My enemies are only allowed to devour my flesh; they can’t claim my spirit. This turns out to be a service to me. God uses my enemies to destroy that which separates me from Him. Remember how the enemies of Israel were often used to scourge the flesh and sin from their midst? And once the purifying work had taken place, then the enemies were vanquished. In the same way, my enemies are used to prune that which stands opposed to my deep relationship and union with God. God can use whatever He wishes to accomplish this: circumstances, situations, and yes, my enemies as well.
Devour My Flesh
The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom should I be afraid? When evildoers came against me to devour my flesh, my foes and my enemies stumbled and fell. Though an army deploys against me, my heart is not afraid; though a war breaks out against me, still I am confident. I have asked one thing from the Lord; it is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the Lord and seeking Him in His temple. For He will conceal me in His shelter in the day of adversity; He will hide me under the cover of His tent; He will set me high on a rock.
Psalm 27:1-5 HCSB
Christ’s enemies had nothing in Him to devour. And when I am in Him, my enemies have nothing to devour in me either. It’s only the dead branches of my sinful human nature on which God allows them to snack. Again, it is a service to me. Not that I am running about recruiting enemies, but when they come, as they inevitably will, they come to benefit me. “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20). When I am in Christ, everything is for my good.
Jesus says, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
The Reality of My Enemies
The enemy isn’t given free rein to ravage me. He must ask God! I know this part of sovereignty makes us squirm in our seats but it is true nonetheless. The devil isn’t all-powerful nor all-knowing. He is still only but a servant under God’s control. He must ask to try and tempt us, so if we are being assailed, it is in God’s hands and is for my benefit.
To live in rebellion is to serve Satan my life on a silver platter, but if I am God’s and in Christ, my enemies have nothing in me to devour. I am thinking of a situation a few years back when we had a major enemy with a desire to destroy. This individual’s attacks were deeply personal, utterly vicious, and totally malicious. My response to Martha was, “They’re just paying our price.” What I meant by that is people are either the Bride of Christ or the tools used to prepare her. If you have an enemy and are God’s, He is using them to make you ready.
My Enemies Prepare Me
“All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence.
It isn’t as if my enemies are a joy in the moment. Pruning is still surgical cutting, even if it is dead wood that is being cut. But with Bridal Preparation on the table, it makes the attacks more palatable. I am here, after all, for the single purpose of my preparation to be the Bride of Christ. All will serve the Lord for His eternal purpose, even those who we consider to be our enemies.