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.
Think about the implications of Paul’s statement here. “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood…” In other words, people aren’t the problem. When things are rough in your relationship with your boss or your spouse, resist the urge to point the finger at them! Although they may have wronged you, the root is spiritual forces of evil at work. When things in the economy start to tank, don’t point the finger at our nation's leaders. Although they may have made some bad decisions, it’s ultimately a spiritual problem. In 2 Chronicles 20 an army was coming to attack the people of Israel. Although Israel was being threatened by people, Jehoshaphat learned that the people weren't the problem and addressing the people wasn't the solution. It was a spiritual battle won with spiritual weapons!
We are called to love people, even our human enemies. We must recognize that people’s imperfect actions and our imperfect circumstances are a result of a battle against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. And, the only way to win a spiritual battle is with spiritual weapons, right? So what are those weapons according to Scripture?
- Worship. Worship is the form of prayer we see expressed in 1 Chronicles 20. It released the power of God in their situation resulting in the destruction of their enemy.
- The Word of God. In all the pieces of armor that Paul lists in Ephesians 6, which is the only piece that is meant for offence? “The sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.”
God, forgive us for blaming others for what is really a spiritual problem. When we are wronged and witness people’s negative behavior please keep us from saying, “What’s wrong with them?!” Instead, remind us we’re in a spiritual battle and you’ve equipped us with the necessary weapons to overcome the real enemy. When we experience sickness, when we struggle with finances and when other things hit the fan please help us to realize that these struggles are spiritual. Today we choose to take up our spiritual weapons. We choose to pray and worship. And, we choose to fill our minds and hearts with your word, believing that people and circumstances will change as a result. May revelation of this truth also result many people being freed to extend forgiveness and begin actively loving those who hurt them.