What a command it is that we are to love our enemies. The people that put us down, ridicule us, sabotage our hopes, dreams and plans to accelerate in life – love ‘those’ people? That sounds like a very tall order in the first instance, yet it is exactly what Jesus told us to do
If there’s one thing we know, that Jesus never said anything without very good reason and for our own good. And when I say our own good, I don’t mean in a happy-go-lucky way, I mean good in the terms of what God calls good – our own effectiveness, growth and productivity in the purposes for which He created us. Remember, God created us with intention, planning and purpose and for us to grow into fulfilment of all those things, we often need ‘catalysts‘ to help stimulate that growth.
Consider your enemies (those people that are diametrically opposed to you growing into that productive, effective and purposeful person that you were created by God to be) as the said catalysts that God places in our life path to grow us into the image that He predestined for us. You see if we are very honest, most of us want an easy life and through life we can become slightly apathetic in engaging in anything that causes us challenges, particularly very personal growth because let’s face it, life is challenging enough on an everyday basis without finding milestones within to overcome.
However that is exactly the roadmap to our lives. For us to attain, achieve and be productive in the very plans and purposes that God created and called us to fulfill, it means travelling the course of our everyday lives and dealing with the character, mindset and lifestyle shortcomings that we have, in order to prepare and propel us to our next level in God. And nothing quite so refines us and gets us into shape as our enemies if we approach the situation correctly.
Why Are Enemies Good For Us?
Nothing so greatly reveals your inner potential than your enemies, and God strategically places our enemies in our path to teach us and grow us into what we are destined to become. God clearly revealed this in the Bible time and time again. Let’s consider the account of David’s face off with Goliath.
David -v- Goliath – The Face Off – So David had been walking in a good and close relationship with God from his youth. One day seemingly out of the blue, the Prophet Samuel comes to Jesse’s house (David’s father) with news that he has come to anoint the next King of Israel. Well that must have been exciting because in those days it was no small feat to be King of Israel. Whether you were reverent of God or living as a heathen, everyone knew that the King of Israel was an elect position of the One True Living God.
Now the usual family dynamics were in full play in Jesse’s household upon Samuel’s arrival. David was regarded amongst in family (especially his siblings) as the least in the family. David was not the one that the family regarded as the most physically attractive (for that was Eliab) the first one who was considered by Samuel. Yet God quickly offered Samuel valuable insight regarding the decision-making process – that whilst mankind looks/values/esteems people’s appearance, God looks at the condition (cleanliness/holiness/sanctity) of a person’s heart (1 Samuel 16:7). And so it continued with Jesse making all the ‘most likely’ candidates come before Samuel, but the Lord had chosen none of them. It got to the point where Samuel had to ask “Are these all your sons?” and then of course that prompted Jesse to declare the one whom nobody in the family thought would be ‘the one’, cue David. They fetched for David who was doing the hard manual labour reserved for the very least of the clan out in the fields. And upon his presentation to Samuel… yes you guess it, the Lord said “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” . I can only imagine the ghastly look of bewilderment in everyone else’s eyes as the least was promoted to the greatest by the Lord’s divine will and providence.
So back to the enemy bit – firstly in the eyes of David’s siblings, David was by far the least liked and a good read around the book of 1 Samuel illustrates this. However David needed them for his growth and building up his resilience in life for what God had planned for him later on down the road of his destiny. All their belittling of David taught him to lean upon and trust in the Lord as his strength, stronghold and champion. He grew resilient and therefore dealing with his big brothers’ difficulties had inadvertently set him up for building up his relationship with God even stronger. And just to put it into context – anyone with older siblings knows that even the thought of confronting or going against an older sibling is frightening, let alone living with the constant cognisance that they think so little of you. So David’s family set-up and crafted him to have a mindset that depended upon God as his strength and peace and thus he developed a strong and intimate relationship with God.
Can you imagine though what it must have felt like for David after the Prophet Samuel left? His brothers’ attitudes was probably not any more affirming toward him than before he was anointed, and to top it all off there was no strategy or plan given to him about when this whole kingship thing would get off the ground. For David it was back to the fields and minding the sheep. What faith and assured knowing of God it must have taken for him to go back and work in the field after being anointed in the midst of those heightened family dynamics. But David was faithful and continued on about his father’s business until the Lord called him about His business.
By the time that the whole Goliath situation presented himself, David’s relationship with God was so on-point that he recognised that as a divine assignment especially for him. He promptly stepped forward (not cockily mind you but in the name and to the glory of God) and dealt Goliath one almighty blow that took him down with a single stone. And that precipitated the circumstances that brought David into perfect alignment into God’s plan for his kingship. He stayed and served King Saul whom God knew would disobey Him, and would be the catalyst to replacing David as King instead of Saul.
Perception Is Everything
This is a short summary of very big and significant accounts of events in David’s life to illustrate that how what we perceive people and events in chapters of our lives which we label as ‘horrible’, ‘worst’, ‘enemy’ are actually divinely placed there by God to help us grow into the great destiny that He has prepared for us. I can guarantee you that nobody in Jesse’s house thought that David would be the one anointed as King.
Change The Way You See (Perceive) Things
The next time you have a challenging person in your life, or presented with a challenging situation just be assured that this has been divinely allowed by God to draw you closer to Him and take you to the next level in Him. Don’t fight the situation. Be resilient and draw on godly character and God’s strength to see you through to finish well and get the crown of your destiny. God’s plans for you are good. Trust Him.