ďFinally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his
might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand
against the wiles of the devil. 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.Ē
It is always important to keep the whole armor
donned, but in recent weeks, God has been clearly showing me in His word
and through my life experiences that it is especially important for all of
us today as we live the abundant life that He promised usÖ a life that is
truly spirit filled. The above passage from Ephesians (and its close
counterpart in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5) really brings the message home that
He has been showing me with the following key point.
- The reality of the spiritual war that is raging all
around us everyday must be seriously recognized by us all if we are to be
anything but victims and slaves of the rulers of darkness and sin. When
Jesus was here in body, He not only recognized this conflict, but actively
engaged and overcame it and we must do the same everyday or the demonic
influences will overcome us.
Even though these demonic powers and their weapons
operate in a realm that is unseen, they are in fact no less real than the
physical objects that we interact with everyday (i.e. tables, chairs,
etc). Indeed we who are saved believe in the existence of an invisible
God and that everything that we see was made by Him who we can not see.
Just as surely as we believe that, we must also believe that the
principalities, powers, and rulers of darkness also equally exist and are
determined in their efforts to defeat us.
During this time, God has been showing me in my life
how there have been people interacting with me who have said and done
things to forsake or to hurt me deeply. When these things happened, there
immediately welled up inside of me indignation and a desire to lash out in
retaliation at them. But at the same time, the Holy Spirit convicted and
reminded me of Godís command to love people, especially people who
despitefully use and abuse us. It was quite a struggle to not hear and
obey what my flesh was screaming at me but instead to obey that still
small voice that God was whispering to me. But as I heard Him, this is
what He illuminated for me and what I offer to you as this word for today.
When the enemy comes against us, in many cases he
will use situations and actions of other people to come against us, to get
into our heads and to make us modify our behavior to be like him. His
army of demons are very good at using his tactics to get people around us
(particularly people who are spiritually unarmed or who donít take him
seriously) to say or do things to throw us off guard and to get us out of
Godís will and plan for us. These people can often hurt us deeply and
make us want to take retribution.
As we, the saints of God go deeper in our walks with
Him (and especially as new believers are saved and forsake the enemyís
kingdom), the level of these tactics and spiritual attacks will (not
might) most certainly intensify and the fiery darts from the enemy will
barrage us. When we have on the full armor of God and keep our focus on
Him, we will be able stand fast and not be affected by the intense
psychological warfare that is targeted at us. The armor allows us to see
with the eyes of God and recognize that it is not this person who is
troubling us, but indeed a demonic spirit (or spirits) who is literally
using this person to trouble us. And just as the word of God says in
Ephesians 6, we must recognize who the real enemy is with whom we are
contending (spirit, not flesh) and then USE THE WEAPONS AND RESOURCES THAT
GOD HAS PROVISIONED US to overcome that enemy. When we do this, victory
is assured and God says that we are more than conquerors. When we donít
do this, we do not stand a chance and will fall victim every time to the
influences of the demonic powers.
One of the key ways that we fail to be victors in
this spiritual war by not taking it seriously (the enemy loves when we do
this). Another way is when we fail to use any of the authority and
weapons that God has given usÖ when we leave them on the table untouched
(the enemy loves when we do this as well).
Pray for the people who trouble us
During this time, God showed me something very eye-opening about the
people who are used by the enemy to do and speak evil against us. He
showed me that we as His children should actually well up with compassion
for them personally instead of indignation and a desire to hurt them
back. He showed me that He is indeed a zealous God and a protective
Father for His children. When He commands us to not take revenge for evil
because He will repay it, He is very, very serious. He showed me that He
will indeed pour out His furious wrath for each and every act of evil and
sin that anyone commits, especially against His children.
With all of this in mind and the full understanding
of whose children we are, our instant reaction to the people who trouble
us must be to have compassion and to pray for them like Jesus prayed.
When He was being beaten, tortured, spat upon, and denigrated in the worst
way imaginable during His crucifixion, He had compassion for the people
and prayed that the Father would forgive them because they didnít know
what they were doing. Much like we have discussed above, they were being
used by the enemy and they didnít really comprehend whose Son Jesus was.
When Stephen was martyred in Acts 7:60, he also prayed that God would lay
not this sin to the charge of those who were stoning him. We must be
like-minded when people abuse us.
Now, remember above where I just said that God
promises that He will with no doubt punish all sin? When people allow
themselves to be used to trouble us, our prayer should be that they will
come to repentance so that the Father will forgive them of their sins and
let Jesus pay for them on the cross. That those sins would ultimately be laid
to the charge of Jesusí perfect work and that this person will ultimately
not have to pay for what they are doing to a child of the King.
So ultimately, I encourage each of you to recognize
the reality and seriousness of the spiritual war that is raging around us
and ensure you have your full armor donned everyday. Also do not try to
engage in this battle alone but seek help and support from other brothers
and sisters who are strong in the LORDís might. And finally, remember
that we are not fighting against flesh (other people) and that Christ died
so that those same people could be forgiven and saved.
Watchman on the Wall
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© 2010 Gerald L.