My Beloved Enemy
You are not really my enemies at all . . . in reality you are some of the best friends I have. You who have lied about me, and about this work, who have tried to destroy people's faith and confidence in me, who have spread false and damaging rumors about my life and teachings . . . . through your efforts there has been a work of grace wrought in this heart of mine that could never have happened without you.
My friends have been many, and loyal, and faithful to stand with me in many hours of trial and need. They have been strength to my weakness, added joy to my heart in time of sorrow, and have girded up my faith amidst raging doubts. They have brought me before the throne of grace innumerable times in their seasons of prayer. I could not have continued long in this spiritual conflict without these wonderful friends.
But, believe me, I speak in sincerity and truth, there can be no perfection in the lives of God's elect without the chastising work of a real enemy. For when a bitter vicious person begins to do all they can to destroy me and my work for God and the animals, then there is a work done that brings out all the wrong and evil attitudes and spirits that lie hidden and deeply rooted in my heart. When a friend extols all my good virtues and praises me from their heart of true friendship, I feel nothing but love for them. But, when I hear of an enemy who has unjustly brought shame upon me, there rises up a spirit of defending myself, and a spirit of "righteous indignation" to refute the enemy. It is then that the precious Holy Spirit does His office work and reveals to me the wrongness of my own spirit. I see in me then, the things I did not know were there before. With repenting and sorrow of heart I cry to God, and He delivers me from that which I have seen in my life. It was hidden, lying dormant, until you, my beloved enemy brought it to light with your crucifying process. The prophets of old would never have had the glory of being stoned for the Word of God - and no martyr's crowns could ever have been won by the early Christians without real enemies.
You see, I cannot crucify myself, and friends will not do it. So it takes you, my enemy, to bring me to the cross. And to the cross I must come, if ever I am to come to the glory of perfection. But I have much progress yet to make before coming to the image of my lovely Jesus. There is so much I must yet learn. And, my enemy, you are teaching me. I have learned that the road to glory is by way of the cross. Without you I would not have found the way. Some had to crucify my Jesus. Not his friends, not his disciples, and He could not do it Himself. So Satan and the princes of the world stirred up hatred in the hearts of His enemies, and the work was done. Had they known that they were bringing Him into His glory, and bringing about the salvation of lost mankind, they would not have done it. And I'm sure that if you knew the good your efforts are working out in my life, you would not want to help me so much. But the work is being done, and I have learned to love you because of it. "Love thy enemies," He said, and I wondered how I could do it. But you have taught me. For because of you I have grown in God, increased in His Grace, and partaken of His divine nature.
Also because of you many have been turned away and refused to hear the truths imparted unto this vessel. Their ears have been filled with lies, and no doubt have thought that "no good thing could possible come from such a one." But even here I have seen the hand of God. For those who have had ears to hear the voice of the Spirit have not believed the lies you have told them, and they have opened their hearts to the truth. Thus, God has weeded out the chaff from the wheat, and is in the process of separating His own unto Himself. All thing are working together.
So, my friends, for in reality I have no enemies in flesh and blood, your work has been sharp and cutting, and many times I was hurt and wounded deeply. But out of these trying experiences I have come forth a better Christian, and further on my way to being an overcomer. I doubt that you will receive any rewards for your lies and your efforts to destroy me, for "Woe unto them through whom these offences come." But I want you to know that though your loss may be great in the day of judgment, I love you and appreciate the ministry you have had in perfecting this life of mine.
Still In His Grip,
Lana F. Hollenback