Why Knowing Your Enemy Matters

Knowing Your Enemy Matters

By: Susan Deborah Schiller

I was scared, depressed, and ready to give up. Middle of the night interrogations, gaslighting, and more made my home like a prisoner of war camp. No one saw what was happening, for it was all behind the doors of a "successful ministry" led by a popular evangelist, my abuser.

During that time I had a series of dreams that showed me how to escape to freedom. Not just safety, but freedom. It began with seeing my enemy in his truest form. The real enemy works behind the scenes, using people as puppets. My dream served to paint his portrait, and that changed my perspective!

As an observer, I hike with the youth group of my church through a thick forest. The youth pastor is held hostage by a spindly-armed man with a shotgun. The old man barks orders in a gravely voice, each word filled with hatred and revenge. His body is so withered it's a wonder he can keep up with this group of healthy teenagers.

I watch as he raises his shotgun to prove his point. I yell to the youth pastor to duck. "He's just a weak old man – all of you can easily knock him down and disarm him!" She replies, "No, if I don't do as he says we'll all be shot."

The man, when he hears my voice challenging the youth group to rise up, seeks to maintain control and he shoots the pastor in the head. She falls, to my dismay. The rest of the kids begin to cooperate with him, doing everything he commands.

I woke up and recorded the dream in my journal. How we perceive God, ourselves, and the enemy is critical, for what we believe and speak is what becomes our reality.

Ever since, I have used the picture of the spindly, withered man as my "portrait of the devil". Even more important, however, is to see our enemy through God's eyes.

 He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets. – Colossians 2

"Sham authority" is exposed. There is public exposure.

Contrary to Scripture, what do we do with predators in our midst? If you've read my story, you know that it's the same as every other survivor of sociopathic abuse: We were told, "Give them more grace. More love. More patience."

I love mercy and grace. I believe in loving the untouchables – the ones everyone else gives up on. But with this one difference – you cannot treat a pathological person as you would everyone else. They are "children of the devil" and Jesus modeled EXPOSURE and calling them out for who they really are.

John the Baptist did the same, calling the pretentious religious leaders "snakes" and "white-washed tombs" and "children of lies".

We know them by their fruit (Matthew 7)… rape, murder, lies, and spiritual deception.

They bear the image of their father, the devil. And this is his portrait:

  • He is weak and powerless. So he lies, bullies and intimidates with clever deceptions. He will threaten to hurt people you and follow through on his threats.
  • He is impotent, so he plays on your emotions, draining you dry. His only power is fueled by your emotions, especially fear.
  • He is separated from God, so he tries to set himself up to be worshiped and praised. He loves the calling of "pastor" and "counselor" and "doctor".
  • He lies, twists the truth, causes confusion, and blames you for the consequences.
  • He pretends to be one of us – like a wolf dressed in sheep's skin. Can you imagine how many sheep are kills with just one wolf in the pen?
  • One out of every 25 people in our communities is a sociopath, and the percentage is even higher in our churches, for that is the very place they love to congregate!

What should be our response when we realize we have been duped, conned, charmed, and groomed for abuse?

Go public!  Expose their dark deeds!

Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. — Ephesians 5

Silence abuses the abused!

Silence is Evil's accomplice.

It's going to take all of us. 

We must go public. We dare not hide behind phrases like "just have more grace". "Look at his great anointing and all the miracles he's doing – just give him more grace – we need him!" We need you to tell your story.

Imagine what the world would be like today if we took Jesus at his word and just did as he did? What if you take what Jesus says is your inheritance as God's child:

  • Peace that passes all understanding,
  • Provision in every problem,
  • Wwo mercies for every woe,
  • And the guarantee of His presence with you all the time, everywhere you go?

What if you take those promises as your current reality? What would your life begin to look like? We defeat our enemy by knowing him for what he really is: a thief, liar, and murderer.

Likewise, we must remember who we are, as God's beloved child, sharing the same inheritance as His beloved son, Jesus Christ. And Jesus was not afraid to go public in exposing the sham leaders.

Are you afraid to write your story, to go public? I hope the words of Marvia Davidson encourage you today as much as she encourages me, in her story at "What It Took to Find Me in the Freedom Place". 

My Full Story     What I Believe    Contact Me

With all my love,


Susan Schiller knows how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and businesses, and more. Susan's upcoming, interactive memoir, "On the Way Home," tells the story of how she came to be known as "the most abused woman" her counselors had yet met and how she learned to navigate to freedom and fullness.  
Today Susan helps people write their life stories, unearthing the treasures of their past and sowing them into their future, creating new family legacies.

Copyright © 2010 to 2015 Team Family Online, All rights reserved.   For reprint permission or for any private or commercial use, in any form of media, please contact Susan Schiller

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Susan Schiller March 18, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Marsha always has the right word at the right time…



There are plenty of reasons for you to see your life as less than perfect or even very bleak, but I want you to realize that your pilgrimage in the world is temporary.  You have heard the phrase "hope springs eternal", and I want to assure you that I have given you the ability to rise up in hope regardless of your circumstances.  But, you must choose to trust Me and have faith in My ability to bring you through every difficulty.  Position yourself to be an overcomer and believe in Me more than you believe your hardships, says the Lord.  I am with you in all things.  

Psalms 31:24 Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD.


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