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Our own worst Enemy?

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Who could that be....?

Have you ever heard the phrase, "you are your own worst enemy"? Chances are, you probably have! This phrase while "coined", used often, sometimes as a "pun", has much truth to it!
Now first, let me say (before we "dig in") that we know obviously as believers, that Satan is our enemy!
He does tempt us:
  "Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control."
                                     (1 Corinthians 7:5 NKJV)
Just as he did to Jesus:
 "Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:

      ‘ He shall give His angels charge over you,’


      ‘ In their hands they shall bear you up,
      Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’

 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’

                                            (Matthew 4:5-7 NKJV)

Satan does tempt us! There is no doubt about this, but do we really think about ourselves? Do we ever consider that we could be our "own worst enemy?" Probably not! But you see we all really are!! We choose to sin, we do things which can be very "self-destructive"!!! Rarely do we ever consider this. But if we were all REALLY honest, we would have to admit, we really are!
You see as humans we know that our sin is what separates us from God. We all tend do our "own thing":
  "They have all turned aside,
         They have together become corrupt;
         There is none who does good,
         No, not one."
                                               (Psalm 14:3 NKJV)
However, when we come into the family of God we are welcomed as His children (1 John 3:1)! But what many do not consider is that just because we are in the family of God, as believers, does not mean that we are finished with our struggle with the flesh:
  "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish."
                                            (Galatians 5:17 NKJV)
 As we grow in the Lord God are being "conformed" to the image of His Son. But with this we still have those tendencies to go back to the old man (or woman), and make mistakes (i.e. sin). This can be very unsettling for all of us! And at times, we will often try to blame our actions on others! Such as someone provoking us, or wrongs us, or some other reason that causes us to make the choice to sin! But if we were all honest, we would have to "own our own behavior", would we not?
You see its so much easier for me to blame my neighbor for my sin rather than "own up to it" myself! Or to blame it on the satan! Im sure most, if not all of us, have heard someone say the phrase (at one time or another) "the devil made me do it". Does satan tempt us? Yes, and he is responsible for his actions, but so are we! Whether its to follow the Lord, or to "do our own thing". We all make our own choices! That's why free will is just that, ..."free will"!!
You see we all need to be honest! Satan may tempt us, he does have a strong influence on this world. He is our adversary! And we should be AWARE and VERY CAUTIOUS of him and his schemes:
 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."
                                                    (1 Peter 5:8 NKJV)
 And the temptations can be strong, but still we are the ones who make the choice to sin! And its so easy for any of us to "fall" and make the wrong choices:
 "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death."
                                                         (James 1:14-15 NKJV)
We are all responsible! But the question we must all ask ourselves, is this, do we "own up" and ask God to forgive us? Or do we continue, "business as usual"?
You see there is nothing that God does not see! We may be able to lie to others, or try and lie to ourselves, but the one we can never "fool" is God!! He sees all things!!!
There is nothing that He does not see:
  "And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."
                                                    (Hebrews 4:13 NKJV)
 And we do not need to be going around beating ourselves up, but we do need to be honest with ourselves, and VERY IMPORTANT, with God! 
You see many seem to forget is that confessing our sin is what God wants to hear! He wants us to be honest with Him and ask for help when we are in trouble ("stuck" in our sin, etc.). It's not about "trying to look perfect", but about being honest! Satan may tempt us, people may hurt us, sin against us, etc. But we are responsible for our sin (how we react to situations around us)! What we do, etc. And as such, we should just be honest!! It does not mean we should beat ourselves up, but it does mean that we should be aware of our "human" nature and be honest about it! Remember, if we could have "got it right" on our own, than Jesus would have NEVER had to die for our sin! He is the only way for us to receive salvation (Acts 4:12)!!
But we seem to want to "hide" our weaknesses from Him, and each other. What do you think would happen if we were all "vulnerable" and honest? Could God do a great work in us? Absolutely! But we seem to think that if we hide our weaknesses that no one else, not even God, will know that we have them!
 But why lie against the truth? Afterall, we already know He sees all things! Why not just be honest?
You see we often forget that God's mercy is just that, "mercy". It is so "over flowing" that ALL He requires of us is to truly be sorry, repent, and come back to Him and ask for forgiveness:
 "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
                                                   (1 John 1:8-9 NKJV)
 He is always ready, waiting for us to come to Him! 
And remember, Jesus knows what we struggle with:
 "Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted."
                                              (Hebrews 2:17-18 NKJV)
  "Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin."
                                             (Hebrews 4:14-15 NKJV)
And He is there to help us:
 "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
                                                 (Hebrews 4:16 NKJV)
So just because we may "fall" and make mistakes, it does not mean that we are without hope!
So if there is a sin you struggle with, or something you are having trouble overcoming, just remember this! You have a great advocate who knows what you are going through, and how to help you! He knows you are not perfect!! All you need to do is turn to Him for forgiveness and help!!!
And if your still not sure, remember, Paul himself struggled just like we do:
 "For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members."
                                                      (Romans 7:15-23 NKJV)
But he also knew where is hope was:
  "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin
                                                      (Romans 7:24-25 NKJV)
So just as Paul knew that the Lord was his hope, do not forget He is ours also! All that He requires of us is to be honest, repent and turn to Him and ask for forgiveness!
And here is some "food" for thought:
 "My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
                                                     (1 John 2:1-2 NKJV)

Rev. John Heintzman
Evangelist Non-Denominational
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POHOM Columbus, Ohio
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