Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Sleeping With The Enemy

Thirty nine years ago Charles Robert Jenkins walked into enemy territory in Korea and surrendered to the enemy. He left his squad, his commrades and his country behind. As he testified on 60 Minutes, he was scared to death and just wanted out of that situation. Who could really blame him? His logic was that if he gave himself over to the enemy, they would ship him to Russia and the U.S would deal with Russia to get him home. My question was "what on earth was he thinking?" He was imprisoned, made to study communist teachings for eight hours a day for about seven years. Every aspect of his life was ordered - even sexual intimacy - right down to the frequency, day and time! Talk about sleeping with the enemy! They found his U.S. Army tatoo and cut it out of his flesh with scissors. He was degraded and beaten. He became a shell of a man. Thirty nine years and a few months later he is telling his sad story with regret.

I think there are spiritual paralells to look at here. There is an enemy of all of us. Jesus referred to him as Satan. In the first book of Peter he is referred to as "our adversary". He goes about seeking who he may devour. How many times do Chirstians make deals with our enemy thinking it will turn out nice and rosie? When did it ever occur to us that the enemy wasn't that bad? When did we ever start thinking that the things that God said to stay away from were things we could dabble in? But we do because like Mr. Jenkins, we somehow get in our heads that even though it's the enemy, it'll turn out different for us. People somehow believe that because they stepped into trouble, it's God's obligation to "deal with the devil" and make things turn out right.

When a person puts themselves in the enemy's posession, don't be surprised when your plans for your life don't turn out like you thought.

We should all be reminded of first Peter 5:8 for it begins with a warning. "Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy..." The context of this scripture was set in a church that was enduring some hard times. The writer was saying to "hang tough". He was also telling people to be humble and serve people and stick with the teachings of Jesus.

Like Mr. Jenkins, spiritually speaking, times can be tough. We can get weary doing the right thing all the time. We can get tired of fighting the good fight of faith. We can look at some of the temptations the enemy may present to us and think, "Yeah, I would like that. I need to escape this. It would be a refreshing change for once." Before we know it our refreshing change becomes a nightmare that lasts for years. We're slaves to something that we never wanted or ever thought could keep us tied up for so long. Think of the person you know who married the wrong person, took their first illegal drug, had that one night stand. You fill in the blank, whatever it is, harmless right? No problems on the radar screen right now but sure enough, if we walk across that line into enemy territory, things just might not turn out like we planned. So watch out and be careful the next time you think about "sleeping with the enemy." Just ask Mr. Jenkins. He sure has a story to tell.

1 comment:

reefdweller said...

Oy!...so true, trying to "escape" situations frequently is what drives people. Like the writer asks us to hang tough, or to keep the faith. Patience has been my prayer. I feel that God knows our hearts and will provide,...in his time.