It’s a scary thing to admit that you’ve made God your enemy. I can almost hear the internal denials as I write this. But, that makes it no less true. Every man makes God his enemy, and every woman, as well. Pope John Paul II put his finger on it when he said, “...the key to interpreting reality...Original Sin, then, attempts to abolish fatherhood...” The implications are staggering, but create an amazing lens through which to view our relationships with God.
I make God my enemy, following the Holy Fathers’ logic, because I do not believe that God is a good Father. Because we do not believe in His goodness, we do not trust Him. For a woman, her mistrust may look like a belief that God does not “see” her- she is invisible to God. For a man, it is often a belief that God will not come through for him if he surrenders it to God. In that case, a man’s failure is complete- he didn’t have what it takes on his own, and he didn’t have enough for God to respond to his plea for help. When you think like this, the thought creeps in, “Well, who needs a God like that anyway?” So, how does a man (or woman) arrive at such a place in their heart?
First, they have forgotten where they live. Especially in this modern world, we tend to think that “Life’s a Beach!”, and the beach is bathing suits, manicured white sand, umbrella chairs and pina coladas. And indeed, life is a beach, or more accurately, a BEACHHEAD. Like Normandy Beach on D-Day- bombs, mines and bullets, blood, death. The world you and I were born into is a battle zone, the result of sin. The enemy has been dug in and waiting since he was cast into the world from heaven (Revelation 19). His singular purpose is to kill your soul and condemn you to his own fate- eternal isolation, eternal abandonment and eternal loneliness.
Second, people forget who they are. The enemy projects his ill intent and malevolence onto God. This leads us to mistrust. Since we do not trust God, we do not trust what He has to say about who we are. God says that we are beloved sons and daughters, but we do not belief because of the difficulty of our person circumstance. Instead of viewing our circumstance in light of God’s nature, we belief our circumstance reveals God’s nature.
In this desolation, it is important to understand God’s nature. Is He the punisher and withholder, the maker of trouble? In Genesis, we learn that God placed Adam and Eve in the garden, a place of perfection. They were “naked and unashamed” because purity and holiness was their experience. After the fall, shame and the awareness of being naked came in. They went from being physically “uncovered” and spiritually “covered” to physical covering and spiritual exposure. Despite the loin cloths that we see on Church crucifixes, we know that Jesus was stripped naked when he hung on the cross. Jesus was tortured, shamed and humiliated, including the indignity of being naked before others. This act of selflessness untwists Adam’s sin, restoring us to righteousness (right standing). Jesus sacrifice demonstrates that God holds nothing back, not even His own divinity.
It is the enemy that has made your trouble in this broken world. As you grasp this truth, you can examine your life from a different perspective, through a completely different lens. The painful memories and experiences of your life will look different. You might even find yourself thinking, “Now I get it.” As these lies are revealed, you are ready for healing. Say to Jesus, “I see now where I have believed wrong about you, where I didn’t trust you. I repent, and I reject the lies about you, and the lies about myself. Jesus, I invite you to speak your truth to me.”
In the deepest, darkest recesses of your heart, where you’ve been hurt, God can heal, God can restore. I’ve seen it and experienced. Burdens and lies, carried for decades, wash away in an instant under the touch of Jesus’ hand. There is hope, despite hopelessness. There is healing, despite hurt. Because, as it turns out, God is not my enemy, nor yours.