“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:12-13 (NKJV)
Has anyone wronged you lately, stole from you, disappointed you? Have you felt rejected by people, minimized, criticized? Don’t make them your enemies, they are not. I see at least three lessons in this passage:
Lesson 1 : Who is our enemy?
First, Apostle Paul explains : flesh and blood is not our problem. The devil and his invisible team are our problem. Jesus taught his followers to love those who spitefully use us, to pray for those who mistreat us, or persecute us (Matthew 6). It might not have been clear at that time why Jesus was saying that. Why not just “forget” those people who make our lives miserable? Because they are not the cause of the problem. These verses help us better understand why on the cross Jesus prayed “forgive them for they know not what they do”, notice that Stephen prayed the same prayer for his oppressors when he was being stoned to death (Acts 9). Flesh and blood, people are not the source of our problem, so let’s abandon keeping grudges, hating, or even ignoring people who hurt us.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at the next lesson from this passage : “How do we wrestle our enemy? ”
Lord, you have asked us this rethorical question : “why do you call me Lord, Lord and you do not obey my word? ” Today we are reminded that your command is to love one another the way you loved us. You have explained to us in the word that flesh and blood is not the source of our problem. Let us Lord believe this word and begin to apply it in our lives by exercising forgiveness at every turn. We need your precious Spirit to help us resist the temptation to remember the wrongdoings of others, and to help us love at all cost. We bless you our Father for your provision in Jesus-Christ. Amen.