Here's the winning strategy to defeat all your haters and enemies. 28/04/23
I never really understood my parents praying against ‘enemies’ and casting and binding people — especially when we, the children, knew very well the specific human beings their prayers were directed at.
But as I grow older, I realise that some people intentionally set out to cause you pain without reason. It’s not you, it’s them. This does not mean that it hurts any less. It actually hurts more because of the injustice. Your mind struggles to make sense of it, and it can’t. Your heart bleeds from the injustice, and your eyes shed a million tears.
Yet, the ‘why’ goes unanswered.
I think the obvious temptations might be preferable to these kinds of battles. Staring face to face at a human being, just like you – eyes, nose and all – that seeks to cheat or harm you breaks something inside of you that you may not even realise was there, sheltering and protecting your innocence. Looking into the eyes of someone who would cause you harm in many different dimensions if they could, reveals to you the darkness that exists in the heart of every human being, including you. You realise your propensity for evil too.
It’s why people become monsters.
This kind of experience can birth a pain in your heart. A pain that often seeks vengeance or, at least, the wish of something evil befalling that person. But the worst of all, I’ve found, is a numbness that refuses to express itself in tears, anger or any other emotion. It just stares into space – the dust of what has happened floating just above the air… and when it tries to settle, the mind ponders just enough to rouse them again.
‘I cannot think about it. I do not want to understand it. I cannot accept it either. I cannot.’
This incident, with a man like me, almost broke me. I began to nurse evil in my heart, thinking of all the evil things that could happen to the person. I thought of it with glee and excitement. And then, with sorrow, how could one person make me think like this? Forget my Jesus? Forget that this person who sought out evil on my behalf was not a solo actor in the grand scheme of things.
I failed to realise that my wallowing in my perceived ‘self-righteousness’ because of the seeming injustice and unfairness was hardening my heart, and I had started to see this person who was in front of me as the problem, forgetting that they had simply given way to their flesh – this was the real problem.
Life is spiritual, and sometimes, it helps to see in white and black rather than colour that clouds your judgment. If a person displays the fruits of the flesh, they are not automatically your enemy. Choose to see them as prisoners of the flesh who need prayers to be set loose from bondage.
It is not easy. I know. But if Jesus says to love our enemies, then it is possible. When Ananias lied to Peter, he never knew that he was lying to God. Whoever mistreats you, do you realise that they mistreat Jesus? Do you think Yahweh, a Man of war, cannot fight His battles? Your deliverance is safely nestled in His right hand.
I have never taken myself as someone that has enemies, but my recent experience with people made me rethink that. How else do you describe it when someone pits themselves against you to ruin you or the works of your hands for no reason?
I still do not believe I have enemies in the form of people. I have only one enemy, the flesh and the devil, behind it.
And this is why we must pray for open eyes and a softer heart. Open eyes to discern the source of another’s hatred, dissect and see that it’s not really about you but them and the choice they have made. A soft heart to love and love hard despite persecution – even as Jesus preached to those who tried many times to kill Him.
You know, one time I went on evangelism, and I faced very impolite rejection. All I wanted to do was dish out some hot rhetoric and maybe a hotter slap because the least I deserved was courtesy. But if it was about me, I would not be standing there, would I? I would be in my house, chillin’. I came out because of people like these.
I’m not any better. We’re all sick people who need Jesus.
It is those in the dark that need the light. It is those that know no better than their flesh that need Jesus. I remember the Holy Spirit telling me to pause my prayers for deliverance and start praying for the repentance of this person who was against me. It was so hard. So hard. I thought, ‘Lord, am I missing something? I am here for me, not them.’
He said nothing. So, I sighed heavily and started to pray. When the tears came, I realised that I had been harbouring a grudge and didn’t think this person was worthy of Christ’s sacrifice and forgiveness. I felt more deserving of Jesus’ friendship than His. Sometimes, we don’t realise that our unforgiveness or malice hurts us the most because it breeds selfishness in our hearts.
This was a person I knew would never apologise to me, yet the Lord asked me to forgive. Hey, this person would probably never accept that they did me wrong.
As I prayed and looked to the Word, the Holy Spirit led me to Romans 12:21. I admit I have never thought of this Scripture in this manner. ‘Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.’
We aren’t just supposed to run from evil, we are to stare evil in the face and counter it with good. God expects so much from His children, it’s why He could ask me to pray for someone I was sure hated me – because He knew that I could. He had given me the strength to do so. When Jesus says to love our enemies as a criterion for looking like God, who sends rain on both the good and bad, He meant that mediocrity won’t do. Standing on that dainty fine line won’t do.
We must stand out. Soldier, stand at attention. The only ease we have is our permanent rest in God, but we must always be on the lookout for that enemy that is like a roaring lion.
There are many devices in the world designed to either make the Christian a monster or make a mockery of our faith – and neither of these serves the Kingdom.
My heart was made to love
And I won’t let hate creep in
Because of the age-old problem of sin
P.S. – The title of this post came from a childhood memory. An uncle of mine attended a church where they prayed for their enemies to ‘somersault, jump up, fall down and die.‘ 😂