OVERCOMING YOUR ENEMIES
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Genesis 24:60 NIV: And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, “Our sister, may you increase to thousands upon thousands; may your offspring possess the gates of their enemies.”
Ephesians 6:12 NKJV: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Romans 8:7 MKJV: because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can it be.
Ephesians 2:2-3 NKJV: in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, (3) among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
Psalms 18:47-48 NIV: He is the God who avenges me, who subdues nations under me, (48) who saves me from my enemies. You exalted me above my foes; from violent men you rescued me.
In these scriptures above, the Holy Spirit reveals to us that we have enemies: demonic-wicked spirits in the heavens; spiritual—the carnal mind and the sin-nature in the flesh; human-wicked men in the nations of the earth.
However, the good news is that it is our spiritual destiny as the seed of Abraham through the Lord Jesus (Gal. 3.29) to ‘posses the gates of our enemies’ as promised to Rebekah in Gen. 24.60 above.
This spiritual destiny and truth is shown in
1 John 2:14 MKJV: I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the Word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
1 John 4:4 KJV: Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Now, we know the Word of God is true; So why are our enemies: Satan, sin, sickness, poverty and death overcoming so many Christians?
These enemies overcome us because we do not ENFORCE THE KINGDOM in our lives.
Daniel 10:12-13 NKJV: Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. (13) But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.
Here we see that even though God had sent an angel with the answer to Daniel’s prayer an evil spirit: the Prince of Persia had withstood the angel for 21 days and the angel did not ‘break through’ until Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help him obviously through Daniel’s continued fasting and prayer.
What would have happened if Daniel had stopped praying after 10 or 15 or 20 days? The answer would never have come. That is what happens when do not pray effectually and fervently enough with sufficient grace to enforce God’s kingdom (or dominion) in our lives.
Matthew 11:12 MKJV: And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of Heaven is taken by violence, and the violent take it by force.
How then do we enforce the Kingdom in our lives and so overcome our enemies?
1. Humble ourselves by submitting to the will of God when we do not feel like it, especially in prayer and regular fasting.
James 4:6-7 MKJV: But He gives more grace. Therefore He says, God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. (7) Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Psalms 35:13 MKJV: But when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fastings; and my prayer returned into my own bosom.
2. Habitual daily (Heb. 5:7) prayer in the Spirit with all types of prayer (Eph. 6.12-18) and travail (Rom. 8.26, Gal.4.19).
3. Pray for and show kindness to our human enemies.
Romans 12:19-21 MKJV: not avenging yourselves, beloved, but giving place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (20) Therefore if your enemy hungers, feed him. If he thirsts, give him drink. For in so doing you shall heap coals of fire on his head. (21) Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Proverbs 16:7 ESV: When a man’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Matthew 5:44 ESV: But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
For example, when Paul and Silas were beaten and jailed in Acts. 16:23-34, Paul did not allow the jailor to kill himself rather he prayed for him to be born-again and baptized. The man who was his enemy earlier that evening was at peace with him just after mid-night the next day!
It is the will of God that none should perish (2 Pet.3:9) so God wants us to pray for and show kindness to our human enemies in the hope that they will repent and come to be at peace with us.
However, sometimes men do not repent, but even then we are NOT TO AVENGE OURSELVES: rather God will fight for us like He did for David against Nabal, when Nabal insulted David. God through Abigail’s counsel did not allow David to avenge himself: God fought for him without David asking God to kill Nabal.
1 Samuel 25:37-39 ESV: In the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. (38) And about ten days later the LORD struck Nabal, and he died. (39) When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the LORD who has avenged the insult I received at the hand of Nabal, and has kept back his servant from wrongdoing. The LORD has returned the evil of Nabal on his own head.“
It is instructive to note that God did not kill Nabal immediately: He gave him time to repent; it was after 10 days that the Lord finally killed him.
Revelation 2:21 ESV: I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality.
So we do NOT PRAY FOR GOD TO KILL OUR HUMAN ENEMIES: rather we pray for God to save them:
Luke 9:54-56 NKJV: And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” (55) But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. (56) For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.“ And they went to another village.
However, if they do not repent then God on His own initiative can deal with them. This is very important because ONLY GOD TRULY KNOWS THE HEARTS OF MEN: you may think a man is not repentant and he may be and you may think a man is repentant and he may not be! ONLY GOD KNOWS, so pray for your enemies genuinely desiring for them to be saved and leave the rest in God’s hands.
As we do these things, God will enable us to overcome ALL our enemies: demonic, spiritual and human.