12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. - Ephesians 6:12-13
As we spend one last day in this verse, I’m caught again by the point that Paul is trying to make in the first verse - our enemy is not people. Our battle is not with flesh and blood, but we treat them like the are, don’t we? I know this truth when I sit here and study His Word, but when I get out into the world, I quickly forget. As I engage with people throughout my day, I get pulled into the trap of thinking that people are my enemy because I see people and interact with them. Don’t get sidetracked by difficult people - they are not the enemy.
We will use hateful words to tear somebody down, or passive aggressive attempts on Facebook to call someone out, we will remove difficult people from our lives, or try to turn others against them - all in the name of feeling superior. We do this because it is the people in our lives who bring us harm. We see them, we hear them, so we lash out at them when we’ve been hurt. But Paul is reminding us in these verses that it isn’t people we are in battle with, we are fighting the spiritual forces that control those people. And every time we walk away from a relationship, every time we say hurtful words, every time we tell other people about our conflict in a way intended to hurt someone, we let the enemy win. He is sneaky, my friends. Be aware of how he is attacking the people in your life.
In recent weeks, I have suddenly found myself in conflict with someone I care deeply about. I’ve tried to bring some challenging things up to this person, and it’s created a wedge between us. The conflict escalated much quicker than it should have, assumptions were made, and a wall was quickly built. Her response actually surprised me because my heart is so genuine for this person. It’s breaking my heart, and I find myself thinking and praying about her often.
Throughout this battle, I’ve been think about her as a person, and wondering what I’ve done that caused such a negative response out of a person I’ve spent years loving and supporting. I need to remind myself that I am not wrestling with her, the battle is against the spiritual forces in this world, not her. We’ve enjoyed a Godly relationship for years, and I know the enemy would like nothing more than to destroy our relationship and isolate us from one another. He’s helped me to see this truth in our verse this week, and it’s settling to my heart. It’s still hard to recognize that a conflict exists between us, but it’s shifted the focus of my prayers about her. I know the enemy is on attack in our relationship, but I also know how to stand firm and put on the full armor of God. The enemy will not win.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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