If I Were Your Enemy...

Jennie Allen
June 04, 2021

Jennie Allen

Bible teacher, founder of IF:Gathering
with jennie allen.png

If I Were Your Enemy . . . (An Excerpt from Nothing to Prove)

If I were your enemy, this is what I would do:
Make you believe you need permission to lead.
Make you believe you are helpless.
Make you believe you are insignificant.
Make you believe that God wants your decorum and behavior.

And for years these lies have been sufficient to shut down much of the church.

But now many of you are awake. You are in the Word and on your knees. God is moving through you, and you are getting dangerous. You are starting to get free and leading other people to freedom. The old lies are no longer adequate.

So if I were your enemy, I would make you numb and distract you from God's story

Technology, social media, Netflix, travel, food and wine, comfort. I would not tempt you with notably bad things, or you would get suspicious. I would distract you with everyday comforts that slowly feed you a different story and make you forget God.

Then you would dismiss the Spirit leading you, loving you, and comforting you. Then you would start to love comfort more than surrender and obedience and souls.

If that didn't work, I would attack your identity. I would make you believe you had to prove yourself.
Then you would focus on yourself instead of God.
Friends would become enemies.
Teammates would become competition.
You would isolate yourself and think you are not enough.
You would get depressed and be ungrateful for your story.
Or,
You would compare and believe you are better than others.
You would judge people who need God.
You would condemn them rather than love and invite them in.
You would gossip and destroy and tear down other works of God.
Either way you would lose your joy, because your eyes would be fixed on yourself and people instead of on Jesus.

And if that didn't work, I would intoxicate you with the mission of God rather than God Himself.
Then you would worship a cause instead of Jesus.
You would fight each other to have the most important roles.
You would burn out from striving.
You would think that success is measured by the results you see.
You would build platforms for applause rather than to display God.
Then all your time and effort would be spent on becoming important rather than on knowing Jesus and loving people. The goals would be to gather followers, earn fancy job titles, publish books, build big ministries rather than to seek the souls of men and the glory of God.

And if that didn't work, I would make you suffer.
Then maybe you would think God is evil rather than good.
Your faith would shrink.
You would get bitter and weary and tired rather than flourish and grow and become more like Christ.
You would try to control your life rather than step into the plans He has for you.

The enemy is telling you that freedom is only found in finally proving to yourself and to the world that . . .
you are important.
you are in control.
you are liked.
you are happy.
you are enough.

Here is the thing. The enemy promises water, but every time we go to his wells, they are empty. He gives us a sip of water, enough that we keep believing him. We have believed the lie that our cravings will be satisfied if we are enough and if we have enough. So we chase image, answers, things, people--and we wonder all the while, Why am I still thirsty?

God is clear in the book of Jeremiah about what is happening:

My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

Water. No human can survive three days without it. No other resource is more essential to sustain life. None.

When you look at maps of some of the most arid places in the world, you find the cities all along rivers and streams of water. Where there is water, there is life. Vegetation, animals, industry, human flourishing. And in the absence of water, there is death.

I don't think you would have picked up this book if you didn't feel thirsty. I believe you are here because you are so thirsty you can't stand it anymore and you pray that maybe this time you will find living, lasting water for life. I am here because I want to fight for you to live, no longer thirsty but filled. I found water. I found rest. And I will show you where it lives.

There is water for you. Not just enough to quench your thirst but an unlimited supply that will fill you and then come pouring out of you into a thirsty world. But the water you need is found in only one Source.

I'll tell you right upfront, there is no secret here. Just one answer to your thirst:

Jesus.

Jennie Allen

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