Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611

Lessons For Ladies
This Series was taught by Mrs. James Modlish

Lesson Thirteen

The Enemy Within


Jeremy Glick had been an all-star wrestler and a judo champion. One of six children, on this day he was 31 years old, a loving husband, and the father of a little girl. He was described by his childhood soccer coach as a “tough, hard-nosed kid.” Thirty-two year old Todd Beamer was an only child, a fine husband, and the father of two girls with a third child on the way. Described as a man who was kind and gracious, he so impressed his sixth grade teacher with his integrity that he hired him for his computer business when Todd graduated from high school. Tom Burnett, Jr. was a big guy, carrying 205 pounds on his 6’2” frame. Born premature and sickly, he soon thrived and grew into an avid sportsman, fishing with his father, and earning a place as starting quarterback for his high school team. A born leader, he was successful in business, but deemed his wife and three little girls the joy of his life.

Decorated 19 times in 21 years, Fire captain Terence Hatton had once pulled a woman from a diner that had been leveled by a gas
explosion. He went to Oklahoma City to search for victims after the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Bldg. A confirmed bachelor, he had fallen hard for Beth Petrone five years earlier, and theirs was a love story friends described as movie material. And on that fateful September day, he became something else….a hero. September 11th 2001 was to be the last day on the beat for police officer Captain John Perry. He didn’t fit the typical idea of a policeman. He was an articulate attorney who spoke five languages, performed as an actor and served in the National Guard. On this day he came into the precinct to turn in his retirement papers in order to open his own law practice. Before the sun set that day, he gave his life helping others live and became something else in his death….a hero.

Noah Webster defines a hero as a man of distinguished valor, intrepidity or enterprise in danger. And if you pursue the events in the final hours of these men’s lives, you will find that whether confronting hijackers on a doomed aircraft, running into a raging inferno to find the helpless, or racing down the streets of Manhattan in search of the walking wounded, Jeremy Glick, Todd Beamer, Tom Burnett, Terrance Hatton and John Perry were without a doubt the very essence of the title hero.

Tonight, however, we are not here to relive their stories or even to bestow praise on them, although they are certainly deserving of it. I would like our focus instead to be on what events required them to react with valor and enterprise. Where did we, as a country, fail in our ability to protect our-selves from the enemy within? And beyond that, what kind of spiritual lesson can we learn from this part of our history?

A. Failure to recognize the enemy

It is a well-known fact that all nineteen of the terrorists on the four planes that crashed that day had lived in the United States for some time. They walked among us. They could have been the polite young man sitting next to you with a calm, humble demeanor that belied the fact that he was an expert in setting off timers on plastic bombs. They lived with us, enjoyed the bounty of this country, and we never labeled them as the enemy. Giving the enemy a place to live The 9/11 terrorists lived in our country in such diverse Places as San Diego, CA and in the states of New York, New Jersey, and Florida, often on expired visas and with little or no harassment from our government. Because we are a people of welcoming arms to the oppressed of another nations, evil and hatred effectively hid itself in our land. Feeding the enemy Perhaps the greatest insult in this entire tragedy is that we allowed those who hated us so desperately to be trained by our own people to use our own planes as weapons of murder to kill our own people.

In subsequent investigations it was learned that the men who took over the cockpits of the planes to launch them at the innocent had undergone flight training in Florida, and apparently no one in charge thought it strange that these foreigners only wanted to be trained in flying the plane with no interest in learning how to land it. Now, you may be saying to yourself, “I am aware of all this, and what does it have to do with me today?” Let’s see if we can draw a spiritual comparison between our national enemy and your personal one. Because, whether you recognize it or not, you do have an enemy and he is far worse than those nineteen crazed men of 9/11.

B. Failure to identify the enemy

The Bible in I Peter 5:8 says this: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” When you devour something, you make it disappear! Think about our dinner tonight. I am certain most of you didn’t nibble on it; you devoured it and made it disappear!

Often, we picture Satan as some little guy in a red suit who sits on our shoulder and tempts us to eat that third Krispy Kreme. Unfortunately, ladies, he doesn’t care if you eat the entire dozen, because what he really wants is your soul. It is essential you identify the real enemy in your life.

C. Feeding the enemy

The Bible says in (2 Cor.10:5) – “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God to the pulling down of strong holds.” Who are you feeding?? In ignorance we often provide the enemy with food to survive in our lives. I am reminded of the story my husband often tells of the missionary in a conversation with an old, wise Indian who had trusted Jesus as his Saviour many years before. The Indian described the internal struggle between good and bad this way. “It feels as if there is a big white dog and a big black dog inside of me raging a constant battle.” When asked which one wins, the wise man replied, “The one I feed the most.”

No one in their right mind would consciously supply their mortal enemy with sustenance to enable him to destroy you, but we do it regularly in our spiritual lives.

D. Giving the enemy a place to live

In Eph. 4:26-27 we read: “Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath; neither give place to the devil.”
Satan is so subtle that he can move in before we are aware he is even in the neighborhood!

The enemy had specific targets in mind as their diabolical plan unfolded. The most visible symbols of American prosperity and wealth stood tall and imposing on the Manhattan skyline. And no planning and no architectural engineering could have anticipated the assault that would be coming through the skies that day.

[1]. The Twin Towers were constructed between 1970 and 1977 with architect Minoru Yamasaki directing the design of 1,368 ft. and 1,362 foot structures.
[2]. So vast was the height that the 110 stories on each building covered an area of 64 square miles.

Built around a central core were 224 columns that housed the elevators, mechanical systems and the utilities. As vast and imposing as the WTC was, it is fascinating to note that they were 95% air! Anticipating a plane possibly straying off the flight path, Mr. Yamasaki had designed the towers to withstand the impact of a Boeing 707 in addition to fire and hurricane force winds. What he didn’t envision was a 767 loaded with 10,000 gallons of fuel slamming into his triumph of modern technology. It wasn’t the planes that brought down the buildings; it was the 1300-1400 degree temperatures that weakened the steel and caused the collapse. The prophet Isaiah made a chilling prophesy in chapter 30, verse 25 of his book: “And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers and streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.”

No amount of engineering, no number of genius minds, no calculations of mathematic scholars could have prevented the inevitable. The enemy had destroyed the works of American ingenuity.

Now, we have already established that we have a personal enemy in the devil, and according to God’s Word, he wants to devour us. And in defense, some of you may believe you can mount a fortress against him in the form of your good works, the fact that you are a good, moral person with a certain ticket to heaven. But perhaps we should consult the Word of God on that subject. “But we are all as and unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isa.64:6)

If you are depending on the goodness of your life to guarantee you a place in Heaven, you are more vulnerable than the individuals who occupied the towers or the Pentagon on Sept. 11th. Those structures are much like good works which crumble when confronted with the holiness and righteousness of God. Ephesians 2:8-9 says it best: “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and not that of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” An official testifying before the Commission on 9/11 made this sobering statement: “The devil breathed down our neck that day, and when it was over, we looked into Hell.”

It’s a clear picture and not a pretty one…there we stand vainly attempting to elude our greatest enemy by hiding behind a wall of noble acts, moral behavior and good standing in the community. And he has aimed his darts right at us with utmost certainty that they will bring our righteousness crumbling down around us…and he is right according to God’s Word.

But in the nick of time, in comes our Hero who is ready and entirely able to defeat the vile nemesis and save us. Never has there been one who has acted more bravely, unselfishly or lovingly than Jesus Christ when He willingly gave His life on the cross for the sins of the world and yours in particular. “For thou hast been a shelter for me and a strong tower from the enemy.” Psa. 61:3
God’s plan of salvation for mankind is simple and effective.

[1]. Rom. 3:10 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.”
[2]. Rom. 3:23 “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
[3]. Rom. 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
[4]. Rom. 5:8 “But God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Rom. 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

It is God’s desire that you spend eternity with him, that you not be defeated by the enemy. He sends His message of warning through His holy Word, the Bible; and when we won’t read it, He writes the message across the front page of our newspapers and across the screens of our televisions. Will you heed the warning and find protection in the tower of God’s love and sacrifice?


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