What happens if the table made before your enemy is prepared before…you?

5 07 2010


What happens if the table made before your enemy is prepared before…you?

What if you are your own enemy?

In the black church tradition, what I often hear is the same story, which frankly I get tired of hearing sometimes. The enemy this, the enemy that. Lord deliver me from my enemies. But what if we don’t know what we’re asking? What if we’re asking God to deliver us from ourselves and in the process of correcting and cleansing us, since we find it painful, we cry out even louder for the Lord to deliver us from the pain and pressure to change or do something different falsely thinking that everything that happens to us that we don’t like or appreciate is Satan? (whew!)

Satan’s busy but not in the way we think. Maybe Satan is busy feeding us the wrong information. Maybe Satan is busy feeding us the lie that the pain we’re feeling is bad and we need to demand God to rid us of it. And if God doesn’t, perhaps that opens the door for doubt to creep into our faith or for us to go to more extreme measures paying off pastors and ministers for that “come-to-the-altar-and-sow-your-seed-of-one-hundred-dollars” breakthrough. Maybe Satan is busy but we open the door for Satan to be so busy in our lives by imagining that every hard thing in life is not from God.

Maybe we don’t understand that we are the cause of a lot of things that happen in our lives including God’s graceful correction.

Correction isn’t easy.

In fact it hurts. A lot. It feels, smells and tastes a lot like “enemy” but it isn’t. It’s us. Or if we’re so pressed to stick with “enemy” language let’s be real, honest and upfront and name ourselves as our own enemy.

And let’s not get offended that when we ask God to deliver us from ourselves, our selfishness, our being inconsistent and unreliable friends to people, being workers but not worshippers in the church, gossips in and outside of the church, being picky ministers, saying it’s not about the little things one moment but then saying the little things are showing excellence towards God etc.

I’m actually very tired of it. And like all my posts, I’m tired of it because I have lived and experienced it myself.

Prayer-life is important, but I think we need to make ourselves the subject from which we must be delivered rather than the object of deliverance. We’re not that great. But we’re not that bad. But we must remember, we’re not that great. No one is a victim 99% of the time, nor 50% of the time, nor 25% of the time…

My challenge especially goes to the black community. Yes, oppression still has its grasp around the throat of our peoples, but what about the oppression, murder, and pain we commit on ourselves? We have to be honest before God and with ourselves. Sometimes, it ain’t white people’s faults!

This Psalm-23-load-of-crap prayer isn’t okay, especially when we know that we are our own problem, or if we don’t know, we don’t stop to look at ourselves to see where we fit into our own troubled equation. Maybe I’m single because I’m not an easy person to get along with or I always talk about myself and my problems. Maybe I don’t have friends because I’m too churchy and they’re not feeling that. Maybe I’m not doing well academically because I ask God to bless my overnighter instead rationing out an hour a week to get a large assignment done over a long period of time. Maybe I don’t get invited to things because I’m always mean-mugging. Maybe I’m selfish. Maybe I brag too much. Maybe I’m not a good steward over my finances and resources. Maybe there are plenty of things I need to be delivered from within my own self before God can take me to a new place.

It’s difficult but maybe I’m wack and God’s been trying to tell me that. Maybe my breakthrough is “Work on your self-centeredness and ego”. Maybe I won’t die a millionaire but a quality person building up the Kingdom of God via my transformation. Maybe I have to see my table set up from afar before I am invited to partake in it. Maybe God can me from wolf to sheep.


I’m not posting this blog to be mean; I just love to write about what most of us don’t want to talk about. It is so necessary and since people only want to mention it in sermons and not do anything with it, I propose we do something with it. I propose we confess that this is where we are, seek accountability among people we trust not only with our hearts (and venting) but with our secrets and we actively work day by day to be better people.

Sometimes I think that is all God needs. I know that’s what others need so let’s seek out the needs of others and not only the desires of self. Life is so much better that way…

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