back” is as significant as the very reason I push back in the first place. There are some people who always “push back” – in fact they are secretly (or not secretly) known as troublemakers.

Moses did some push back on God. I’m really not sure this was a good idea, but the Lord knew Moses heart and accommodated him. Check this out…

10 Moses said to the Lord, ‘Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.’

11 The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.’

13 But Moses said, ‘Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.’

14 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, ‘What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. 15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in your hand so that you can perform the signs with it.’ (Exodus 4:10-17 NIV)

God really speaks into Moses and discusses this. I love it when the Lord asked Moses: “Who made your mouth?” He is obviously pushing back on Moses’ push back. The Lord had just given Moses three miraculous signs so that when people didn’t believe God had spoken to him, he could pull these “signs” out and show people. The first sign was that his staff would become a snake when he throws it to the ground. The second is Moses putting his hand inside his coat and pulling it out leprous and then putting it back inside the coat a second time and it’s completely healed and normal. The third sign was designed for Pharaoh himself as Moses was to take blood from the Nile river (that flowed through Egypt) and pour the water on the ground and it would become blood. The Lord clearly had this situation planned out and Moses was to be the leader of God’s people.

I think that this story reminds me that when God calls me to do something or say something on His behalf, He will give me the tools I need to carry it out. I don’t always feel qualified but the very fact that He called me to do or go is qualification enough. I don’t ever want to “push back” on the Lord. I want to grow in my trust, respect and honor of Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne