You may think you know exactly who your enemy is. Your enemy is your unhappy spouse. Your enemy is your stubborn teenager. Your enemy is your ungrateful boss. Your enemy is your friend who said something you don’t like. Your enemy is the economy or the job market. Your enemy is your sickness. In short, you may think life is your enemy. You think you know who you enemy is.
Christianity is about hand-to-hand combat. It is important that you identify exactly whom it is that you are fighting! You are likely to believe the enemy is the people and circumstances you encounter. When this happens your energy is spent fighting the wrong target!
You need God’s wisdom 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
Humans are born at war with God. Ephesians 2:1-3 tells us that the world is filled with people who, while dead in their sin, are very much alive to the leadership of the evil one. Then there is matter of your flesh. If you read the list of sins, found in Galatians 5:19-22, you see the ugly sins that your flesh is prone to engage.
The world, the 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 not based upon God’s truth. Paul says your true enemy uses deception to the point you where might not even 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 empty, deceptive thoughts.
You must also be proactive. You must be on the offensive, 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 three example of just how 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
These three examples offer a radically different offensive strategy. 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!