We constantly deal in two realms… the natural and the spiritual. In the spiritual realm, we have a host of friends on God’s side. We also have a host of enemies on Satan’s side. We should never be friends with the spiritual enemies of God. In fact, the Bible says that “Friendship with the world is enmity (hatred) toward God.” (James 4:4) The apostle James is not warning us against being friends with people in the world, but rather being friendly with the mentality and practices of the worldly system. When we become cozy with the fallen worldview, we take a position against God.
In the natural realm, we should be a friend to people. We cannot make anyone our friend, but we can choose to be a friend to others. People who are lost need a friend to show them the right way. You should be that friend. Jesus was that friend to sinners. He was the best kind of non-judgmental friend to those who had no friends. Jesus was the friendliest person who ever lived. But He also managed to have enemies. Go figure. He was the Creator of all of humanity. He was the embodiment of love. He was self-sacrificing, to the point of death. Christ fed multitudes, healed the masses, and forgave sin. Jesus was the best friend ever. But He had enemies. These were not enemies of His choosing, but because of His conviction.
You can expect the same type of relationships. No matter how much you show the love of God, there will be some people who are so in love with their sinful lifestyle that they will oppose you simply because of your walk with God. This is their choice. You will want to change your friendship status because you love them, but they will hold the key. When a person of darkness is an enemy to a person of light, please know that it is not because you are a bad person. It is because you are in a battle. In a battle, you will naturally have enemies. And while it would be good if as Christians all of our enemies were of the spiritual variety, sometimes our enemy will be working in the cubicle right next to us. I’m not just talking about people who are not saved. I’m talking about people who are not saved and are intentionally trying to destroy you. Most of us have a person like this in our life, and dealing with this person probably drains some of the life out of you.
I want to encourage you in this regard. These people may think you are their enemy, but you are not. Just as our battle is not against humans, neither is theirs. They are actually fighting against God. But your enemies are not spiritually-minded and need a physical/material face to hate. You happen to be it. So you have an enemy. That isn’t nice to think about since you are a vessel of love. But it is true. It is a real battle. It is a spiritual battle that has a physical interaction. Real hurtful words will be said. Real evil glances will be sent. Real physical things will be done. You are engaged with your spiritual enemy in a physical body. But you are not alone.
Sometimes those enemies are within your own family, as was the case of King David who wrote this as he was fleeing from his son, Absalom,
Lord, how my foes increase! There are many who attack me.
Many say about me, “There is no help for him in God.”Selah
But You, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the One who lifts up my head.
I cry aloud to the Lord, and He answers me from His holy mountain. Selah
I lie down and sleep; I wake again because the Lord sustains me.
I am not afraid of the thousands of people who have taken their stand against me on every side.
Rise up, Lord! Save me, my God! You strike all my enemies on the cheek; You break the teeth of the wicked.
Salvation belongs to the Lord; may Your blessing be on Your people. Selah
Jesus said that we are to love our enemies. That means two things…
1 – We will have enemies.
2 – We are to love them.
There is peace even when you have enemies if you know that God has enemies, and His enemies are your enemies. You are in the same fight as the Lord. He will not fail. Neither will He let you be destroyed at the hands of your enemies.
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.