Christians, other people are not the real enemy.
In the crazy world we live in, its so easy to think that everyone hates us, everyone opposes us, and we’re the only ones that are “right.”
It’s easy to stand back and judge the world, those people who we refer to as our “enemies.”
And yeah, we probably have good reason to.
The people that want to take away our freedoms – freedoms to speak and think as we please – those people, well, they’re not our favorite.
But those very same people that we’re shouting “You’re the enemy!” at, we’re simultaneously judging. And that’s not okay.
Because friends, other people are not the enemy.
Abortionists are not out to get you.
People of the LGBT community do not all hate you.
Buddhists and Muslims and Christian Scientists and Jews and Mormons and New Age believers – they’re not your adversaries.
Those people who ridicule you for your faith, and threaten to pounce on your freedoms – even though it may sure seem like it, they are not your real nemeses.
Politicians that promise us certain rights and deny us others, while often dishonest, are not the enemy.
The real Enemy is the Devil himself.
He is the one that creeps into our heads and tells us that sin is perfectly okay. That we know better than God. That we don’t need grace and forgiveness. That our conscience is lying to us and we should just do what feels right.
He tells us that we don’t need to believe in Jesus, we can believe in ourselves instead. He tells us we can make our own way to Heaven; that believing in Jesus isn’t enough.
He lies to us and says that our sin isn’t really wrong; that we can save ourselves.
Or even, that we’re too far gone to receive any kind of forgiveness, so why do the whole “Jesus” thing anyway?
But all those lies – all those words of trickery from the Devil – in those lies the real enemy lies.
It’s not our job to moralize the world. It’s not our job to shout words of disapproval in the faces of the gays at our schools.
It’s not our job to guilt people into confessing their sins.
It’s not our job to “rack up the number of converts we get” to Christianity, and focus on the numbers instead of the souls.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to one thing: and that’s believing in Jesus.
There is no obligation list of things we must do to make our way to God. Rather, He has made His way to us through His Son.
And in Him, we find no shame or condemnation or punishment.
We find hope. We find life. We find forgiveness. We find peace. We find identity. And in Him, we are made whole again.
When we look at the small picture, by just seeing the people around us as our sinning enemies, our real Enemy has won the battle for our focus.
Friends, our fellow sinners are not what’s dangerous, and neither is the sin in the world any more dangerous than ourselves. What is dangerous is the lie that belief in Jesus doesn’t matter – that sin has no weight, and therefore needs no payment.
That is what we need to be fighting.
We need to spread the news of Christ’s forgiveness, not just bash others on the heads with our Bibles.
We need to be proclaiming His grace, not judgment – His blood paid for our righteousness before Him.
Our enemy is the lying Devil, Satan, who wants to keep us out of our freedom and salvation in Christ.
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
Jesus has already won the war for our souls on the cross, but the battle rages on.
So how do we defeat Him?
As verse 11 says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”
You can read the full list in Ephesians 6, but here’s the gist of it:
God’s strength is what allows us to stand up to Satan. To not give him leverage in our lives. In knowing truth, in having salvation and being ready to share the gospel, we are prepared. We are prepared by reading the Bible continually and praying “at all times in the Spirit.”
Because He defeated sin and death on the cross, neither own us anymore – we are children of God.
Dear friends, instead of going after our fellow sinners, and standing up to them and their wrongdoings, let us stand up to Satan by the might of God, and refuse to give him power in our lives.
He has already been defeated. And this enemy shall not control us any longer.