The enemy (is) at work

Dear friends

Are you or have you been bullied or ostracized in the workplace?

The answer is very likely to be “yes” if you are a Christian.
In fact, it will probably tell you if you are a true Christian or not.
I would even go as far to claim that if you are not ostracized by your unbelieving colleagues, if they don’t find you weird or at least different, you may have compromised your beliefs a lot.

Don’t be offended.

But it’s simply not possible to live in both worlds.

This is not me who came to see this deep wisdom, it was GOD HIMSELF who told us this. And the bible is full of statements and parables and encouragement regarding this matter!

The good new is, at the same time, being shunned and discriminated and disadvantaged at work because you are a Christian is a good thing in a way.
Because if you don’t conform to the world too much, it probably means you are building riches in heaven instead of on earth, HALLELUJAH!!!

And in case you are still unsure why it is common and in my view even lies in the heart of the matter to be “different” than most your colleagues and thus a common target for attacks in the workplace, the explanation for it is really plain and simple:
It is because the enemy is the “prince of this world”, he owns the world so to say, the worldliness of this world is his domain.
And in the workplace is where most of us mingle with the world, with the flesh, with the carnivores… we can shield our private lives and be as holy as we want undisturbed at home, living and interacting with believers only if we choose to do so, but at work, we are exposed to unbelievers and their schemes, anxieties, projections and often manifestations…
We often bring out the worst in others, not because we are doing something wrong, in fact, it is because we are doing so much RIGHT, we are living for GOD and they are not, and this is the root cause of the problem.

If you have encountered any problems at work because you are a Christian, firstly, let me assure you that you are not alone!

If you are currently under attack in the work place, this may or may not be comforting you, but let me tell you that it happened a lot to me since I was born again! I even got fired once after one month for no named reason and the spiritual reason was I had stepped into my calling and my manager hated me, but not so much me but the spirit within me! (I’ve written about it on this blog, you can read the article here). In another team, I was shunned by my colleagues because I didn’t want to talk about sex during our lunch break, didn’t go clubbing with them, didn’t want to play “a game” where we all tell a lie, didn’t want to lie and cover for colleagues who were late or stayed off work when no manager was in and when they were calling to ask who is there, all these things… I tried to stay true to THE ONE I LOVE but this meant that most of my colleagues hated me…

I could go on and on and on with examples… but if you are still reading, I am assuming you know what I mean and you have been there.

So let’s talk about some solutions and help, shall we.

# 1 There is nothing wrong with you!

Please understand this, my friend (or let me remind you if you have already been taught about this by THE HOLY SPIRIT)!
It took me so much time and frustration and energy to understand this:
when we ARE successful spiritually, we will encounter opposition in the world!
There are many very prominent and well-known prototypes of this, the apostles.
They were ALL persecuted, many of them even executed, but ALL of them were shunned, ostracized, ridiculed, rejected and chased away wherever they went.
And it was NOT their fault.
There was NOTHING wrong with them.
The contrary was true:
they had found the TRUE messiah!
HE had chosen them!
They were living with HIM and for HIM – there was much more “RIGHT with them” than there was with all their accusers and condemners.

This was hard for me to get.
Because the world does not want us to understand this deeply.
When we are rejected and in case of a rejection at work, it can mean being sacked and losing your income, we are taught by society that it is our fault and there is something wrong with us and we need to change, need to conform, need to “function properly”.
This is being hammered into our brains, the entire system is built on this (false!!!) belief.
The belief behind it is also called idolatry.
We are being taught that if we don’t adapt, don’t fit in, then we will not have an existence, will not be able to be a part of society and we are being threatened by this danger to be excluded from a very early age. In kindergarden, when we misbehave, we need to sit in the corner for a “time out”, this is where it starts! In school , we will get bad grades from our teachers, mainly and mostly not because we are stupid, but because we fail to obey. The consequence can be that we will be excluded from access to further/higher education because we were not compliant and adapting enough in school.
Same goes later for university, clubs, fraternities, sororities, leadership and elite circles and last but not least certain so called churches where they teach that what the pastor says is more important than what GOD says.

This is what it is all about, friends!
We are being primed (in my line of work, it is called being “groomed”, when a perpetrator is conditioning their victim to tolerate even more and more severe abuse) to be afraid of rejection and exclusion, are being threatened to lose our place in society when we don’t obey, threatened to be excluded from job opportunities and as a consequence of that, at risk to lose our income and then our home and then our physical safety and all our belongings, our friends and family and in the last consequence, our life! The world (or the prince of the world) wants us to be scared and out of fear betray GOD, to deny HIM, to leave HIM.

Friends, let me tell you this first:
The devil is a liar!

And don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we don’t have to obey any rules or laws.

What I am saying though is that we must always remember who OUR FATHER is.

And if what GOD says is being jeopardized and neglected or even obstructed by what your employer is asking of us, we CANNOT do it.
Period.
It is simple when we discuss the example (which is very common) that a boss will only give a promotion to a woman -or oftentimes, she will even be threatened to lose her job unless she sleeps with him.
What is a Christian woman supposed to do in that case?
There is only one answer: she cannot do it.
If she can, she should report him, but in many cases, she will not be believed or won’t be protected and will indeed lose here job.
Same goes in smaller examples.

We cannot compromise what OUR GOD is telling us to do!

Are we going to go to hell to spend eternity there just to keep a job?
When we could have 10000 other jobs in the world?
Who do we think GOD is?
Will HE not provide for us, will HE not be faithful if we are faithful?
Are we going to lie, deny HIM and perhaps even harm others additionally to ourselves, just in order not to be fired or to get the promotion and not lose the sympathy or favor of our boss?

Let’s think about this, dear friends!

I have been in situations, in fact in quite a lot of them, where I had to take this decision.

In one job where I got fired, they asked me to mistreat staff (this is the gist version) and I refused to.
Would I ever have enjoyed working there?
Of course not.
But the even more important question is:
WHAT would I have told THE LORD on judgement day when HE would have asked me why I have caused hurt, injustice and maltreatment to these people.
WHAT would HE have said to me if I had told HIM that I was afraid to lose my job!!!!????
Would HE not at least have said “o ye of little faith” or even “you wicked servant!” or perhaps “why did you deny me?” or even “depart from me, I never knew you!”??
What is 100% clear for me in my life for as long as I will live:
The name of my boss is GOD, YAHWEH, JEHOVA, ADONAI – no matter what the name of my current manager is.
Do everything unto the lord

Colossians 3:23-24
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

I do know that we are supposed to obey our leaders as they are appointed by GOD.

Hebrews 13:17
Obey them that have rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Does this mean we are to obey our bosses “in the marketplace” or in the church, does this refer to our elders and pastors? When we look at the context of the chapter, it does speak about those who speak the word of GOD to us and pray for us, so it is my understanding that this is not speaking of our worldly leaders, who do in my opinion most certainly NOT watch for our souls, but for their pleasure, satisfaction and personal gain almost ALL the time.

But what about the bible saying that all power is ordained by GOD?

Romans 13:1
Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

So does this speak of the powers within a worldly organization?
As in your line manager and then, as a higher power, their manager or the CEO or head of service?
Me, I don’t think so, this is not how I understand this scripture.
Because in the same chapter, Paul also warns us about sin, speaks about the commandments, so for me, that means this has to be seen in the light of the commandments and they must be obeyed rather than obeying worldly rules. It also seems to speak more of our church leaders as it mentions that they are ministers of God to us. Again, this is my understanding and my findings when meditating on these scriptures and on this topic. I am very interested in your views and conclusions, my dear friends?

But let me also mention another one which could be a general instruction from GOD in this area:
When HE said we should render unto Caesar what’s Caesar’s.

Matthew 22:21
21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

Does this mean that we are supposed to do all that is asked of us in the workplace, although it may be against the will of GOD?
Me, I don’t believe so.
But I also don’t believe that GOD wants us to break laws and not pay taxes, which is what the account above was about.

At the same time, I also know that GOD wants us to not conform to the world too much.

Romans 12:2
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Also, knowing GOD, HE wants us to honor our parents and elders and pastors.
And I personally believe to some degree, HE also wants us to be subject to our worldly leaders as in our government and our leaders in the workplace.
For me, this is coming from a perspective of how leadership came about, that GOD created it, too!
GOD (or the priests and prophets) ordained the kings in the old days, so in the old days, there was no separation between church leaders and secular leadership.
But is this still valid?
I believe less and less so… and that is why MY solution is we need to ask HIM for discernment and for directions in this specific case.
What is HE telling us?
Is this the time to complain, get help from within or outside the organization, to report our boss and go through all the trouble that comes with that?
Are we called to use GOD’s power in us to change the situation?
Or is this part of the cross we are carrying, are we supposed to turn the other cheek, to pray for our enemies?
Or should we endure with patience and do our best to reason with them , but not compromise our beliefs and Christian values, even if that means we will be fired?

Only GOD has the answer to every individual situation and challenge.
HE will help us, HE wants us to be faithful to HIM, obey HIS commandments and this gives me the absolute CERTAINTY without a shadow of a doubt that IF I should ever get fired (again) for being true to my beliefs in GOD, HE will not only provide for me in miraculous ways, but HE will also provide a much better job and HE and HE alone decides where I will work and if I am faithful and obedient, HE will lead me to my destination, to my purpose, to the place where I can be effective and bring HIM glory and magnify HIM and win more souls for HIS kingdom.

Don’t get me wrong.
I am not saying it is good to always be bold as a lion!
That’s one advice the bible gives us.
To stay in the metaphoric language of the bible, the other animals we are supposed to copy are wise as serpents and gentle as doves.
All of us have the areas where they are best at.
Mine is “doing the lion” and I can be VERY bold and tell you things in your face which will make you gasp for air.
And I have done that.
But I think the most important aspect of being a Christian, a CHILD of GOD, someone who has a RELATIONSHIP with THE MOST HIGH, someone who can access the throne of GOD, is to have the wisdom to know when to be what – what is asked of us in the specific situation.
Are we supposed to love our enemies and pray for them or to fight and speak up?
I think that is the key.
To ASK GOD for wisdom and understanding and for instructions in that situation.
To be SUBMITTED to HIS will.
Could be HE wants us to submit to our managers even though they are humiliating us – perhaps because HE wants us to learn humility, wants us to even have empathy with our leaders who oftentimes have many “issues”. Perhaps we are even assigned this manager BY GOD so that we can do our best to change them and hopefully even convert them , introduce them to JESUS – or at least sow a seed in their soul?

I believe this is the key message I want to bring across:

If we stay connected to GOD, if we prayerfully ask and listen and then do what HE is telling us, there is nothing we must fear. Regardless of the consequences of our actions, if our actions are instructed by GOD, we will NOT be harmed, we will NOT suffer any lack, even if we get fired!

Friends, let me repeat this: if we are obeying GOD, generally and specifically, if we cultivate our relationship to HIM, learn to hear what HE is saying, obey HIS instructions, we cannot go wrong!

Remember when David asked GOD in 1 Samuel 30 if he should pursue after the Amalekites?
And GOD said HE would overtake them and recover all.
GOD never changes, friends.
HE is still the same GOD yesterday, today and forever.
So this is the first and most important point I want to make and I am following it in this very moment of my life and my career:

Ask GOD for instructions.

The next thought I have is that it is probably all good, GOD is in control and everything is happening because HE wants it to happen, including the attacks at us!

#2 GOD has a plan for us

Nothing in our lives can go wrong if and when we are walking with THE LORD, dear friends.
HE’s got our backs!

Jeremiah 29:11
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Does that mean it will all go smooth all the time?
Not necessarily.
But in the end it will.
It will sometimes look as if there was no plan or as if the plan had gone wrong.
Remember when GOD asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, his only son with Sarah, whom they had waited for for soooo long?
It may not always look like there will be a good end, and what GOD is saying may be scary and might not make sense in this moment.
Do it anyway, my friend.
HIS thoughts are not our thoughts and we have no idea how and why HE has orchestrated our life even before we were born. HE knew us when we were formed in our mother’s womb, and HE ordained us for whatever assignment HE has for our life.

Jeremiah 1:5
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Isn’t that comforting?

We will arrive at our destination, friends!
Not because we navigated so cleverly through a storm at work, not because we were so qualified and skilled to get the job or the promotion. NO, it is because GOD wanted us to get there!

I love this!
I think it can give us perspective and the right attitude to overcome any challenge and either endure or leave, submit or fight, whatever… who is this manager plaguing us?
Who is this man compared to OUR GOD?
What is this moment in our life compared to eternity and even compared to the rest of our life?
Or to speak with David, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine?”

#3 Remember suffering and trials are part of the journey

Although this is not always a true source of comfort, let me remind you that JESUS himself not only died for HIS truth and also was shunned during HIS time of ministry on earth, but HE also prepared us and warned us and foretold that we, too, will be subject to prosecution and harassment and accusations of the world if we follow HIM.
And almost all of the apostles died as martyrs.
Even though most of us don’t live in places where they will be prosecuted by governmental authorities for their faith and we don’t have to fear for our lives because we are practicing and professing Christians, the hate of the world is still upon us, upon the spirit within us, THE HOLY SPIRIT, and we need to prepare for attacks, guard ourselves and also find ways to cope with the fact that we WILL experience hardships and difficulties because of our faith.
The words in the bible are still true.
And JESUS has said it, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to us if unbelievers are attacking and opposing us.

However, as with all obstacles we are facing as children of THE MOST HIGH, we are not alone and HE will never leave us without help and without ways how we can defend ourselves.

Some more helpful ideas / thoughts I have gathered:

#4 Remember who you are in CHRIST and who YOUR FATHER is

We need to put the current events into the right perspective, need not give them more importance than they should have in the great scheme of things, over the course of our lives, what is a job really?
And who could our boss possibly be?
And who are we?
Are we not determined and called to spread the light and the love we have received?
Perhaps that will sometimes mean we will have to be the ones speaking up and guarding those who are more vulnerable than we are – and even if we possibly have to take the beatings for it, that’s nothing that could or should stop us.
Whom shall we fear?
And let’s look at it that way, if there was no light or greatness or truth or righteousness in you, there would be no attacks.
That’s right, the attacks are actually a CONFIRMATION that you have stepped into your calling, that you have reached the place where you will be so effective spiritually that the enemy cannot stand you being there.
See it that way, if you weren’t effectively and victoriously serving GOD, why would the enemy even bother where you are or what you are doing?
Burglars will never come to a poor man’s house, will they?

Psalm 27:1
27 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

#5 Look at the bigger picture, your purpose, your calling, your long term goal

NOTHING can stop you from getting where GOD wants you to get.
HE will make sure you will reach your place, will fulfill your purpose and will be effective in HIM and for HIM.
Sometimes, it is just not your time yet, or you need to be prepared better and gather some more skills along the way.

Let GOD lead.
Walk with HIM.
Let HIM decide what is happening and why the doors are still shut – HE will come through for you!
You can trust HIM.

Sometimes trying too hard to get there on your own will even cause problems.
Remember Sarah and Abraham…? Do I need to say more?

Wait for HIM, let HIM prepare your place.

I know this is easier said than done.
But look at it in a pragmatic way: even the time in the most horrific job can bring you experience on your CV which will put you one step closer to getting your dream job in the next interview.

#6 ask HS to reveal what your assignment is in this situation/place

Other than qualifying you for the next phase and for reaching your next place, it might as well also be that GOD has an assignment for you where you are right now!?!??

Are you supposed to minister to your colleagues there?
Or to demonstrate the love of CHRIST to your psychopath manager?

Are you still there so that you can encourage others who are also struggling but too weak and afflicted to make it through on their own?

Ask THE HOLY SPIRIT what it is you are still doing there and why HE has not removed you from this toxic environment yet, what you need to do so that you can take off from there and move on…?

#7 ask for covering, divine protection, help and guidance,
put on the whole armor of GOD

Ephesians 6:13-17
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth and having on the breastplate of righteousness. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God.

This is so important, friends!
I can literally tell the difference on those days when I forgot to put on the whole armour of GOD.
Not only in the workplace, also just being out and about or just at home, things are going wrong on these days.
This is not a coincidence!
It is because I forgot to wear my PSE!!!
Did not put my spiritual facecovering on and did not spiritually sanitize my hands nor wash them – and BOOM! The enemy was able to get me.

#8 Remember it is not about you, it is about the spirit in you

2 Corinthians 10:4-5
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

The enemy is not our mean manager, it is the spirit which rules them.
Who do you think is in charge in them, in their life, in their thinking?
Well, it is most certainly not GOD, not OUR FATHER.
If GOD was in them, they would never be so cruel, mean, power oriented, posessed with all this fear and all the other crap in them which makes them mistreat you and other people as well… right?

And under most of the cruelties in this world, behind almost very violent action, there is uncertainty, fear, rejection and all sorts of self-worth issues and spiritual emptiness… they are not loved like we are.
They are like toddlers who throw tantrums because they have not learned yet how to get attention from others in a positive way… they have no clue what to do with their lives… do not have the hope in them we have…
This is a big help for me, when I can remember that they are 3 year old orphans and that they will end up in hell if GOD doesn’t help them… it makes it a lot less “big” what they have done to me, regardless of what it was.

#9 The best revenge is success

Imagine your enemies would give it their best shots every day to destroy you, discourage you, dishearten you, discredit you, shun you, accuse you falsely – and you would just carry on, taking one hurdle after the other, walking over every mountain they placed in front of you as if it was nothing.

Can you imagine their faces?
And how worked up they will get when nothing against you works?
Nice one, isn’t it?

Remember, no weapon!

Isaiah 54:17
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.

#10 We were not given the spirit of fear

Like I also said before, there is absolutely nothing for us Christians to be afraid of.
Nothing and no one.
And it is good to know that fear is actually a spirit, an evil spirit to be precise. And GOD gave us power over them and HE also did not implant the spirit of fear in us.
So when we are afraid, every time we are, we can be sure it did not come from GOD.

2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give you the spirit of fear, but if power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

#11 Declare scripture over the situation, over your enemies

Search for inspiring stories where evil adversaries have been overcome.
The bible is full of them!
Inspire and encourage yourself, search for uplifting victory verses and memorize them, hide them in your heart, and you will have them ready to use when you need them, declaring “it is written” was also how JESUS himself defeated satan when he tempted HIM in the wilderness… remember?

#12 The war is not in the flesh

Ephesians 6:12
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

#12 Praise and thanksgiving are powerful weapons

Psalm 22:3
 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

Friends, when GOD lives with you, when HE inhabits what you sing, what you dance for HIM, what could possibly go wrong?
HE will be right there in the fire with you and not one of your hairs will get singed.

#13 Fast and pray and ask your brethren for prayer support

Friends, the last one is so important.
If you’d ask me to name the number one thing I think the enemy is very good at, better than we are, I would say that his kingdom is very well organized

Let me end with an encouraging reminder and advice from our beloved friend and brother, Paul, regardless if you should be lead to fight, expose or leave:

Ephesians 6:10
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the LORD, and in the power of his might.

What is your experience, my dear friend?
Are you being bullied currently because you are a Christian?
Do you think any of these ideas above could help you?
And do you have any additional ideas?
Would love to hear what you think…

I hope and pray that this will inspire, encourage and heal you. And that THE LORD will bless you richly in all areas of your life, thet HE will keep you and shine HIS face upon you, and bring you peace. In JESUS name I pray. AMEN.

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