エペソ 6:12 私たちの格闘は血肉に対するものではなく、主権、力、この暗やみの世界の支配者たち、また、天にいるもろもろの悪霊に対するものです。

As often as we are reminded of this, we still tend to forget it. We are physical beings and so tend to fixate on physical things, forgetting that we are also spiritual beings, and even that there is a spiritual world. That is dangerous from two standpoints. First, we fail to recognize traps and attacks for what they are, and second, we tend to focus on other people as our enemies. Both can be disastrous! Lots of people in mental hospitals are there because of spiritual attacks that they had no idea how to stand against, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Some teachers downplay the idea of spiritual attacks because there are indeed a few people who use this as a cover for irresponsibility. They rightly say that we shouldn't give the devil more credit than he's due. However, incessant spiritual warfare was the rule in the early Church, and it is the rule today. Christians are called to submit to God and resist the devil. (James 4:7) Claiming that is not so, is in clear violation of Scripture and lays a burden of guilt on earnest believers that God doesn't intend for them to carry. The other side of the problem is in fixating on people as our enemies. People are indeed used by our common enemy, the devil, but that means they are to be pitied, not hated. That can be difficult when we encounter individuals like Bin Laden and Hitler, but it is true none the less. However, such “super baddies” aren't the biggest problem. We get into the most trouble when we fixate on that co-worker, or even that church member, as our enemy. That gives the devil his biggest pleasure. We must not give him that satisfaction!


I couldn't begin to claim that I'm not in the middle of a fierce battle, or that I haven't slipped up at times in both of the areas I've just outlined. However, I need to remember, and teach, that life in Christ isn't just a battle, it's also resting in Him, sometimes at the very same time! Our rest comes from submission to God, and that is also our strongest fortress in battle. Choosing to rest in Christ is often the wisest course when we recognize an attack. I need to remember, and teach, that God allows nothing in our lives that He can't use for good, if we will submit it to him. The key comes in the submission!


Father, I'm used to spiritual warfare and it comes as no surprise, but my heart aches for the believers who don't yet know how to stand. Help me strengthen and encourage them, giving no foothold to the devil through either bitterness or false guilt. I have not known how to stand on behalf of those who were under attack in the past, and I still have no wisdom of my own in that area. I ask You to open my eyes and my heart and guide me in standing in the gap (Ezekiel 22:30) on behalf of the sheep You have given me, so that together we may be strong in Christ, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


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