I’m breaking this down into two parts, one dealing with Enemies and the other dealing with friends. This is not my writing, but excerpts from Ted Dekker’s book, “The Forgotten Way.” When I came across this, as Ted Dekker’s work does, it astounded me. It raised some questions that I am now seeking answers to, and hopefully I will get to share with you soon. But nonetheless it is right. Am I perfect with it, no… No I’m not. I can only work on continuing to seek my identity of who I truly am…
Think of what troubles you in this life time and time again. At the root you will find one of two things, both grounded in fear: One, someone (including yourself) who has offended you, so you feel and fear harm. Two, Someone whose love you cherish, so you fear loss.
We will call those who have or might offend us enemies, and those whose love we cherish, friends. The offense of enemies you count as evil. The love of friends you count as good. But both of these enslave you equally, as you will see…
Enemies come in two basic guises: the enemy in yourself and the enemy in others. Ultimately they’re the same. Both fuel your fear of being harmed. Thus you set about trying to control your world by protecting yourself from them or overcoming them.
The enemy within yourself might be an addiction to food or another substance or activity. It might be your body, which doesn’t look or function the way you want it to, or your need for more money. When battling yourself, you go to great lengths to fix what you perceive as the problem, always fretting when you fail and rejoicing when you seem to win for a while. Then another issue crops up, throwing you back into an endless cycle of striving and self-loathing. Soon your body dies, leaving nothing but dust to speak for all your efforts.
The enemy outside yourself might be a neighbor, or someone who used to be a friend, or a monster who harmed you or threatened you. When dealing with such enemies, you build up walls to protect yourself, or you attack in self-defense.
Whether within or outside, your only true enemy is fear, because fear is what throws you into misery.
Remember once again Yeshua’s teaching about the storm. While crossing a sea known for its ferocious weather, Yeshua fell asleep on the boat. When a storm came up, His disciples cowered in the face of the waves and lightning. They woke Yeshua, who looked about at the raging sea and asked what might seem to be an absurd question: Why are you afraid?
What? Are you mad? Look! The waves are sure to take our lives!
To which the master surely smiled and gently shook his head. Oh you of little faith, He said to the disciples. And then to the chaos of the wind and rain: Peace, be still.
Was Yeshua a madman? God forbid. Instead He knew to ask that one question that will lead you to the greatest freedom you can experience in this life. Why are you afraid?
You fear only because your belief (faith) is in your old flesh-and-bone self (system of the world) rather than in your true identity in the kingdom of heaven. In the system of the world, the body must be protected; in Yeshua it doesn’t matter if the storm takes your flesh and bone, because your true self is spirit. Your body, however wondrous it might be, is only your costume for a short while.
Yeshua’s answer for overcoming this world of enemies is two-fold. First, let go of your earthen vessel, which you see as threatened. Take up the cross each day and see that you are risen as the son, the daughter of the Father.
Then, offer your world of enemies love. Do good to those who hate you. Do not judge or resist the evil man. Except nothing in return… and you will be the sons of the Most High. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?
Whatever you resist will offer you its own resistance. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. You must know that to live by this system of defensiveness is to be enslaved by it, and it offers only death.
We will call this system living by the sword, though that sword be wielded in the heart or by tongue. If your heart lives by the sword it lives in misery, which is its own kind of death.
So instead of resisting the evil man, turn your cheek. Accept and offer the world what it longs for – Love.
Truly, loving those who love you requires no revelation in Christ.
As Yeshua said, if you love someone who loves you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. Only in loving those who persecute and hate you can you know you have found true love, which is the evidence of your true nature in Christ.
If you do this, you will be the sons of the Most High.
Yeshua did not say you will become the sons of God. He said you will BE the sons of God. Why? Because this is the kind of love expressed by the son, the daughter, of the Father. Loving this way is the only way to be who you truly are, already complete in Yeshua.
In the same way, rather than struggle in vein against your own self-abuse and self-hatred, accept yourself as you are. Offer yourself the Father’s love. When you then love yourself as the Father loves you, the behavior and addictions that express themselves as self-abuse will fall away.
If this teaching strikes alarm in you, you know that the deception you live in must feel alarm. Your old mind knows that it’s facing its own death, because you are now aware of its tricks, rooted in a lie.
Truly, it is that lie that brings you great fear in the storms called enemy.
No more. Let the lie die. Do not be afraid. Believe insead in Yeshua and your identity in Him. Have faith in Yeshua, and be saved from the storms of this life. Rest in your power through Him to accept and love rather than to resist and attack.