We’ve all had competitors or ‘enemies’ once in our lives. It could be someone in the office, an old high school nemesis, or someone in the family. When we have enemies, we want them gone. And when they go, we enjoy peaceful lives.
But did you know that we have a common enemy who won’t stop until we’ve been defeated?
It’s our past: mistakes, sufferings, and regrets.
Before anything, I’d like to quote this short poem:
WILL I BE BROKEN, OR WILL I PREVAIL?
Men are born soft and supple; dead, they are stiff and hard. Plants are born tender and pliant; dead, they are brittle and dry.
Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible is a disciple of death. Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life.
The hard and stiff will be broken. The soft and supple will prevail.
-Lao Tzu- (Tao Te Ching, chapter 76, translation by Stephen Mitchell)
Which one are you: the dead leaf or the living leaf? When you are a dead leaf you become stiff and you break when you get bended during the “Mess of Life.” On the other hand, if you are living leaf, you are soft and can bend without breaking and no matter how hard the challenge is.
Let me put this in terms of the Bible:
 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
Defeating the enemy of the past can be tough. But as the verse says, if we put to death the burdens that pulled us down, we will live.
1. Admit the reality of “Who I Was”
Most of us have regrets over our past life. We usually struggle with moving on from wrong decisions that lead to unfavorable situations or results.
What is interesting according to experts is the following
– You rarely find regret in young children
– To feel regret, you have to recognize the consequences of what you did or didn’t do.
– Regrets concerning actions we’ve taken are more immediately troublesome
– Regret for inaction or paths not taken do not go away as easily
– Regret exists because it is useful.
Face your past without regret. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear — these are your first three steps to victory.
Face your past without regret. Instead, understand your past and the thoughts, lessons, and emotions that came with them. Only then can you handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear by not letting your past hold you back. When you are confident of what is ahead, it means you’ve let go of what you’ve left behind.
Remember: you left them behind for a reason.
2. Identify Who Your Real Enemy Is
 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.
Our real enemy is not your boss, family, or school nemesis — his name is Satan.
Don’t think that Satan is no longer interested in manipulating your mind in order to accomplish his purposes. Satan’s perpetual aim is to infiltrate your thoughts with his thoughts and to promote his lie in the face of GOD’s truth. He will make sure that you will forget all God’s promises. He knows that if He can control your thoughts HE can control your mind.
Earlier we learned that we develop coping mechanisms to maneuver our way through trials and losses. Some common coping mechanisms include the following:
- Denial (refusal to face the truth)
- Fantasy (Escaping from real world)
- Emotional Insulation (withdrawing to avoid rejection)
- Regression (reverting to less threatening times)
- Displacement (taking out frustrations on others)
- Projection (Blaming others)
- Rationalization (making excuses for poor behavior)
We have abandoned the promises of God by pursuing these coping mechanisms, choosing to satisfy our selves temporarily instead of eternally.
Many of us are still struggling with our thought life. Some have difficulty concentrating and reading their Bible while others struggle with accusing and condemning thoughts.
WHO WE ARE must always take precedence over what we do. We cannot accomplish anything apart from CHRIST.
3. Admit My Need for a System to Reject the Enemy
We need a system to replace the lies with truth. The best way to do this is to practice vital spiritual disciplines. These include:
- Attend worship services
- Join a support group
- Quiet time
- Bible study
Every warrior needs a plan to beat the enemy. This is your blueprint for success; by following a strategy, you can defeat the lies of Satan.
Equip Yourself More for Battle
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