The Enemy in Me

For the past few weeks my bible readings have been focused in the Psalms and if you have read the Psalms, you will notice that in a lot of the verses, David expresses his anguish and laments about his enemies. He calls out to God many times to decimate his enemies and to give him relieve from their evil ploys and accusations. Every time I read such verses, I subconsciously try to connect to the psalm by reflecting on the people in my life who might fit the criteria of an “enemy.” I start to think about the oppositions I face in my life from people and situations and consciously or subconsciously, position those as the enemies as I convert these Psalms to personal and sometimes fervent prayers.

In the last little while, my pastor has been teaching us to try a reflective prayer where we ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us areas in our life where God wants to breathe new life. He simplifies the process as giving God the remote control to your day and asking God to replay your day to you and pin point those areas in your day. I decided to try this while reading Psalm 68 and the result was really enlightening.

I had just come off a very trying day at work and I was reading Psalm 68 where David is jubilant about the victories God brings over his enemies. As I was connecting with that scripture and silently praying with David “Summon your power , God and show us your strength our God as you have done before (verse 28)”, I started to ask myself if perhaps there are other people out there who are reading the same Psalm with me in mind as they pray to God to show his power? Are there people out there who are also reading some of these Psalms and subconsciously thinking of me as the enemy? I believe this was the Holy Spirit telling me in His own way that sometimes I am not the wronged in those “oppressive situations”. This is why this verse had so much meaning for me:

Rebuke the beast in the reeds, the herd of bulls among the calves of the nations, until it submits, bringing bars of silver. Scatter the nations who delight in war.

Psalm 68:30 BSB

Sometimes, I have to rebuke or ask God to rebuke the beast in me. The behaviours that are not usually characteristics of me but show up on occasion and are offensive to others- “the herd of bulls among the calves” need to come under the authority of Christ. This “beast” must be humbled to the point where it is submitted to God’s will- where I am submitted to God’s will.

So folks, next time you read the Psalm and come across scriptures like “Let God arise and his enemies be scattered (Psalm 68:1)”, before you think about that person or situation as the enemy you are at war with, look inward. Is there anything in your life that is characteristic of the enemy you are fighting? If so, ask God to rebuke that beast so that you do not become collateral damage when God arises.

Yours Truly.

All because we do not carry…

The past few weeks have been fraught with worrying for me and when I worry, I pace and talk to myself. I imagine at length the situations that are stressing me out or have the potential to stress me out and talk myself through them. This has been one on my coping mechanisms for many years.

This weekend, I found myself in one such spot. I had confined myself to my room and paced about talking to myself for almost an hour non-stop. After a while, I paused to freshen up and my daughter came to me and said “Mummy, are you done praying?” I remained silent for awhile unsure of how to respond. I had spent almost an hour talking through my worry and stress and I had not once in that time invited God into that conversation. In that moment, I was overcome with many emotions but prominent among them was gratitude that my kiddo knows that we have such a privilege to talk to God about anything and a little shame that I had not done that. The words of Joseph M. Scriven from the hymn “what a friend we have in Jesus” flooded my mind:

Oh, what peace we often forfeit
Oh, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer

I don’t know what you are going through right now. But if I have learned anything today, it is that I can trust God with my worry and stresses, He is waiting to be invited into those conversations.

Yours Truly.