Sunday, April 1, 2012

Enemy Free

“When the ways of people please the Lord, he makes even their enemies live in peace with them.” Proverbs 16:7

A celebrity musician was being interviewed on a secular TV station recently. The host asked him, “What about this God-thing in your life?” The singer shared his amazing story of redemption, ending it with, “I’m tattoo free and enemy free now.” We hear the term "drug free" but enemy free? That sounded so appealing.

Nasrin and I were discussing Valentines day and all about the subject of love. I asked her if she had any enemies. She pondered the question and then said, “No, only my husband.”

Aida called me to unload her anguish and torment at home. Her family has become her enemy. She can’t wait to move out and then detach herself from them.

Malia, like many others I know, has confused God and Satan. She thinks that God is her enemy but it’s actually Satan. She doesn't yet understand that 'God is for us and not against us'.

Naseema, Jamila, Rakhiat, and Fatuma have turned from me. I had helped them a lot over the years but each of them have struggled deeply with shame over some issue. Since I was the one they unloaded to they feel shame now because I know about it. Knowing something is unbearable. In a sick way, unable to find freedom from their shame by giving it to Jesus, they have run away from me, thinking their shame will go away and be forgotten. I have gone from being viewed as a friend to an enemy.

I was babysitting our grandsons one night and as we were looking over a world map in their bedroom I shared how I lived in Somalia and went to elementary school in Ethiopia but I couldn’t fly directly to Addis Ababa but went via Yemen. Ryan asked why? I replied that Ethiopia and Somalia have been enemies. He asked, “What’s an enemy?” My granddaughter, Melody, once asked me, too. “Grandma, what is an enemy?” Isn’t it amazing that some children in this world  grow up not knowing what an enemy really is?

Last night I woke up hearing my soul heartily singing the Hallelujah Chorus in my sleep. I was in a church singing with a group on the platform. Everyone was singing the victorious song but with blank expression on their faces. Suddenly, not being able to withhold my exuberance in any longer I raised my hands heavenward and joyfully and freely sang the Hallelujah Chorus. Worship welled up in me for my beautiful living Savior who has conquered all enemies: religious ideologies and systems erected against the risen Christ, Satan and wicked hosts, evil schemes, and death. Jesus is not bound by any enemy in the visible or invisible world. Each has been defeated by the blood shed on the cross and the empty grave. The enemies just don’t know He has already won the victory.

As I engage with my Muslim friends I assure them that God is not their enemy but is the living and loving Savior waiting to help them find freedom and life in Him. And He can give them power to forgive their enemies as He has given me.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for the victory and peace that is found in Jesus. Amen.