We live in a world with a lot of… shall we say ‘challenging’ people. And it is so easy to get angry at them. People get into fights all the time, hurtful things are said and done, and both parties sustain damage.
The problem is that we don’t know what the problem is.
Ephesians 6:12 tells us:
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.
Two people who are very dear to me are in the midst of heavy conflict right now. Neither party is faultless and both sides have been deeply wounded. It’s very painful for me to watch. One of my fellow observers made the comment that our loved ones are fighting a spiritual fight, but they are doing battle in the fleshly realm.
Rather than going to the Lord in prayer for the other person and humbly seeking reconciliation and peace, they are rolling up their sleeves and attacking each other. They blame each other for the conflict and each is convinced that the other person is the problem, is the enemy.
As a result, they have lost sight of their true enemy and are actually playing right into his hands. I know this because I do it all the time.
Just the other day I began to grow annoyed with my husband over a very minor issue. Almost immediately, the Holy Spirit not only recalled to my mind the truth that my husband is not the enemy, but also pointed out that my husband wasn’t even the true source of my frustration. I was having a heart issue and trying to find someone to fight with over it.
We don’t want to do our battling in the spiritual realm because everything there is hidden, including the results. We convince ourselves that if we could just get so-and-so to see things clearly, our problem (and theirs, too, in many cases) would be solved. And then we’ll feel so much better. But so often, we aren’t even looking in the right direction.
For example, I could get angry with someone for not listening to me. I can take their choice to disregard my advice as a lack of respect, even an insult. So I start a fight because I have been hurt and want to rectify the situation.
But in this example, that person disregarding my advice is not the problem. The problem is that I am insecure in my identity in Christ and I need them to listen to me because that is where my value comes from.
So what I thought was an issue and picked a fight over, was in fact an arrow pointing to the true heart problem that God wants to deal with. Satan does not want me to know this. So when there’s a chance that I’m about to realize a need for growth in my life, satan will try to distract me by pointing fingers at the other person. Because if I’m so busy battling that person in the flesh, I won’t be able to battle against the powers of darkness.
It is vital that we keep our focus where it belongs. We are in a war and we cannot afford to let our guard down and turn on our fellow soldiers. Do we correct them in love when they’re wrong? Yes. Do we try to help them up when they stumble? Of course. But are we supposed to turn our weapons on them and start firing? Absolutely not! That’s ludicrous. How can we possibly win in battle against the enemy when we are too busy fighting each other?
So my question for you is who are you fighting today? Are you engaged in spiritual warfare, or are you preoccupied with brooding over wounds you sustained in battle against one of your comrades? Or worse, with someone who still needs to be recruited into the Lord’s army? Please take a few minutes to remember who your true enemy is, because I don’t want to see any more of my fellow soldiers wounded by friendly fire.