I have really struggled with some relationships. I am taken off guard when someone inflicts emotional pain. I scratch my head over cold hearts. Tend to wounds over hurt feelings. Imagine the worst of someone as if they are the embodiment of evil: plotting, unkind, cruel.
I have asked aloud and of others, “Who is my neighbor? Who is my enemy?” Sometimes it’s hard to tell when an attack comes from a coworker, a stranger, or an old “friend” on Facebook. When callous conflict comes from a relative, a confidant, even a sister in Christ, I wonder are you friend or foe?
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 (NIV)
Today when I wondered about neighbors and enemies, I thought of the faces on each “team” and realized, as I have before, that God loves every one of them. Today, when I considered my list of grievances, I also thought of the list someone may be holding against me. Today, what was different about this inner dialog was that I discovered my enemy is not flesh and blood.
Jesus told Peter, “Get behind me, Satan!” not because his disciple had morphed into the devil. The next time I try to put a face on my opponent, I need to stop and put on the armor of God. The enemy will use anyone to further his cause. Even a Christ follower.
4 responses to “Exodus 37; John 16; Proverbs 13; Ephesians 6”
wow Courtney – thanks for that! I had all of 5 minutes for reading today – your post was perfect for my day today – thank you so much!!!!!
So true. How often I forget that anyone can fall for the lies of the enemy.
Especially convicting when I am as vulnerable (and guilty). This reading has really helped me work through some tough stuff. Thanks for the comments you two.
yes. true. I was just being impressed by something similar… that the enemy will put a very handsome face on a very serious temptation in order to make us fall… if he can only get us to fall… when we take our eyes off the goal (Col.3:2-4), we are highly at risk. Oh Lord, you are able to keep us from stumbling and present us blameless… we are dependent on You.
amy in peru