Christianity is not a spectator sport where you sit in the stands and cheer for your team. Christianity is about being on the playing field and engaging in hand-to-hand combat. It is important that you accurately identify your enemy. You will be tempted to believe your enemies are the people and circumstances you encounter. When this happens your energy is spent fighting the wrong target. This is precisely what your true enemy wants!
You need the wisdom of God’s Spirit found in his word to identify your actual enemy. Otherwise you become like the fool in Proverbs who is clueless about why he is frustrated and struggling.
But the way of the wicked is like total darkness.
They have no idea what they are stumbling over. (Proverbs 4:19)
The world, your flesh and the devil are your true enemies, not the people and circumstances that you typically war against. The world, that is the culture you interact with, is full of thought that is based your enemy’s lies. Your true enemy uses deception so that you will not recognize that you are a captive to seeing life the way Satan wants you to see it! Make sure the things you think and believe and practice are based on Scripture and not deceptive schemes designed to make you miserable.
You must be proactive, taking every thought captive for Christ as Paul urges in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. Do not use the world’s methods of combat, but use the Spirit’s weapons. Here are just three example of just how radically different the Spirit’s idea of combat is from your natural response to problems.
- When you are sinned against, return good for evil. (Romans 12:17-21)
- Love your enemies. (Matthew 5:43-48)
- Consider others more important than yourself. (Philippians 2:3-5)
How do you respond when someone is unkind or hurtful? Is your first thought to return good for evil or to show love to someone who is nasty? When your teenager is disrespectful, is your response tempered by considering them to be more important that your hurt feelings?
Instead of being angry or frustrated with your current list of enemies, replace that list with the real enemies you face. And then engage your true enemies with sword of God’s Spirit. Stop stumbling around in the darkness!