“Why Should I Play Fair?”
Although you may be an honorable person, I want you to know that the enemy is not so honorable, and they do not fight fairly. When you are causing impact against them, they in turn try to negatively impact those that you love. Often those that you love don’t even realize that it is the enemy that is coming against them. The enemy may begin to set before your family ungodly opportunities to draw them away from God, thus causing your heart to be burdened, and birthing strife between you and them. It may be fame or fortune, yet it is not meant for their good. They (your family member) thinks that the opportunity is wonderful, yet through the wisdom of God you know that this a strategic plan against them, that has come in the guise of opportunity, in order to snare them. Know this, every attack of the enemy is not always visible destructive at first, yet the long term affect can be totally devastating to a person.
Throughout the Bible we see the attack on the lives of those who are the family and friends of those called to serve God in a mighty way. When I look at Eli, Samuel, Adam, and David, I realize that their sons were primary demonic targets. The enemy targeted their children with the purpose of affecting the greater work of their parents. What their children did probably tore at the very hearts of these men called to serve God in a mighty way. Yet we often fail to recognize the demonic pressure and attack on the minds of those who are close in relationship with God’s people, especially leaders. Let’s take a look at Eli’s sons as an example. I Samuel 1:3 says;
“And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there.”
This scripture clearly details that Eli’s sons were the priests of the Lord, yet I Samuel 2:12 says something striking, it says;
“Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.”
How did these priests not know the Lord? The scripture says that they were the sons of Belial. In the Hebrew the word “Belial” (pronounced bel-e-yah), means worthless, good for nothing, unprofitable, base fellow, wicked, evil, ungodly. How did these mean who grew up in a priestly home, who had the job of priest, yet not know the Lord. They were probably targeted early in life by the enemy to hate the priesthood. The enemy may have talked with them about being free from the constraints of the priesthood, giving them visions of wealth, women, and fame, selfishly focusing on temporal fleshly pleasures, to replace a vision of service, submission and glorifying God, affording them eternal rewards.
Again, you may be the enemies ultimate goal, yet they will use primary relationships that you have as targets in your life, with the purpose of affecting you. These targets do not exclude other God ordained leaders. Miriam and Aaron, although chosen by God were primary demonic targets, who the enemy wanted to use to cause issues in the life of Moses. The enemy targeted them with pride and envy of Moses’ position, in order to try and make Moses think that He was wrong for being God’s chosen leader. Numbers 12:1-10 says;
“And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.
And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it.
(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out.
And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.
And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed.
And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.”
These demonic spirits that were trying to influence Miriam, were trying to get Moses to speak in pride about his relationship with God above the others, yet he did not; rather he let God speak for him.
The Attacks Against Others Is Purposed For You.
Demonic spirits target these people with a definite purpose. They purpose to get you in unrighteousness or out of the will of God through others, which would cause you to be vulnerable to them.
Have you ever noticed that the more you draw close to God, the people around you begin to have issues, that they seek you out to help them with, or that draw you in? These demonic spirits strategically target them, coinciding with God’s assignments that you have. For example, you have a heavy prayer burden, then the baby starts crying, or the telephone rings over, and over again, just when you start to pray. The telephone had not rung all day up to that point, and the baby had fallen into a sound sleep until you started praying. Primary targets in your life are used to distract you, delay you, and ultimately stop you from doing the will of God. The enemy targets those you have relationships with, with sickness, emergencies, depression, lack, fear, etc… all with the purpose of them reaching out to you. Now their issues may be legitimate, yet they may not be yours to handle naturally.
Again, the enemy does not play fair, he will target the most vulnerable, such as; babies, children, baby Christians or those young in the faith, the emotionally unstable, the elderly, those already overburdened, etc… in order to get your attention.
Those That You Love.
The enemy targets people you love, in order to get you to move too quickly, outside the will and direction of God. Let’s take this view and apply it to the story of Lazarus, who was the friend of Jesus. Lazarus was targeted with sickness (now sickness is of the Devil, yet God can be glorified through it), and when Jesus was told, He did not just drop everything and run to heal Lazarus, although the enemy probably wanted Jesus to drop everything and run to Lazarus to heal him. John 11:1-6 and 11-15 gives us the details, it reads;
“1Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
2(It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
3Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
4When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
5Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
6When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.”
“11These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
12Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
13Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
14Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
15And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.”
I’m sure that when they told Jesus about Lazarus, His heart was burdened, yet the will of the Father must have been in the forefront of His mind. Settling His emotions must have been difficult. Even though Jesus may have known that He would be resurrected, He still felt the burden of potential loss and suffering of a friend. He felt it so much so, that when He came to the tomb, He wept or cried. Love is a powerful emotion. Yet it must never supersede the will of God. So we see from this that the enemy will use any means necessary to affect you.
It’s Not The People In Far Distant Lands; Rather The Ones Around You.
The enemy is not going to try to distract you with people far away from you, unless they are near to your heart through relationship; rather they will use those around you. The enemy will put the issue right there before you. It’s quite difficult to focus on doing the work and will of God when your heart is burdened with concern for those in close relationship with you.
Because the enemy attacks those especially who have relationship with leaders, not everyone can be close to leadership. This is because they would not be able to handle being a primary demonic target at that level.
You could be around great healings, and miracles and still be a target for the enemy. The enemy will target you in order for you to be their vocal instrument. Peter was close to Jesus, and because of this he was a target. We know that the enemy targeted him, when he (Peter) was rebuking Jesus, regarding His death, burial and resurrection. Matthew 16:21-23 says;
“From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”
Jesus knew that Peter was a primary demonic target, and so He did not deal with Peter; rather the originator of this issue, Satan. We too must learn to keep spiritual battles where they belong, in the spirit realm, addressing not the person, but the influencing spirit.
The enemy is constantly applying pressure to those who are primary people in your life, to cause you (not as much them) to be hurt, broken, burdened, angry, fearful, concerned and drawn into their issues.
Their Doors Should Not Access You.
The enemy will often use the disobedience of those in relationship with you (your family and friends) to cause them to be in trouble, with the goal of drawing you into their mess. If you take away anything from this lesson let it be this, “open doors in the lives of others, should not give demonic spirits access to you.” Some Christians have this heroic mentality, in that they rush into everyone’s circumstance without hesitation or direction from the Lord, and then get pummeled by the enemy. You must be wise regarding what issues you get involved in, especially if you are in Christian leadership. You must be lead by the Lord and not be moved by emotions, your own, or others circumstances. Your heart (referring to emotions and feelings) cannot blind you regarding decisions pertaining to others that you have relationships with. The enemy targets the spiritually immature, to draw you into their crisis, thus hitting their true target, you.
Before you indiscriminately jump into someone else’s issues, you must ask yourself a series of questions:
1. Did God show me getting involved?
2. Did this person have counsel previously to avoid this circumstance from happening, but ignored it?
3. Does God want me to get involved? And if so, to what extent?
4. Will getting involved cause me to stop doing or distract me from doing what God has told me to
5. Does this have the possibility to open me up to some sin, such as complaining, murmuring,
backbiting, anger, rage? (The enemy can cause you to become indignant regarding how someone
else is being treated, and what they are going through, thus leading you to sin.)
I want to use a family member that is now deceased as an example here. My family member got involved with drugs. So much so, that they would spend days at a time away from their family, home, and job, at a crack house using drugs. These places are very dangerous, and the enemy will try to torture your mind with what could be happening to your loved ones there. Well, this family member called me once to tell me that unless he paid the drug dealers a certain amount of money they would kill him. Now my heart was aching to help this person, because I loved them, yet I believe the Spirit of God was not giving me liberty to go get involved. I told the person that I would not be coming and to never again call me about something like this. They were not killed. You see, they were not the target, I was. If I had of gone into the enemies territory without God sending me there, then I could have been killed, and the work that I have had the privilege to do for the Lord would have been cut short. I did not let my family members doors give the enemy access to me, and neither should you.
Again, you may be the enemy’s ultimate goal, yet they will use people who are in primary relationships with you, in order to affect you in some way. Sometimes you must say no, I will not be drawn into their issues, especially when you have counseled them previously, warning them not to do something, and they do it anyway. Before you step in there, make sure that you know it is the Lord. In the case of young baby Christians, God may allow you to step in, others may have to face certain consequences. Yet pray God’s will be done with them during these times.
Your Responses May Differ Based On….
The right response is not always the same, and it’s not always easy regarding those you are in relationship with. Elisha’s servant Gehazi had been with him for some time, seeing God’s hand move in a mighty way through him, yet he was a primary target in Elisha’s life. This was due to the fact that Gehazi would not crucify covetousness, lying, greed, etc…. He lied to Naaman regarding his masters desire for a reward, and thus the man of God (his master) by the leading of the Holy Spirit pronounced a judgment upon him. This was not easy for Elisha, who had a relationship with him. II Kings 5:20-27 tells us of this, it says;
“But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.
So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said, Is all well?
And he said, All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets: give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments.
And Naaman said, Be content, take two talents. And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and laid them upon two of his servants; and they bare them before him.
And when he came to the tower, he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house: and he let the men go, and they departed.
But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither.
And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?
The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.”
Gehazi was a target, yet his exposure to great spiritual things should have brought about some level of maturity and reverence for God, the man of God and the things of God. Yet it did not, causing a harsh judgment. In other circumstances responses can be different. Seek the Lord out regarding how to respond in each situation.
Prayer And Warfare.
You must pray for those who are spiritual leaders, as well as their families, for they are often under great mental and physical attacks from the enemy. It is imperative that you not allow demonic spirits to target you, and use you as an instrument against your leaders, or other Christian brothers and sisters. Also, your warfare or help for these people cannot be carnal, for their issues stem from a spiritual source, thus requiring you to have spiritual wisdom to find victory.
By the Holy Spirit through Bishop Tony Owens www.riversofrevival.com
House Of David Ministries Inc., and Tony Owens Ministries Inc, 1(877)35-JESUS or 1(516)792-3465