To My Temporary Enemies
By Gary Amirault
Moving on in the spiritual realm, will often make enemies of those dear to you. This tract was written for those of you who want to let your temporary enemies know that it will all work out in the end.
I say "enemy," but you are not really my enemy. I guess from your point of view I have become an enemy, but you will always be my friend. I also say "temporary" because I know that "love never fails" (1 Cor. 13:8). I am very sorry that our differences of understanding have upset you to the point of shutting me out of your life. Jesus said this would happen as we chose to follow His example.
Our walk with the Lord is a journey. The children of Israel camped at many different sights in their walk through the wilderness. As long as the cloud and pillar of fire was with them, there was life. He was their provision in the midst of a wilderness full of nothing. But when the cloud moved, the children of Israel also had to move. To stay behind meant death.
My friend, my only desire in life is for the provisions from my heavenly Father. I do not desire to eat sand and thirst sitting in a pew in which there is no life. The Word of the Lord has moved and I hear Him calling me to walk on. In each encampment in this wilderness is a lesson I must learn, but once it is learned He will call us to move on. Staying behind will most certainly bring spiritual death. Oh, I'm not talking about losing my salvation. I am talking about losing that abundant Life full of Love, Peace, and Joy. Jesus said, "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." (John 17:3) I must continue to move with Him, grow into Him, abide with Him. I have so much to learn and where you and I have been has been good, but there is so much more.
You have chosen to stay in this camp. You say this place is "Bethel" the House of God. But I seek a city not made with the hands of man, not built on man-made creeds, the same old man-made Sunday rituals, man-made walls and barriers to keep the sheep fenced in. I know that somehow I am to love all mankind-- friends and enemies alike. This camp where you and I have been for a season does not provide the environment for that. I have decided to follow that fire which burns with love for all mankind.
And now, because you have decided to stay, your love for me is turning cold. What we once had in common together, creeds, church leaders and a building, we no longer have in common. I no longer believe everything we once believed together. I hunger for so much more. And I know there is more. But I must leave this camp behind to find it. This camp in which we once had precious fellowship together, has now become the barrier to our friendship. I have become the enemy of this structure and as a result, your enemy.
Your camp will now find fault with me and you will have to follow their lead. I am now one who has been led astray, or deceived by the evil one, or perhaps the rumor says that I was never one of you, for if I had been one of you, I would not have left you. I know how the story goes. I have said the lines myself in the past.
So now the true persecution begins. The most painful of persecution. Those who once said they loved me now speak all manner of evil against me. The Book we once read together, rejoicing in what we found, is now being used to judge me as a heretic, outcast, and one to be rejected. Isn't it amazing how church walls (doctrines), interpretations divide? I now don't believe exactly like our old camp believed and immediately I become despised and rejected.
But I praise God in all this. How can I be conformed to His image unless this comes upon me? Was He not despised and rejected by His own? Your shunning me is actually working to my good. How can I love my enemies unless enemies come against me? How can evil be overcome unless it manifests and is smothered with hot coals of love? Go on and follow your church leaders in speaking evil of me. But I tell you this, I pray the Lord gives me the grace, mercy, and love to overcome this wall between us. "You shall know My disciples by their love for one another," said our Lord and Savior. I plan to make this my battle cry, not hate, backbiting, or slander. I hope to use this time to seek to be conformed to His nature and find ways to overcome the awful ways many church leaders use doctrines to divide the body of Christ.
My heart is broken. This separation has brought many tears to my eyes. But I cannot go back. The cloud and fire have moved on and I seek Life, not ritual, no matter how well orchestrated the rituals may be.
You will eventually move. If you decide to stay there, even then our Maker will bring a different kind of fire to the place and cause you to move ever closer to Him. I pray that it is in my lifetime and not after the grave.
So in closing, I just want to tell you for every evil word you may speak against me, I will pray He gives you mercy. Every cold look you give me, I will cry in my heart that He gives you joy. For every step back into darkness you take, I will pray He will turn on the light of His love in your heart. For every mean thought the evil one may send to your mind against me, I will pray for the peace of His understanding to guard your heart and your mind. He will answer my prayers because they are the desire of His heart. I will use this time of separation between us to learn of more ways to build bridges between us that we may once again have that sweet fellowship that brothers and sisters have in the unity of His body. My dear temporarily estranged friend, our Friend Jesus who will ultimately draw all mankind unto Himself (John 12:32), will draw us back together in His love. I am certain of it. Love, Joy, and Peace to you.