I like to think of myself as a pretty friendly person. Someone who has few—if any—enemies. But here’s the truth: I do have an enemy, and he hates me to my core.
And there’s a pretty good chance he’s your enemy too. If you’ve ever had hopes, dreams, goals, plans…then we’re in the mutual enemy club.
He disguises himself well and has a multitude of aliases. His name is doubt, discouragement, disappointment, depression, and defeat.
He is the enemy of our soul and he loves to deliver a crushing blow just as we get the courage and willpower to step out and pursue our calling—that thing or things we feel we were created to do. The pursuit that is uniquely ours. He lies and waits until we are at our most vulnerable. Exhausted, weary, worn down, and ready to give up.
His favorite pastimes are guilt, shame, blame, and failure. There is nothing good in him.
Some days, we ignore him…pretend he’s not there. Like when we were children lying in bed, pretending the monsters weren’t lurking in the dark. If we closed our eyes and ducked under the covers, we’d be safe.
But ignoring the enemy doesn’t do us any favors. It doesn’t make him go away. It only prolongs the agony. As we allow him to linger, he continues to slowly sabotage and chip away at our confidence. Our gifts. Our purpose.
So we have to face him. Just like Jesus did.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus was explaining to the disciples that he would have to suffer many things and be killed. Peter then rebuked him saying, “Never! This shall never happen to you!”
At first glance, the rebuke from Peter seems harmless and even well intentioned. But Jesus recognized the voice of the enemy. Peter himself was not the enemy; but his words were—and the spirit behind them. Jesus knew his mission and what he was called to do. These words directly counteracted that. They were meant to deter him from his purpose.
So Jesus faced the enemy.
“Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me,” he said.
Some of us need to face the enemy of our soul and tell him just that: Get. Behind. Me.
Get out of my way. I’ve got a purpose you can’t thwart. A calling you can’t stop. A gift you will not destroy.
Friend, if you’re feeling downcast, then it’s time to stare down the enemy, get in his face and tell him in a not-so-kind-way to go.
Because you and I? We’ve got things to do.