Saturday, April 14, 2012

Who's the Real ENEMY?

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Like many others, I've been swept up in The Hunger Games whirlwind. After the first few chapters of the first book, I was hooked. Plain and simple. HOOKED!

Heads up: If you haven't read the Hunger Games and want to, you may not want to read this post.



While consumed with the second book, Catching Fire, I was struck by Haymitch's sober advice to Katniss before she entered the arena for the second time: "You just remember who the enemy is," Haymitch says. "That's all."

Those words struck me.

Being thrown into an arena where there can be only one survivor would make it easy to focus on the other 23 tributes as enemies, but being the winner of The Hunger Games guarantees two things: more Hunger Games the next year, and the real enemy remains undefeated.

Haymitch's advice was meant to spur Katniss on to accept her higher calling as the Mocking Jay and to keep her focus on the seemingly untouchable, yet very real enemy. The enemy in the book, in my opinion, wasn't necessarily one person but the idea, the desire of ultimate power, though there was definitely one if not more characters who embodied this evil.   (What was it Galadriel said? "And nine, nine rings were gifted to the race of Men, who above all else desire power.") I think Haymitch's advice helped Katniss persevere until the end.

Haymitch's words are a sober reminder for me as well. In real life, I too have an enemy, and I need to remember who he is. An enemy who desires to have power and control in my life. An enemy who "prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8) An enemy who comes to "steal, kill, and destroy." (John 10:10)

Like Katniss, I have a higher calling. As a believer, I don't have to be a victim of the enemy's evil schemes. I can experience freedom and victory on a daily basis. Defeat of this enemy will not be delivered by the tip of an arrow but by:
  • Submitting to and drawing near to God and resisting the devil. (James 4:7)
  • Putting on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)
  • Knowing and applying God's Word (Matthew 4:1-11)
Thankfully, the devil's ultimate destruction is foretold in Revelation, but it's nice to know we haven't been left helpless in the meantime!

I need to remember who the real enemy is, and that he isn't the inconsiderate neighbor, the difficult relative, the rebellious child, the ridiculous politician, or the crazy driver. It's not the media, the government, or Hollywood. "For we struggle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12)

And anyone who I may perceive as an earthly enemy - well, God's Word addresses this quite clearly.
  • I am to love my enemy. (Matthew 5:44)
  • I am to pray for my enemy. (Matthew 5:44)
  • I am to give my enemy food if he's hungry and water if he's thirsty. (Proverbs 25:21)
Wow, those are tough words. I fail often. I lose sight of who the real enemy is. But by God's grace may I persevere to the end and claim victory in Jesus' name!

All I have to say is: Great advice, Haymitch!

1 comment:

Under the Sky said...

Loved this post! Very powerful and apt words. Thanks so much for sharing them.

Warmly,
Kate

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