By: Rae Lynn DeAngelis
“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.” (Ephesians 6:12)
When you and I signed up to follow Jesus, we also signed up for infantry.
Because we are living in a war zone.
As soldiers for Christ we are called to clothe ourselves with the full armor of God. We are also called to take our stand against the devil’s schemes and remember that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers and spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Unfortunately, during times of intense combat, we can become confused and mistake our true opponent for our very own. The military has a term for this; it’s called “friendly fire”.
Before we even realize it fiery darts project from our hearts and inflict lethal wounds on our comrades. Words spew forth like venom and leave lasting scars on our relationships. Misunderstandings and lack of communication create a great divide between us and the ones we love. And as if that’s not enough, festering wounds from past injuries incite negative thought patterns that infect us like poisonous toxins.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
Our true enemy (Satan) is very good at cloaking his identity. He hides behind a mask that looks an awful lot like our spouse, co-worker, or friend. We are like pawns in his game of deception. Missiles flying back and forth eventually hit their target, but rarely inflict damage on the one who is responsible for it all. During the crossfire, our enemy sits back and revels in the knowledge that he has, once again, turned our hearts against each other. Then, after the conflict, while we’re waiting for the smoke to clear, the real adversary escapes without a scratch.
It’s time that we identify the real enemy in battle and save our deadliest weaponry for him alone. Recognizing our adversary, before we aim and shoot, will help us minimize the risk of fallen comrades getting injured by friendly fire.
“With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Ephesians 6:18b)
We are not in this fight alone. The Lord goes before us and drives out the real enemy. Our job is to armor up, stand firm, pray for all the saints, and be strong in the Lord’s mighty power.
“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.” (Proverbs 21:31)