I was reminded today how our struggle isn’t against flesh and blood. Even though I know, or knew this, it is amazing how easy it is to get distracted and start thinking someone, other than the enemy, is our problem especially if it is someone you love.
In Ephesians 6 we discover our real fight is “against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” While this may sound strange to some it is true throughout the scripture. We are told in chapter 2 of Ephesians before we were born again we all walked according to “the prince of the power of the air…the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.” In other words, we all have had our time of being manipulated by the enemy.
It’s no wonder the 11th chapter of 2 Corinthians tells us “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness…” So it’s not only those that blatantly do us wrong it is even those that come across as being from God. It’s no wonder we are told to be “sober and alert” because we are dealing with an enemy whom Jesus himself called “the Father of lies.” That means he is an expert at it!
Let’s look at a few more verses in Ephesians 6 and see just exactly how we are told to fight this wiley enemy? Interestingly enough we are not told to fight back at all but rather to stand. In fact when we have done all we know to stand we stand some more. Stand? I don’t know about you but that doesn’t sound like very smart battle plans or does it? You see we are told to stand in the armor of God which is then described as the truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith and salvation. Hmmm? This sounds like it’s describing Jesus Christ to me. Oh, we are being told to stand in Christ! That’s it! We are to fight the enemy by standing in who we really are, our true identity in Christ. How does this look in real life you may ask? Well let’s see if I can help.
The Bible tells us the enemy, Satan, has many names or titles he is known by and one of them is “The Accuser of the Brethren.” When someone is constantly accusing you of something, whether it is true or not, it’s a safe bet it isn’t God. You see the enemy works through people just as Christ does and sometimes even well intention-ed people. I’ll use the relationship between my wife and I as an example. Back in my B.C. days, or before Christ for those that didn’t catch that, I wasn’t such a “good” guy, if you will. This combined with many other things led to us getting divorced. Since then I have been born again and we have remarried. God now dwells inside both of us and we don’t bring up past behaviors as weapons to use against each other. In fact if there are thoughts or accusations that come into my head I know right away they aren’t from God but you know who.
When a spouse or friend continuously rehashes the past and can’t seem to get over it, it means one thing. The enemy is working. He loves nothing more than to break up couples and families over things that can’t be fixed. When I say, “can’t be fixed” what I mean is the past is as good as it is ever going to be. Christ can heal any damage from lies or betrayal but it only comes from walking in who you really are and then letting others do the same. Just as we believe the Holy Spirit in us has transformed us we must start trusting him, and give him the room, to do the same in others. When the enemy attacks with lies about you stand in the truth. We get into trouble when we start believing we are what we used to be rather than being a new creature in Christ. So the way we fight is by standing in Christ, our real identity, and not being drawn out into a battle over some false accusation that is an attempt to get us to think we are someone other than who the Bible teaches us we are.