I just watched Pastor Ron Carpenter preach on enemies. I was moved since sometimes in our lives we all may have faced these Goliath’s, and sometimes, too, they are family members. The following is my notes on this sermon.
How we relate to those over us, under us is important. Broken hearts don’t come from things, but people. Ephesians 4:3 “Keeping unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.”
I detest strife and division, he said. (So do I, and will do nearly anything to have my privacy and peace observed and respected.) I cannot function either in that atmosphere. The only way I can keep unity is in a right relationship, ie navigate it the right way, is through Jesus Christ. All the pain we go through is caused by a person. I have learned through pain a good deal of my life. What I no doubt neglected to do, is to categorize and appropriate relationships and put them in their rightful place. For if not categorized correctly, we are destined to be hurt, betrayed and misused, especially if it was never destined to be what your expectations are.
For there is a time that toxic love creeps in which is a form of abuse, and about control, which can threaten my future. It can be a person or thing, circumstances that is born out of adversity; enemies that paralyze you in fear for you have what they want. It is a power play, it is toxic love that is destructive. You can’t listen to that small voice of God, only them ranting. You can’t find your purpose in Christ, for this other person wants you to please them over and over, yet they never are appeased. For this enemy wants to destroy you, and to slander and discredit you and all you have accomplished. These enemies become your footstool, and back stab and badmouth you behind your back all the time. The ultimate destruction they seek is to destroy our quality of life.
We need to discern what purpose they are to have in our life. We cannot lean on the wrong people, and cannot tie ourselves up in equity; ie one is giving more than the other. It’s only a matter of time when it explodes. It means one is sacrificing more than the other. It robs you of your walk with Jesus.
Be careful when you say “I love you”, for it is the license to be hurt. People that are close to you need to EARN IT! Toxic love never moves to the next level and earns one thing! The toxic love wants what you have, or it will destroy you, and slander you and all those close to you that you do love and respect. Family members too that are destructive, need to be put at bay. We may be stuck with them, but we don’t need them close to us to hurt us either. HONOR your father and your mother, means NOT AS A PARENT, but as YOUR MOTHER who gave you life!
Intimacy is due to information we give the other person. It changes the nature of the relationship. We have to define the category and live by BOUNDARIES set on that hateful person. Even a family member isn’t necessarily your best friend; not if its toxic. Else we will be destined to be traumatized and hurt very soon. There will always be a fork in the road. We need to have boundaries with some people that are slanderous. The wrong people in the wrong categories can be disastrous with some people. I am specifically thinking of those who are elderly, or have medical frailties, that can lead to death ahead of when God would have called that person Home.
I hope this resonates with a lot of you out there. It sure did with me. Thank you Pastor Carpenter for this eye opener. I look forward too to buying your book. No wonder we get in so much trouble. We put the wrong person close to us, who then turns on us, when we neglected to “categorize” them first. There is love, and there is love…do as I say and want or else. I for one do not need these people in my life. Thank you Jesus for ministering me today, when I felt down with my cold back again and a sore throat.
I end with this from a little unknown pamphlet I received from an old friend more than 25 years ago, from a Bill Britton Ministries. (Both now deceased.) “My Beloved Enemy”
“You are not really my enemies at all….in reality you are some of the best friends I have. You who have lied about me, and about this ministry, who have spread false and damaging rumors about my life and teachings…through your efforts there has been a work OF GRACE..wrought in this heart of mine that could never happen without you.
My friends have been many and loyal, and faithful to stand with me in many hours of trial and need. They have been strength in my weaknesses, added joy to my heart in time of sorrow, and have girded up my faith amidst raging doubts. They have brought me before the throne of GRACE…innumerable times in their seasons of prayer. I could not have continued long in this spiritual conflict without these wonderful friends.
But, believe me, I speak in sincerity and truth there can be NO PERFECTION in the lives of Gods elect without the chastising work of a real enemy. For when a bitter vicious person begins to do all they can to destroy me and my work for God, then there is a work done that brings out all the wrong and evil attitudes and spirits that lie hidden and deeply rooted in my heart. When a friend extols all my GOOD VIRTUE and praises me from their heart of true friendship, I can feel nothing but love from them. BUT, when I hear of an enemy who has unjustly brought shame upon me, there RISES UP A SPIRIT OF DEFENDING MYSELF, AND A SPIRIT OF RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION TO REFUTE, YOU, THE ENEMY. It is then that precious Holy Spirit does His office work and reveals to me the wrongness of my own spirit. I see in me then, the things I did not know were there before. With repenting and sorrow of heart I cry to God , and He delivers me from that which I have seen in my life. It was hidden, lying dormant, until YOU, my beloved enemy brought it to light with your crucifying process. The prophets of old would have had the glory of being stoned for the Word of God…and no martyrs crowns could ever have been won by the early Christians without real enemies.
You see, I cannot crucify myself, and friends will not do it. So it takes you my enemy, to bring me to the Cross. And to the Cross I must come…if ever I am to come to the glory of perfection. But, I have much progress yet to make before coming to the image of my lovely Jesus..” (You see, we don’t get it all at once…it takes grace and time.) “And, my enemy, you are teaching me. I have learned that the road to glory by way of the Cross. Without you I would not have found the way. Someone had to crucify my Jesus…Not his friends, not His disciples, and He could not do it Himself. So Satan and the princes of this world stirred up hatred in the hearts of His enemies, and the work was done. Had they known that they were bringing Him into His glory, and bringing about the salvation of lost mankind, they would not have done it. And I’m sure that if you knew the good your efforts are working out in my life, you would not want to help me so much. But the work is being done and I have learned to love you because of it. ‘Love thy enemies,’ He said, and I wondered how I could do it. But, you have taught me. For because of you I have grown in God, increased in His grace, and partaken of His divine nature.
Also because of you many have been turned away and refused to hear the truths imparted unto this vessel. Their ears have been filled with lies, and no doubt have thought that no good thing could possibly come from such a one. But, even here I have seen the hand of God. For those who have had ears to hear the voice of the Spirit have not believed the lies you have told them, and they have opened their hearts to the message for these last days. Thus, God has weeded the chaff from the wheat, and is in the process of separating His own unto Himself. All things working together. So my friends in reality I have no enemies in the flesh and blood, your work has been sharp and cutting, and many times I was hurt and wounded deeply. But, out of these experiences, I have come forth a better Christian and an overcome.” Bill Britton