It’s with disgruntled reluctance that I say congratulations to Tom Brady and the rest of the New England Patriots for their victory in Super Bowl XLIX. As a Miami Dolphins fan, it really irks me to see Brady hoist the Lombardi trophy for the fourth time; him standing there with his smug grin, super model wife, and UGG shoes.

I don’t think I’m alone in those feelings. I think outside the New England area, people are tired of seeing the Patriots succeed. I think many people were not so much pulling for Seattle as they were rooting against the Pats. It’s not unlike the Miami Heat with LeBron James. Even though they won only two championships, it seems fans nationally wanted them to lose all the time, and all other teams raised their game when going up against Miami.

That’s what happens when you elevate yourself to a level of greatness.

This dynamic is especially true in our spiritual lives. It’s been my experience there’s no greater hater than Satan himself. And when you start elevating your relationship with Jesus, the enemy works overtime to try and bring you down.

Hater

I am so fortunate to have a perspective of how far I’ve come in my faith journey, and I can’t fathom gong back to the life I was living just six short years ago. Although I had belief in God, I was not living in Him. I was not fostering a relationship with my Lord, surrendering my troubles to Him and acting out of faith. Instead, I was living like a blind man, unable to see what God was showing me and unwilling to listen to His calling. I was distracted by the worldly things Satan put in my life on a daily basis. I was the proverbial seed that fell on rocky ground.

But I was able to get right with God and turn my life around. And since that moment, I’ve grown in my faith, made more time for His Word, and have seen great things happen in my life. Through my church, I’ve been baptized as an adult, given back to our community, traveled on a mission trip, and even preached in front of our congregation. I’ve definitely elevated my faith and my life to heights I’d never previously experienced.

…and then the hater of all haters showed up.

I recently had an experienced that shook me to my core. It rattled me, enraged me, and made me want to lash out at the world. It was the result of the enemy’s tactics, manipulating someone to cause others great pain. Six years ago I would have lashed out. I would have overreacted, most likely with rage and violence. But this journey I am on, a walk I share with Jesus Christ, has been a training of sorts. Every sermon I’ve listened to, both at church and via podcast, prepared me for that moment. Every reading plan in my Bible app prepared me for that moment. Every moment of prayer, both alone and with others, prepared me for that moment. In that moment, grace and wisdom prevailed.

Satan hates its when I focus on God and surrender myself to Him. Satan hates it when I work to be a reflection of God’s love to others. Satan can’t stand the fact that I have what he used to have; God’s love and a place in Heaven. So he does whatever he can whenever he can and through whomever he can to get to me and pull me down. And the stronger I grow in God, the harder Satan works to hinder me. As a Christ follower, I am called to invite others through my words and actions into God’s light, and that’s bad for business for the supreme of all haters.

Fact

I never would have guessed it’s such a blessing to be hated.

“See how numerous are my enemies and how fiercely they hate me!” – Psalm 25:19

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9 thoughts on “Haters Gonna Hate

  1. I couldn’t agree more. One week I feel my strongest in my relationship with God and then Satan throws something in my way to deter me from the path I’m supposed to be on or blinds me from seeing how far I’ve come on this journey in the first place. It’s only because He’s scared of us, and He should be. He should be very, very afraid of us, the power of God within us, and the things God is going to do in and through us. Keep petrifying him with your gifts 🙂

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Karsen. The fact you can recognize when the enemy is trying to derail you shows how far you’ve come in your faith journey, and how well prepared you at to deal with those situations.

      And keep writing. Your words ring true and your posts are amazing.

  2. Great post, Gil. I like the sports analogy. That game was one of the best ever and many of us were actually rooting for both quarterbacks, for their talent (and for Russell’s boldness in his faith). You are right about satan…he’s always on the prowl, and like coffeeandcandles wrote, he should be “very, very afraid of us, the power of God within us.” I no longer capitalize the first letter of satan’s name. I don’t want to edify him in any way because he’s going down. The Bible tells us so. Isn’t this faith walk the most amazing experience in the world? I can see your passion when you write about Jesus!

    1. Thank you, CJ. Yes, walking in faith is so very exciting and amazing. Even though we’re not promised 24/7 happiness, we are promised His protection and grace, and that is enough to get me through the tough times that used to pull me down.

      Thank you for your continued support.

  3. What an awesome testimony and words of wisdom. You are right saying that satan is a hater of all creation. Just as WordsasWorship wrote, I too do not capitalize the first letter of satan’s name. He’s a loser! We are told in the Scriptures to resist him, and it takes the help and wisdom of the Holy Spirit and everything in us to win the battle. We can walk the walk of faith knowing we have this wonderful hope of eternal life and living with the Lord of Glory, Jesus, in the future and in the here and now.

    1. Thank you, Jane.

      One of my favorite versus is James 4:7. “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” It reminds me that we’re empowered by God and have authority over the enemy. Like a super hero with super powers, when Christ lives in our heart, we can command satan (lower-case ‘s’) to leave us alone.

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