“The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (MSG)
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)
Life with my first husband had me worn down. His physical illness was challenging enough with time consuming doctor visits, medicine regimens and the regular activities of life. Add to that physical illness, a profound mental illness that included multiple suicide attempts and constant turmoil; it was draining and exhausting.
After a particularly feeble suicide attempt, I tried to have him committed, not for his benefit, but so I could have a break. The doctors didn’t see things my way, and released my husband. Ron was mad and upset with me. I was mad at the doctors. Frankly, I was mad at God. On the two-hour drive home from the hospital, Ron slept to ignore me. I silently prayed and cried. I told God exactly how disappointed I was in His behavior. I reminded Him how tired I was. I reminded Him I was looking forward to a couple of quiet, relaxing days with my puppies and no crazy husband at home. I told God, this is a quote, “Thanks! Thanks for nothing!”
After that mental rant, I decided it was time for some music. I thought the car radio, usually tuned to the Christian music station, would offer a diversion to the thoughts swirling in my head. I pushed the button and heard the voice of Tony Evans. He was well into his sermon. I don’t know what his title was that day, I only heard one sentence of his message. As his voice came through my speakers, God spoke to me as Tony shouted, with his usual zeal, “…we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places!”
It took my breath away. I reached over and turned the radio off.
I prayed and cried again, only this time it was a prayer of thanks and the tears of one who is noticed, loved and cared for. From that moment on, I knew the battle was not me-against-Ron. I knew I was not in the fight alone. That moment in my little red car, changed every subsequent moment in my relationship with Ron.
As a believer, you undoubtedly realize you’re in a battle. The question is; do you know who you are fighting? It’s easy to feel your struggle is with the person in front of you, your bad habits, your past, the government, your/the _________ (fill in the blank). You may believe the lie that if some person or situation would change, your life would be a joyful, soft-focused, bliss-fest with no problems. That is not the case.
The people you see, the situations that, strung together, make up your life; those things aren’t the enemy. Your enemy is real. He’s stealthy. He’s a liar. The good news is he’s subject to God’s power. It’s imperative for the believer to understand who the enemy is. Once you know the enemy, his tactics and his weakness, defeating him becomes possible. The enemy of your soul uses subtle lies to keep you; off balance, fighting the wrong battles, denying the truth and at arm’s length from a loving Father who loves you and wants to meet your needs. Discover the truth, that will set you free and lead you into victory!
Father, thank you for the powerful arsenal of truth. I pray You would open my eyes to the source of the struggles I face. Thank You for Your mighty power, love and grace.