Embracing God's Use of "Useful Enemies" in Our Lives

Judges 2:21-22a
I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died: That through them I may prove Israel…

God is neither intimidated nor in less control because of the presence of His enemies. In fact, the only reason they still exist is because He still has use of them. Think of that! He, who just by the word of His mouth has been known to open up the ground to swallow enemies of the past, can at any point defeat any enemy standing in His path, at His own will. We sometimes think that because the enemy still poses a threat to God’s Kingdom, that somehow it appears the enemy has the upper hand. Never so! At least not with God! Oh sure, we who are made of dust are weak in the flesh, and sometimes get backed into a corner by our enemy, but understand that our strength to prevail rests not in our own abilities, but in the abilities of God our Savior.

Looking at our text, you might call these nations God did not drive out, “Useful Enemies”. Just study your Bible. All throughout history, God was intervening in the affairs of men, so much so that had He not come through when He did and how He did, history would not have been near as meaningful to us. Everything God does in the affairs of men is for our learning; even His battle strategies. For example, God could have smitten Egypt a whole lot sooner and quicker than He did, but He strategically chose the ways and the miracles He would use so as to maximize in Israel’s minds, and in ours, the sheer wonder of His works and ability to deliver.

That said, could it be that sometimes we’re asking God to remove things and people from our lives that truthfully we are getting more out of with their presence, than what we would get if they were absent? Case in point; Paul’s thorn in the flesh. God got more use out of leaving Paul’s thorn than He would have by taking it. Our prayers then should not be for better circumstances for ourselves, but for maximum benefit to God’s Kingdom. Is it better for us that God completely drives out our enemies, or that He sets up a table before us in their presence, allowing them to exist if for no other reason than to be powerless in their existence, and therefore bringing maximum glory to God. Don’t worry…there will be places and times that God will remove the thorns, the enemies, the circumstances, etc., but I just wish to point out that regardless of whether or not He does, it doesn’t change who He is, or how powerful He is whatsoever. He might just be getting some use out of your enemies for a little while longer. Trust Him!

~ Pastor Gary Caudill
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