The Real Enemy
The new millennium has reminded us of the many ways we are vulnerable. It began with the New Year's Eve meltdown scare back in 2000 and has continued with successive onslaughts like the 9/11 attack, financial scandals, a wave of child abductions across the country, and a persistant conflict in the Middle East. Each one of these reminds us that our nation, our wealth, even our children are not safe even in their own beds!
In response to these disturbing events, we deploy our military for war, pass legislation to protect our children and assets and turn our lives and homes into veritable fortresses in order to reclaim the "safety factor" we seem to have lost. The danger in all of this is that we're losing sight of the real enemy!
4"I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. 5But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!
- Luke 12:4-5
In these times of turmoil we've begun to overlook the fact that our most dangerous enemy lies within. It's our pride, our lust, our greed, our worldliness that threatens to spread evil in this world and kill our eternal souls in the process.
Common sense dictates that we need to take reasonable steps to protect our lives. After all, the love of "self" is a basic Bible teaching. However, before we reach the point where care of self becomes all consuming, let us remember that the Bible also lists the protection of the soul as a higher priority. With this in mind we can balance the desire for protection from embezzlers and terrorists with the same enthusiastic effort towards honesty, purity and service in the guarding of our soul from its true enemy, ourselves.
Like others, I have lived through all of the unsettling events mentioned at the start of this article. I have found however, that despite the storms raging in the world and the constant battle against sin within myself, one comfort remains. Each day I retire to a quiet place to read God's Word and lay my concerns before Him in prayer. Whether I am reading from Genesis or Jeremiah, the Proverbs or the letters of Paul, I am drawn closer to that place of safety and rest where every enemy is subdued and all battles won.