“I’m not your enemy, please stop fighting me!” I said to one of my kids recently. Enemies can be very interesting as I’ve seen from reading about King David in 1 & 2 Samuel. He was an interesting man and had many of the challenges in his life that we face – external & internal enemies.
David’s external enemies were people who opposed his progress – people who didn’t want him to be king, his brothers who derided him for being the troublesome little brother, Nabal who thought he was just another slacker looking for a handout, etc. We all have people & even situations in our lives that seem to oppose our progress and efforts to accomplish things & to go places. Perhaps we have external enemies to develop internal strength & fortitude.
David also had several internal enemies. In my opinion, David’s internal enemies were more harmful to him than his external enemies. Here are some internal enemies that David had, that might be familiar to us:
- focus: David didn’t control his focus & therefore his passions which resulted in his relationship with Bathsheba & the death of her husband, Uriah (read Ps 51)
- confronting: David didn’t confront his son Amnon about raping Tamar (Amnon’s half-sister); David didn’t confront Absalom about killing Amnon; both occasions combined to make for heartache in David’s life (killing, rejection, dishonor, rebellion, relationship breakdown, etc)
- counting: at the end of David’s reign, he made a decree for the Israelites to be counted. Perhaps David wanted this census to measure his success, power, influence, etc. I don’t know why David made this census, but it was displeasing to God – some kind of wrong motive.
Let’s be attentive to the weakspots / enemies in our hearts & thinking – they can most certainly be more destructive than any external enemy 🙂
I’ve been considering this topic for quite some time now & as I’ve thought about it, in the context of having intimacy w God, i’ve noticed some things about myself (better to say that the Holy Spirit has shown me many areas that need adjustment to improve our intimacy together). God has really shown me that when i isolate myself or get independent, these behaviors don’t cultivate an environment conducive to intimacy. Because of some of my mindsets, upbringing & poor decisions, along w other things, i notice myself withdraw & get very independent at various times & stages in my life. Thanks to God, He’s shown me some of these things & i’ve repented of these behaviors. With His help & insights, i’m not isolating & being as independent as i used to be in the past.
On a deeper level, God is dealing w me now, on why i’ve behaved in these ways. I love that God addresses our surface behaviors first to get our attention & then digs in deeper because ultimately, our relationship w God isn’t just about surface actions but about our hearts interfacing in authenticity & vulnerability.
Do you see any surface behaviors that have been enemies to your intimacy w God?
Since we’ve just celebrated Easter, i’ve been thinking of the purpose of Jesus’ incarnation, death & resurrection. I believe that God’s ultimate purpose in sending Jesus to earth was to redeem humanity to Himself – so we can connect to Him (with His help, direction, etc) in a deep, meaningful & purposeful relationship. Ultimately, that we can have an intimate relationship with the Triune God. Now please don’t spin out on the word, “intimate”. Unfortunately, our society has tainted this word & it can potentially have some overtones that can be a little tricky to manuever around. For me, intimate means very close, but not always having a sexual connotation. When I’m talking about an intimate relationship w God, obviously I’m not including the sexual overtones that our society can associate w this word.
Given the objective of having an intimate relationship w God, i think its important for us to consider what could be enemies to that intimacy. As such, over the next few days or so, I’m planning to blog on what I’ve found to be various enemies to intimacy. I’d totally love / welcome your input not only w comments, but I’d also be happy to receive your insights on the various enemies you may have experienced to intimacy. I’m really excited to dialogue w you to see what God wants to share w us!! 🙂