Who’s the Enemy?

September 22, 2020 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Kathi Woodall –

The Civil War was by far the bloodiest conflict our country has ever fought. Not only was the death rate the highest of any of our nation’s struggles, but it exceeded the sum of the deaths of all other American wars from the Revolutionary War through modern times. Although the methods of warfare contributed to the high death rate, one factor stands alone as the greatest cause of the phenomenal loss of life. Every drop of spilled blood was American blood. When the death tolls were counted, the distinction between “them” and “us” faded away. Whether the uniform was gray or blue, whether the flag was Union or Confederate, as brother fought against brother, they were all Americans.

Our family visited the site of the Battle of Fredericksburg in Virginia. I was touched by the story of Richard Kirkland, a nineteen year old Confederate sergeant. The Union army had been defeated, but many soldiers lay wounded on the battlefield. Those who were still alive remained in their battle positions. Sergeant Kirkland could not bear the sound of the wounded as they cried out for aid and relief. Placing his life in danger, he took canteens of water and offered drinks to the hurting men. Union soldiers began firing on him, but the firing ceased as they realized his actions were from a heart of compassion rather than malice.

Are we fighting a civil war within the church? The battle is now believer against believer as arguments are made and people are hurt. People leave churches. Believers lose the passion of serving their Savior. The spiritual death toll grows.

• Contemporary music vs. traditional
• Programs and activities vs. Bible studies and prayer meetings
• Casual dress vs. formal
• He said vs. she said
• It’s always been done this way vs. new and different
• My ministry vs. your ministry

Issues such as these pull us away from the real enemy; “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” (Ephesians 6:12 NIV).

We are all either wounded soldiers lying on a spiritual battlefield or active soldiers fighting in the trenches. Shouldn’t we be offering drinks of water to our fallen brothers rather than firing fatal shots? After all, fellow believers aren’t the real enemy and by firing another verbal blow or spreading another slanderous story we may find ourselves serving within the ranks of the true enemy.
•  Worship
•  Learn
• Attend
• Share
• Do
• Serve

“…Whoever is not against us is for us. I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward. And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck” (Mark 9:40-42 NIV).

About Kathi Woodall

Kathi Woodall’s passion is to serve God through writing and teaching the truth of His Word, loving her husband, Jimmy, caring for their home, homeschooling their four daughters and serving in her church. To learn more about Kathi Woodall, please visit www.growbarefoot.com.
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2 Responses to “Who’s the Enemy?”
  1. Oh, great article! It reminds me of James 4:1-3 “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. … you want only what will give you pleasure.”

    I’ll admit, I love a certain style of praise music and teaching. I’m blessed to be in a church that feels like a really good fit, but even so, I have to remind myself that it really isn’t about me. It’s about connecting to God and serving others. When we begin to feel the “Me, me, me!” bug arise, the best thing we can do is reroute our focus onto someone else, asking, “How may I help … ?”

    That being said, I do think it’s often a good idea to find a church that’s a good fit. Not arguing, bickering, and slandering, mind you.

  2. I think about this a lot and you are right on!

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