The One You Must Love: Your “Enemy”

Ephesians 6:12 shows us that in the spiritual realm, the battle we face is never against people but against the devil and his camp. Eph 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

For an article about the battle not being against a person but against the Devil, you may read from this link:
https://butterflyinthespring.com/2012/12/16/our-enemy-is-not-a-person/

The people who are acting in ways aligned with the devil’s ways: corrupt, deceptive, treacherous, denies God, wants to steal, kill, or destroy the things of God, leads others to doubt God and His Word and disobey God—are only puppets being used by the enemy. The enemy is a treacherous master so those who allow themselves to be in that position are going the path of destruction and spiritual eternal death. Anyone is vulnerable to going on this path. Anyone. That is why Paul coaches us how we can arm ourselves with God’s full armor to fight against this battle. Anyone can be owned, corrupted, and destroyed by the enemy otherwise.

Eph 6:13-18 MSG Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

Now that we are reminded that the real enemy is the devil, when Jesus tells us to love our “enemies”, He is referring to the people who look to us like our enemies. People behave like our enemies as described in 2 Tim 2:26 when they are entrapped in the devil’s hold, captive to do his will.

2 Timothy 2:25-26 (NIV) 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

and we need to pray spiritual blessing upon those people to be freed from the devil’s clutches, that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.

Here are two translations of Luke 6:27-36 to give more insight on how Jesus wants us to treat those who look to us like our “enemies”:

Luke 6:27-36 NIV Love for Enemies 27 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you. 32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Luke 6: 27-36 MSG “To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously. 31-34 “Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that. 35-36 “I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.

Lord, indeed this is a battle too great for me. It is Your battle. You will fight for me. I just need to be still and hide under the shelter of Your wing. I need to look inward for what things I am not obeying because these will hinder all my prayers. I need to be in obedience, confessing as soon as I realize them as You are faithful and just to forgive me and cleanse me of unrighteousness (1John 1:9). Help me to be clearly on Your side of the battle. Help me to love the one who is rebellious to You, the one who is rebellious to me. Help me to love truly from the heart, sincerely and completely the one who looks like my enemy. Help me to be a love dispenser regardless of what is given to me. All extremely impossible apart from Your empowerment and enabling so I once again surrender to You. I can’t see myself doing this but if You possess me and use me like Your glove with You as my hand, by faith I can. Please overcome me with Your Spirit. Own me Lord. You be the one to possess me. I pray freedom and fullness of true life for those who are captive to do the enemy’s will that they will be rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the kingdom of Your Son, Jesus Christ by Your almighty power in His name and for His glory Amen

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