Thursday, July 24, 2014

Spirtual Warfare - Ephesians 6:12

I LOVE this verse!
Oh! I have used it and used it and used it, in my own struggles and in ministering to others.

I have learned that I am much better able to deal with difficult people when I remember that my battle is not against THEM, but against Satan working in them! It is easier to blame circumstances on Satan than to blame Satan when someone acts all crazy. Why? Because of my OWN sinful nature. (ouch) It is MY sinful nature that wants to set someone straight, get revenge, tell them what I think, and retaliate. It is MY sinful nature that finds joy and satisfaction in letting everyone know "What goes around comes around," and "You make your bed, you lie in it," and "You reap what you sow". Satan gets a 2 for 1 deal when he can make someone treat me poorly and then can in turn make me retaliate in kind.

Oh my goodness. What a mess.

When we remember that our enemy is not the person who has wronged us, but Satan, a few things happen:
  • we trust God to take care of the situation
  • we take away Satan's opportunity to cause US to sin,
  • we protect and preserve our witness,
  • we show the love of Christ to the person who wronged us. 
  • we grow spiritually
  • our integrity remains intact
  • Satan's grip on us is loosened
I've learned that this is a huge part of understanding "In your anger, do not sin."

So if "that" person is not your enemy, then who is? Satan of course. I will let you do your own research on how Satan works. There are a few earlier posts here about it...
Satan is truly the craftiest of all God's creation. His methods have not changed since the Garden of Eden. As we discussed in an earlier post, he has no real power so he relies on deceit to keep you in bondage. Let's look at how this applies specifically to today's discussion before we part ways...
That obsessive feeling you get when someone wrongs want revenge, you want to make them hurt the same way they hurt you, you wait expectantly for God to strike them, etc. ... all this is from Satan. Satan uses this to keep you angry, keep you hurting, keep you focused on the one who wronged you because as long as he can keep you focused on your anger and your pain, he knows that you will not seek God for healing. Satan knows that only God can heal wounded people. If you "just can't get over it", then Satan is having his way with you.
God can heal wounded people, but Satan deceives us into believing that we are better off being wounded. Satan keeps multitudes of people in bondage by simply deceiving them into believing that they cannot forgive someone who has done wrong to them. If you believe this lie, then you are in bondage to Satan. Any reason that comes to mind for NOT forgiving someone is from Satan.
How do I know? Because Jesus says forgive.
I am not in anyway saying that anyone should subject themselves to abuse. There are people in my own life who I have forgiven for hurting me... but will never allow them to be close enough to me to ever hurt me again. This has nothing to do with forgiveness....its just being smart. 
As we move forward and look at the armor God has given us to fight Satan, please take a moment to make sure that Satan does not already have you in bondage because of unforgiveness.
Remember, We aren't battling people. We are battling Satan. And those people who hurt you....they are battling Satan too.
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