Hidden Enemies

May 20, 2003 10:21 AM EDT

Ephesians 6:10-13 (NRSV)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against . . . the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil.

- Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)

MY enemies speak against me" (Psalm 71:10). "Deliver me from my enemies" (Psalm 59:1). "O LORD, see how my enemies persecute me!" (Psalm 9:13).

Many psalms mention the writer's adversaries, be they individuals or nations. And it would be easy to consider those words to be less than valid for our lives today. Our response might be, "Well, I'm glad I don't have to live like that - always on the lookout for danger and enemies!"

But haven't we experienced unsettling doubt? Haven't we been led astray, influenced by some power or pride that misdirected our judgment? Haven't we been tempted to choose our will over God's will?

We do have enemies -- lots of them. They take the form of ungodly notions (greed, revenge, lust, jealousy). Once we are able to unmask these enemies, we can bring them to God, who is stronger than all of them. As the psalm tells us, "The LORD is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies" (Psalm 118:7).

Prayer: Dear God, help us to identify our hidden enemies and to triumph over them. Amen.


Naming our enemies can help us to overcome them.


My enemies

By Ryan Dennis, New York