Enemies Of God And Self
A man who is not sick or who does not know he is sick will not go to a doctor. There are many ailments that we can have without knowing we have them. They can do us great harm or even kill us before we know we have them. Sometimes when people have the symptoms of a disease they go into denial and refuse to go to the doctor. The first step toward solving a problem is knowing we have the problem. The natural state of man is not to know and believe that he is an enemy of God.
James 4:4: Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
It is easy for us to see that blatantly evil people are enemies of God. Something that we could not fathom before we received Christ was that we were also enemies of God. When we were enemies of God we opposed our own selves.
2 Timothy 2:25: In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
Another fact that may be difficult to comprehend is that even after we receive Christ, our flesh remains an enemy of God and will until the death of our bodies or the return of Christ. Thank God that when we receive Christ He puts within us a new nature that is God*s friend.
Enmity with God is a reality for each of us from the time of our physical birth until our spiritual birth into the family of God.
Isaiah 48:8: Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb.
Psalms 58:3: The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.
The cessation of our enmity with God does not happen because He surrenders to us. It happens because we surrender to Him. Receiving Christ is surrender to Him. If one has not surrendered to Christ he has not truly received Him.
From the time of our spiritual birth into the family of God a new enmity comes into existence. We then have an old fleshly nature that is the enemy of our new spiritual nature and of God. After salvation there is warfare within us between the two natures.
The hatred that Satan has for God, Satan plants and encourages in the heart of unregenerate man.
There is no light or life in man; there is only death and darkness. Mercy and truth are to be found in God.
David W. Drullinger:
Jew or Gentile, anyone who is not related to God by faith sees any restrictions on his or her behavior as unfair.
I want to abandon myself to a God who can elevate me beyond the tyranny of self. I will never be free from evil, or from distractions, but I pray that I can be freed from the anxiety and unrest that crowd in with them. In the morning I ask for the grace to live for God alone, and yet when the phone rings with a message that strokes my ego, or when I open a letter from an irate reader, I find myself slipping back -- no tumbling back -- to a self-consciousness in which other people, or circumstances, determine my worth and my serenity. I sense my need for transformation and keep going only because that sense is the one sure basis for potential change.
C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity:
The natural life in each of us is something self-centered, something that wants to be petted and admired, to take advantage of other lives, to exploit the whole universe. And especially it wants to be left to itself: to keep well away from anything better or stronger or higher than it, anything that might make it feel small. It is afraid of the light and air of the spiritual world, just as people who have been brought up to be dirty are afraid of a bath. And in a sense it is quite right. It knows that if the spiritual life gets hold of it, all its self-centeredness and self-will are going to be killed and it is ready to fight tooth and nail to avoid that. . . . You are not a being like The Son of God, whose will and interests are at one with those of the Father: you are a bundle of self-centered fears, hopes, greeds, jealousies, and self-conceit, all doomed to death.
Sometimes we encounter people who seem to have a death wish. I think of mountain climbers, sky-divers, bungee jumpers, etc. They risk their very lives and sometimes do themselves great harm. There seems to be a certain thrill for them in defying death. They seem to me to go beyond a mere fascination with death.
Proverbs 8:36: But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
There is only one person who can solve this universal problem of enmity with God. That person is God Himself. Gloriously He has promised to solve the problem for us if we will only trust Him.
Colossians 1:21: And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled