“Every Christian is, in one way or another, involved in the unseen war. There are no bystanders, no spectators. It makes no difference how clearly you perceive the realities of the conflict or if you even believe in the existence of demonic spirits. Whether you participate as a combatant, a captive, or an instrument of the enemy (even an unwitting instrument), be sure of this: You are in it, and the stakes are very high.” Harry R. Jackson, Jr. (The Warrior’s Heart)
Whether you know it or not, if you are a christian or not, you are in a battle. There is no spiritually neutral ground. There are two primary mistakes when it comes to talking and thinking about spiritual things like spiritual warfare—over-emphasis and under-emphasis. Some blame every sin, every conflict, and every problem on the invisible world, on demons that need to be cast out. Car breaks down, it’s a demon. Wifi goes down, it’s the devil. Boss is unhappy with you, it’s a demon. You’re out of coffee… you get my point. Others completely ignore the spiritual world even though the Bible tells us it is real and that there is a battle going on. We have an enemy and he is messing with us sometimes but we are not powerless or victims in it, we don’t need to freak out or be afraid, because God has given us tools and Jesus came to defeat the devil and He did!
So how do we know what is battle and what is life? How do we know when we’re been attacked or just having a bad hair day?
Ephesians 6:12 says For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Our battle isn’t against flesh and blood, the things we can see with our natural eyes, or rather the people we see with our natural eyes because I don’t know about you about many of the times when I’m in a battle behind the scenes the enemy is using people in my world to mess with me.
The battle we see with our eyes is the conflict we’re in at work, or that person that is talking behind your back, or the constant arrrghh going on at home with the kids and hubby. The battle is our fears and feelings that rise up in the midst of those conflicts – the sense of rejection and fear, the feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness.
In this battle the devil loves throws accelerant on the fire. You were dealing with a match sized flame and then boom he throws on a cup of petrol and those thoughts and feelings are raging out of control.
Now in this battle I cant control the reactions of people but I can control my response. I can control my thinking. Sometimes our natural reaction is to go gung ho wham bam thank you mamn but God calls us to submit to God, resist the devil and he must flee. It’s in our surrender first to the ways and will of God that empower us to resist. It’s in our dying to ourselves – our natural reactions – that honour God. It’s in surrendering to God to grow in the situation, to humble ourselves to own our part in things and to become wiser. It’s in letting God have His way in our actions and thoughts.
The heat of the battle refines our hearts and minds and makes us more like Jesus.
“Only you can decide how your fires will affect you. Will you be sanctified or scarred” – Beth Moore
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