The other night, I REALLY felt like slashing some tires. Not just on one person’s car either-I had a list.
(Don’t report me to the police. I love Jesus so I didn’t actually do it.)
I can’t be the only one who has made a list. I can’t be the only one who has thought,
“Lord, I know you call us to love our enemies, and I’m getting better at loving those who personally wrong me. But Lord! Look at all these people who are hurting those I love! Look at all these people who are leading those close to me astray! Look at all these people who are unjust and cruel!”
We make our list of enemies, and we feel okay about it as Christians as long as we’re not holding grudges against ‘personal’ enemies. We act as if we need to forgive the person who directly snubs us, but we don’t need to forgive and be kind to the girl who breaks our brother’s heart, the person who abuses that animal, the teacher who yells at a sibling.
We act as if it’s okay to despise those who have wronged others, as long as the vendetta is on behalf of another, not ourselves. In reality, we just don’t realize who our enemy truly is.
Ephesians 6 is written in battle language. God is calling his people to go to war, but to war against the correct enemy. Clearly, we need clarification on who we’re supposed to be fighting, so Paul writes in verse 12:
“For our struggle 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 is NOT against flesh and blood. Let that sink in.
When I am filled with rage toward a human that I, through my small and imperfect sense of what is just, have deemed an enemy, I’m fighting the totally wrong battle. I’m fighting in the flesh what I need to be warring against in the spiritual.
Family member walking away from Christ? Pray and show them love.
Someone influencing your loved one into the absolute wrong things? Pray. They’re not the enemy.
Someone hurts an innocent person? They clearly are hurting themselves. The law can take care of their crime-you pray for them and love them.
I’ve had to realize that even the anger I myself feel toward these people is a whole war that needs to be fought. Satan works best when he can convince you your sin is justified, and that’s what he has done in my heart for so long. Instead of having a heart full of rage toward those around me, I need to direct that rage toward the one that wants to destroy the heart that loves God.
Lord, show me the enemy. I’ve battled the wrong one for far too long.
(PC: Healthy Leaders)