Friday, 7 October 2011

Enemies with faces

This week has been a busy week for us. We have been attending lots of meetings and using time to prepare for the move to our new venue in two weeks. So to be called into a meeting at 24 hours notice with the venue management was not something we were expecting or had scheduled into our already busy diaries.

There was a sense of "What's wrong?" that we were carrying before the meeting. As much as I tried to remain positive, my thinking continually went down the worst case scenario. As we entered the meeting I felt I knew WHAT the problem was, WHY it had come up, and WHO it had come from. Unfortunately I was right on all three counts.

Now the outcome was not all doom and gloom, as we are still in the venue for the three months that they had agreed to, but we are not sure what happens after that. The thing for me is that because I know where the objections are coming from I can quite easily put a "face" on the enemy. This is the easy way and unfortunately what many Christians have done down through history. We have become known more for what and in particular WHO we stand against.

That was immediately the direction my thinking took. It was then the words of the Bible came ringing in my ears "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Eph 6:12. Its easy to fight an enemy with a face but much harder to face an enemy that we can't see, protest or blog against.

As I thought about it, I was reminded that we are in a SPIRITUAL battle and we need to fight with SPIRITUAL tactics and SPIRITUAL weapons. Our strength is in God not legal systems.

The Bible is that which we calibrate our life against so what does it say about this situation?
  • Enemies without faces are to be fought with the full armour of GOD including the WORD and FAITH, also with PRAYER and with FASTING.
  • Those who we think are enemies with faces are to be loved, which means that we don't actually have any enemies with faces.
So over this next week before the management meet to make a decision on our long term future in the venue
  1. we will present a good case as to why we should be there, 
  2. extend the hand of friendship and offer to meet with those who object to us being there
  3. pray and fast against our real enemy.
We need to be clear on who are our enemies are NOT as much as who the enemy IS.

Will you join with us and commit to praying but also maybe fast for a day or two?


  1. Wow Jon..this is such a good blog and so well written. You word it beautifully. I think it's very easy to put a face on the enemy and have been struggling with that in my own world.
    Going to keep reminding myself of what you have put!
    Will be praying and fasting for the situation!

  2. Good blog, Jon. I'm sorry to hear about the troubles we're coming up against with the venue but remember Isaiah 8:10, for the spiritual enemies that come against us: "Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us." It's a thing of courage to rise above the human angle and the temptation to get into that and instead call it as it is and go for the real enemy. Will be praying and fasting that God will work in this situation.

  3. Great blog Jon, prayer and fasting best reponse. Believing that we will get the best outcome, where we are going is not where we've been!

  4. Great blog and well written, but also timely for us all in our individual lives as well as this present situation re our new venue. The REAL enemy is not all powerful but under the feet of our loving Saviour. Jesus said 'Father forgive, they don't know what they are doing'. Enemies with faces are to be loved not villified.

  5. Great blog Jon! I have thought quite a bit about this before commenting. It's so easy to react when we feel threatened and grab any weapon which comes to hand. That might be ok for Jason Bourne; stuck in the middle of nowhere with only his survival instinct and whatever he can lay his hands on to defend himself but we have all the right equipment. I had been reading Ephesians 6 earlier in the week. God has given us all the right equipment to face our opponents but we have to consciously TAKE then. Fasten the belt of truth, take the shield of faith, put on the helmet of salvation. We clothe ourselves with the full armour of God instead of grabbing the first thing that comes to hand; prejudice (pre-judging) anger, gossip. We need the right equipment if we are going to win; it's no good going into the Rugby World Cup wearing boxing gloves!

    Joe's judo coach often said before a bout "You can't control the fight unless you are in control of yourself! Get your head right and the rest of you will follow."

  6. Wow - This really did just speak to me! Great blog