“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1Pet. 5:8-10).

There are three kinds of enemies that you must beware of because they are very close to you and you are not likely to see them or thinking they can harm you. These enemies are not new to many older people due to their experience; but to the youth of this generation who have no secret but to expose all their life being on social media without knowing the danger behind, These enemies are there watching them, looking for an opportunity to steal, kill or to destroy their vision, dream, plan or their goal (Jn. 10:10). These enemies are,

  1. An inevitable relation
  2. Your confidant/associate
  3. The unknown spy

An inevitable relation

An inevitable relation enemy is a blood or distance family member attached to you in one way or the other whom you cannot avoid. Example – husband to wife, father or mother to children, sibling to sibling, cousin to cousin, in-law to in-law, nephew to uncle, niece to aunt etc. these relatives can be enemies to one another if they are not spiritually alert.

The bible states,

“For son dishonors father,
Daughter rises against her mother,
Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
A man’s enemies are the men of his own household.” (Matt.10:36)

Biblical examples

  • Cain killed his brother Abel because his (Cain) offering was not accepted
  • Jacob and Rebecca robbed Esau of the first-born inheritance – a mother and one of a set of twins against the other one of the set.
  • Joseph’s brothers sold him as slave in order to kill his(Joseph) dream
  • Samson was delivered to his enemy by his wife
  • Absalom forcefully dethroned his father David as king over Israel

There is a saying that the nearer the blood, the bloody they can be. Is this always true? Sometimes, it is; as it was, so it is, and so it will be until the end of this age. Let us look at three examples from the Bible.

 Son to father relationship

Can David separate himself from Absalom, Father to son relationship? Absalom killed his brother Ammnon and later eyed the kingship throne while his father David was still ruling. He drove his father from the throne.

Sibling to sibling relationship

One of the problems that put people in trouble comes as a result of their unguarded utterances and openness. If Joseph had known that his brothers were envious of him and that they can plan evil against him, he wouldn’t have told his dream to his brothers. You must be spiritually sensitive every moment and be secrecy about things pertaining to you. This is not about lying to someone who asked you about the secret to your well-being, but you are safeguarding your destiny.

Husband to wife relationship

Do not succumb to pressure to leak your secret or the secret to your success; keep your secret and let people see your blessing. Samson was pressurized by Timnah to tell the secret to the riddles he posed to his enemies. Hence, Samson said to the philistines (his enemies),

“If you had not plowed with my heifer

You would not have solved my riddle” (Jug. 14:18)

Who can be closer to one another than husband and wife; of a fact the long-lasting relationship anyone can have on earth before death is the relationship between spouses and is the only inheritance that each one of them can have and no one can take it away from them unless both decided to separate or until death do them part.

Twice, Samson succumbs to pressure and leaked the secret of his power; this is husband to wife relationship. Beware, do not be enticed with smooth and persuasive word; sanctify your ears to keep it from listening to untrue statements or unholy pressure.

Your confidant/associate

Do not trust in a friend; Do not put youconfidence in a companion; Guard the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your bosom (Micah 7:5).

Do not put your trust in a confidant

Ahitophel was the grandfather of Uriah, whom David sent to be killed in war front because he committed adultery with his wife Bathsheba. Ahitophel was a close associate and counselor to David when things were good between them. Because of what David did to Bathsheba, the daughter in-law of Ahitophel, he decamped to join Absalom to unseat David from the throne as a revenge. People that you lean upon and trust will disappoint you when the occasion arises. Therefore, be on guard and be sensitive

Do not put your trust in a friend

Many will pose to be your friend, but they supplant you behind (1Sam. 23:17). Your friend may pose as a uniform associate (doing things in common, drinking and merry together) but enemy of progress. The moment favor placed you above their cadre, by default, they developed a hostile attitude toward you out of envy and jealousy. Do not put your trust or confidence in a friend. A friend can remain a friend until you offend or disappoint him/her; then you will see the other side of that friend.

A friend can be so crafty to the extent of pushing you to commit sin and leave you to suffer the consequence alone (2Sam. 13:1-15). Who is your friend? Are they friends that are immoral, indecent or wayward; be sensitive and discern who they are.

A friend who inclines at exacting and committing evil is not worth associating with; a friend who is always condemning others and preventing people from coming close to you for his/her selfish reason is not worth associating with; separate yourself from such.

Beware of Master and subordinate relationship

Saul wanted to kill David because of his fame, because he (David) was outstanding for doing what others could not do. David was more preferred than Saul by the people; this led to enmity and the reason why Saul was seeking to kill David. This is the same David whom Saul had requested permission from his father to stay with him and David is a close friend of Jonathan his son.

Your immediate boss may pretend to like you, but he is envious or jealous of you; maybe you are more knowledgeable or thinking you might be favored more to take a position that is higher than his. Such a superior will be setting trap for you to make mistake. In short, he will be looking for your downfall.

Your boss in your place of work may not like you for the reason of race, gender, color but will retain you because he is deriving something that he cannot find somewhere else from you. The moment he/she finds someone he likes that can do what he is deriving from you, you will be relieved of your job.

It could be the other way around; your subordinate may be looking for your downfall because he is eyeing your position. This is unavoidable enemy because he/she is your coworker. You must the sensitive and be on guard through prayer.

Life scenario

I used to be a General Manager of a company; some get to this position by merit, some get there by the virtue of trust (security reason), and some get there by seniority. I believed mine was based on security reason. I worked for the company to the best of my knowledge, ability and with the fear of God. I did not keep back a penny that belongs to the company. I tried to work with every worker in the company as a team rather than being a boss. This is the way I was taught and the best way the company can make progress.

Moreover, whenever I hold meetings with heads of department, some will cooperate, give suggestions and report to me. As the GM, I see most of the happenings in the company and if there are problems, my job is to find solutions. That was the reason I was made the GM in the first place. However, in a situation where the problem is beyond what I can handle, then I will take the matter to the directors or to the chairman of the company.

There are some heads of department that I sometimes place above others, to them I always confide in on some confidential matters. These heads will go behind me to the Chairman and suggested to him what I have in mind to tell him. Sometimes, they go there to say contrary things against me; other times, whenever I laid down a rule that does not favor them, they quickly go to the Chairman to tell lies against me of what does not happen. All just to create an impression that will make them receive favor from the Chairman.

This is an example of what happened to Daniel (Dan, 6:1-24). But through prayer unto my God, I prevailed over their evil plan.

The unknown spy

An enemy who spies on you; you don’t know them, they are agents; they can be human being or spirit being (principalities, demonic powers, spiritual rulers in high place). Biblical example is Doeg, 1Sam. 21:7. Doeg is a monitoring agent for Saul who reported to Saul that he saw David being given the show bread. Brethren, there are satanic agents around that are closer to you than you thought. You cannot see them, but they operate in the unseen. Thanks to God Almighty whose protection is always over us. These agents are looking for the slightest opportunity to strike a child of God.

The Bible states,

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly place” (Eph.6:10-12).

Again, the scripture states

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” (2Cor.10:4)

Therefore, according to the scripture, we need to put on the whole armor of God to defeat these agents (Eph. 6:10-18)

Finally

A kiss to a betrayal

Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve, he betrayed our Lord Jesus Christ with a kiss. An enemy who posed to be a friend, a close associate who ate in the same plate with the Lord; if this could happen to Jesus, how much more will happen to you a mortal man; be on guard. He was paid to betray Jesus Christ; unrighteous gain which he did not enjoy at the end.

The scripture states,

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1Tim.6:10).

Mammon has become the god of this age and the quest for money has become the root and causes for many blood relatives to betray themselves. Father or mother is not safe in the hand of their children because of their wealth; siblings are envious and jealous of one another because of the accomplishment of the other; distance relation organized crime against an outstanding member of the family. 99% of evils committed today are related to quest for money.

What then can we do?

The scripture states,

“… Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Matt.10:16b).

There is the need to use our common sense to check out those that surrounds us. There is the need to be sensitive and keep our antenna up and watch out for any uncommon signals received from people around us; especially, people of our house hold. Do not allow sentiment to prevail over spiritual prompting in choosing whom we should allow to get close to us. The righteous should choose his/her friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray (Pro.12:26).

To be wise as serpent and humble (gentle) as dove is the way to deal with any inevitable enemy, whatever their relationship may be.

To be wise as serpent

It means your sensory must be functioning properly. Snake sensory organs picks up thermal reading. Snake discerns what others don’t see; hears or smell in the natural; scents particles in the air with their tongue: as it can discern, so it is a supplanter (it overthrows its enemy as soon as it discerns)

As a Christian, you must be able to discern with the power of the Holy Spirit, see beyond the surface and know the spirit and heart motive behind the people around you.

To be gentle as dove

The dove represents the symbol of peace. You are to transmit, make and let your peace rest and abide on people that the Holy Spirit approves. As the transmitter of peace, you cannot be harmful, but be a dove filled with the Holy Spirit and be a carrier of peace toward all. However, not everyone will accept this peace. In that case, you will activate the snake sensory organ and change your course from them.

Sometimes, you cannot avoid them – your sibling, your children, your spouse, your parents, in-laws etc.; you can receive them with all gentleness, not driving them away; however, you must be wise enough as to how you deal with them and seal off all areas by which they can enter your life – prayer/fasting.

Have a good knowledge of people that are close to you, at home or at work; where they are going, their activities, how their utterances match their behavior. A lie from any one close to you is a signal of danger, resist and distance from such.

How to overcome these inevitable enemies

  • Be vigilant and sober – 1Pet.5:8
  • Be spiritually at alert
  • Dissociate from bad company – 1Cor. 15:33
  • Keep your secret to yourself
  • Be swift to hear and slow to answer – Jas. 1:19
  • Do not give a place for satan to take advantage of you – Eph. 4:27; 2Cor. 2:11
  • Wear the whole armor of God – Eph. 6:10-18
  • Consult only God with your problem – Ps. 40:4
  • Seek God’s counsel or guidance for your quests
  • Weigh all human counsel and guidance in the will of God before you act
  • Keep your heart with all diligence – Pro.4:23
  • Keep doing what is right and do not get worried about these enemies – Is. 41:10-16
  • Do not put your confidence in man or the order of this world- Ps. 146:3; Rom. 12:2
  • Stay away from any associate that is always negative about your good ideas
  • Focus on Jesus to lead you through life.

Prayers

  • That God will deliver you from all inevitable blood relations who are your enemies but posed to be friends
  • That God will deliver you from distance relations who are your enemies.
  • That God will deliver you from any inevitable associate that is eyeing your position and wanting to unseat you and take over that position
  • That God will reveal all the secret plans and the evil motives that are planed against you by all inevitable enemies
  • For grace to be sensitive and acting according to the prompting of the Holy Spirit concerning these inevitable enemies
  • That God will foul and bring to nothing every plan of the enemy who posed to be a friend

So shall it be in Jesus name.

By Lawrence Abitogun


 

“Do not rejoice over me, my enemy;
When I fall, I will arise;
When I sit in darkness,
The Lord will be a light to me”. (Micah 7:8)

The Bible encourages us to restore anyone who is overtaken in any trespass with a spirit of gentleness; why? We need to consider ourselves lest we also fall into temptation of a similar trespass (Gal.6:1-5). However, we are to think good of our neighbor how we can bring him/her back to God.

Why should someone rejoice in the downfall of his/her neighbor; especially, in the downfall of close relation? Sometimes, the rejoicing degenerated to the point of despising the trespasser. It does not even stop at that point; it is the intention of the despiser for the trespasser not to be alive.

In the book of Obadiah, the people of Edom were happy at the captivity of Israel by their enemy. The captivity came as a result of Israel’s sin against God. The fact that Israel was punished for her sin does not mean that Edom was more righteous than Israel. Also, Israel’s captivity does not give Edom the right to despise her. We all know that Edom is the descendant of Esau, brother of Jacob; why should blood relations be happy at the calamity of other relation

If this happens between close relations, how would it be between distance relations and those that are not even close at all? But as Christians, we all belong to each other; we are connected and bound by love through our Lord Jesus Christ; we are one.

What are the reasons that would make someone to despise his relative, neighbor or another human being?

  • Assumption of having physical security – power, riches/wealth, armed or intelligence – trusting in earthly security
  • Envy and jealousy – of things others have and they don’t.
  • Resentment and unforgiving – seeking revenge
  • pride – the feeling of superiority over the others

These reasons and more may generate hostility among one another if care is not taken; we must allow the Holy Spirit to guide our thought so that it will not build an evil stronghold in our heart.

The scenario of Edom rejoicing over Israel

When the Israelites were being carried away captive,

  • Edom joined Israel’s enemy to attack Israel;
  • Edom laugh Israel to scorn instead for them to sympathized with them; they reproached, mocked, ridicule, disparaged and despised them
  • Edom helped the enemy to reveal the Israelites hideouts;
  • Edom delivered Israelites who crossed to their territory over back to their enemy; and
  • They possessed what the Israelites left behind.

Edom was doing all these ridiculous things as if they themselves were not guilty of the sin for which their fellow brothers were being punished for (Rom. 3:9). The scripture states “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

The scenario of Job being despised by his friends

Most of us know what befell Job was permitted by God, not for destruction but to confirm His testimony of Job as a righteous man; also, it is a test of Job’s faith. Many times, we don’t know the cause of whatever someone is going through, and the next line of action by human being toward that person is to rejoice over the person or tagging the situation as being the reward of sin.

Job’s friends initially sympathized with him, but later turned around to call him a wicked man and that he was suffering for his sin. Sometimes we have to be careful about inputting meaning into what we don’t know. The more reason we must not rejoice over anyone that seems to be going through one problem or the other.

God’s benevolence mercy changes ugly situations

If God has not cursed you, whatever unpleasant situation you may be going through is temporary. Many times, we go through certain situations only for God to draw us nearer to Him or sometimes for our own safety.

The Lord condemned the accusation of Job’s friends that they spoke nothing they know of Him. God penalized Job’s friends and commanded them to sacrifice a burnt offering and have Job to pray for them. At the end God Himself justified Job as the only one who spoke well of Him.

The Lord blessed Job twice as much as what he had before his crisis (this is after he had prayed for his friends – forgiveness). This is God’s benevolence mercy in action. He stretches it toward anyone who turn back unto Him without partiality.

It is not good for a Christian to despise a fellow Christian; it is not even good to do it to an unbeliever. Our God is the God for all. You never know, your good response to others in time of trouble may heal their wound and turn him/her to God.

Whatever any reason a person is being punished for is not meant to destroy such a person, but to bring him/her to repentance. Do not be happy at your brothers down fall, because God is able to reverse the situation of your enemy to fall on you.

Beware

God’s judgment on a person or a nation or someone in distress should not be an avenue for reproach, yelling, mocking, scorning, disparaging, ridiculing or being happy at their calamity; rather, it calls for you to beware and caution yourself so that you don’t fall into a similar situation (1Cor. 10:12).

Don’t rejoice at the fall of your brother or neighbor; rather, pray for them that they may repent and be in good stand with God again.

Is anyone rejoicing over your downfall or over your downtime or over the moment at which God is bringing you back to Himself? All you must do is to be like the prodigal son who said, “I will go back to my Father”. The book of Micah 7:18-20 states, “Who is a God like You…”

  • He will pardon your iniquity
  • Passing over your transgression
  • Does not retain His anger forever
  • He is merciful
  • He is compassionate
  • He will subdue your iniquity
  • He will cast your sin into the depth of the sea

God is ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. When you come back to Him through our Lord Jesus Christ, you will rejoice in God and you will have a refreshing moment before Him, because He will establish you again (Obadiah 17)

All you need to do

  • Do not allow your situation to cause anger that will cause you to sin (Ps. 4:4; Eph. 4:26)
  • Use the moment to meditate on the word of God
  • Put your trust in the Lord, who has relieved you of previous distress and He will do it again
  • When you put your trust in God, there is that confidence built in you that you will overcome your reproach; you will dwell in safety; you will not fear but to rejoice over again in the Lord.

The scripture states

“When the Lord brought back [a]the captivity of Zion,
We were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
And our tongue with singing.
Then they said among the [b]nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
And we are glad” (Ps. 126:1-3).

Pray these prayers.

  • Grace to stay away from sin to fall on you
  • God to deliver you from the power of sin
  • God to protect and prevent you from anything that can bring shame or reproach on you
  • God to return the wishes of your despiser upon them
  • Grace to please God and do His will to overwhelm your life.

God will shame those who rejoice over you.

By Lawrence Abitogun


“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple” (Is. 6:1).

Why was it after the death of Uzziah that the Lord revealed Himself in the temple? There were some events that happened before this incident and they could cause the glory of God not to be revealed among God’s people or in the life of a child of God.

Uzziah’s background

Uzziah or otherwise known as Azariah was a king of the ancient Kingdom of Judah, (2 Chronicles 26:1) Uzziah was 16 years old when he became king of Judah and reigned for 52 years. Uzziah was struck with leprosy for disobeying God (2 Kings 15:5, 2 Chronicles 26:19-21); his son Jotham took over the government, with Uzziah living in isolation until his death

His reign was very prosperous. In the earlier part of his reign, under the influence of a prophet named Zechariah, he was faithful to God, and did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord (2 Kings 15:3; 2 Chronicles 26:4-5)

His reign marked the beginning of the age of engineering in Israel, thus strengthens the army of Israel and consequently gave Israel victory over the territories around her.

However, pride entered Uzziah’s heart and overwhelmed him; this led to his downfall.  The scripture states,

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Pro. 16:18). He entered the temple of Jehovah to burn incense on the altar of incense, a duty that was assigned to only the priest,

“It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense” (2Chro. 26:18)/

He was warned by 80 priests not to exercise this priestly duty, but he refused to yield to the warning, he went ahead and wanting to carry out his self-will. Right there, he was struck with leprosy. Self-will has now become the modern day form of idolatry and it is a destructive agent. A believer must always guide him/her self spiritually before taking any decision and making sure it does not sidetrack the will of God.

As a believer, do not take God for granted that He is Merciful, He is also to be feared. What then will happen when you are caught up in the day of your visitation or in the day of the Lord; either when Christ appeared coming from the sky or the day you die, or the day judgment caught up with your sin where there will be no opportunity to repent.

You can only repent when you are still alive; no repentance in death (Heb. 9:27).

If the head of a nation attracts the wrath of God, it affects the whole nation; likewise, if something is wrong with your brain as a person, it affects your whole body. That was why the glory of God disappeared in Israel when Uzziah was struck with leprosy. A leper does not live in the community but in isolation.  Uzziah, being the head of Israel and one who represents God among his people was driven into isolation; it means the presence of God that he represents was no more among the people.

The spirit of God does not cohabit with sin – God abhorred pride; when a Christian in overwhelmed with sin, the sin separates him/herself from the presence of God. Sin of any type, and whatever degree it may be termed, it clouds and blocks God’s revelation to that nation or Christian.

For three year that Uzziah was leprosy, there was probably no revelation in Israel, or to say, the glory of God departed from Israel. Hence, after the death of Uzziah, Isaiah saw the glory of God appeared, filling the temple again. When a child of God genuinely repents of his/her sin, the glory of God fills such a life again.

Scenario

In the days of Eli, when Israel was under the rule of God, Eli was old and his eyes grew dim and could not see. The Bible stated that the lamp of God was about to go out. The sons of Eli who ought to take after their father and carry on the work of the tabernacle were corrupt and did not know the Lord. Because the lamp was going out and Eli’s eyes were dim and no one to put on the light in the temple, there was no revelation and the word of God was rare. The head cannot see and the children were corrupt; how can there be revelation. Not until Samuel was growing up that revelation returns to Israel (1Sam.3:1-4).

The vision Isaiah saw was like what happened during the time of Eli. Before he saw the vision, a sinful king was still in Judah, but after the death of Uzziah, God showed Himself again.

Isaiah saw the vision, the glory of God again in Judah after Uzziah who held Judah captive from getting vision was no more. Like any other human being, no one can withstand the revelation of God; the vision caused Isaiah to start confessing his own iniquity (Rom.3:23). For anyone to see the glory of God, such must pour out him/her self in sincerity of heart just as Isaiah did and let God Himself fill their life.

Lesson from the sin of Uzziah

Sins of Uzziah – can apply to any believer

  • He kicked against the commandment of God
  • He refused to heed the warning of the 80 priests
  • Sin of pride entered his life – any sin will distance a believer from God
  • He puts himself in the position of God – self-will
  • He has no fear of God in him anymore – refusing spiritual warning

 

Effect of the sins of Uzziah – can apply to any Christian

  • Clouds one’s spiritual vision – debased mind
  • No revelation or answer to prayers from God
  • He was separated from the presence of God
  • He was separated from his people

Penalty for Uzziah’s sin – can apply to any Christian

  • Struck with irredeemable sickness – could be damaging beyond recovery, even to death
  • Living in isolation

 

Remedy

  • Return unto the Lord
  • Repent from your sin while it is still possible before judgment
  • Rid yourself of anything that can stand between you and God
  • Rid yourself of anything that can separate you eternally from the presence of God

 

The likeness of Uzziah in today’s Christendom

Uzziah is likening to a backslidden Christian who took the grace of God for granted, turning his/her liberty to do that which is contrary to the commandment of God. It doesn’t matter how long a Christian has been serving the Lord, but to serve him to the end faithfully matters most (Ezek. 18:30-). There is the need for a child of God to remain in Christ to the end.  We sometimes make the mistake that judgment is reserved till after death, but some irredeemable judgments do catch up with some people when they are still alive.

King Uzziah represents everything that can distance a child of God from seeing the glory of God in his/her life. The moment those Uzziah-like things are removed, that child of God will start seeing the revelation of God and He will start revealing Himself to him/her.

The sin of Uzziah trying to offer incense against the command of God brought upon him the disease of leprosy. A leper does not live among the congregation, and this is the head of Judah, God cannot live with anyone who put him/her self above Him. Hence, revelation ceased in Israel and did not come back until the Uzziah (representing sin, self-will, pride, arrogance, obstinacy etc.) was rid of from Judah.

You as a Christian, called the temple of God, if you need revelation of God in your life, you need to rid yourself of any ‘Uzziah’.

 

By Lawrence Abitogun

 






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