…your spouse, boss, competitor, relative, neighbor. May seem like it. If they have skin on, they aren’t. “We wrestle NOT against flesh and blood” (Eph. 6:12). Feels like it when they come against us or stand in our way of happiness or success. They may be used by the devil, but they are not the devil. The real adversary is the prince of darkness, the deceiver, the accuser, the temptor, intimidator. He uses people to do his work. If you fight with them, thinking that they are the reason for your misery, you lose big. We often wrestle against flesh and blood. Sad!. 

We are commanded to love those who make life difficult for us, those who persecute us or come against us. We are never commanded to love Satan. People may act like the devil, but they are not the devil. We fight against “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (12b). If we can thank God that He is using our boss, our neighbor, our spouse to accomplish His purposes in our life, we just won. And we will turn a test into a testimony.  It was Jesus who said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27,28). Wow! Not an easy assignment.

Doing the opposite of our natural response brings the high favor of heaven. It moves us into the realm of the miraculous. When Paul chose to worship when he was unjustly thrown into prison, he knew that his real enemy was not the people who beat him up and put him in a dungeon, and agreement with heaven brought a new church into existence and salvation to an entire family– and beyond. If we obey when it is not our first inclination but our final answer, we are coming powerfully against the forces of darkness and defeating them.

Are you tired of tangling with the people you live with, work with, even worship with? Are you losing more than you are winning? Change your battle strategy. Start loving them and hating the one who is using them for his purposes. Don’t be fooled by his plan. Learn to “stand against the schemes (“methodia”) of the devil” (11). There is a method to his madness. It is to trick you into fighting the wrong enemy so you lose every time.

As Jesus approached the cross, he knew his real enemy: “Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:31,32). So he was able to forgive the soldiers who crucified him and the thieves who railed against him. He even led one of them into paradise, because he wasn’t fighting flesh and blood. Did he win? “He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him” (Col. 2:15). He publicly embarrassed the powers of darkness by fooling them. They thought they were winning. They were dead wrong!

When you love those who feel like your opposition, you are dying to yourself as Jesus died on the cross, and you are fulfilling the admonition of the apostle: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). It is fighting smart and well. Try it next time you feel like swinging at flesh and blood–and win big!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s