(2 Corinthians 10:1-3)
Here is a reminder to all Christians, especially when they are under attack and feel everything is just too much. When you reach that point where you think you can’t go on, you need to remember that we are at war.
The war of the spirit must be fought by the spirit
The war we are fighting is not against the people of this world, but is a spiritual war. We are contending against a spiritual enemy whose whole purpose is to try and tear us away from the Lord Jesus and His salvation.
Those who choose to follow Christ have not chosen an easy path. Christians are put down, ridiculed, presented as pariahs, and treated as if they are of no account. Christian views are stomped on by those who oppose the Lord Jesus Christ, and yet they believe they are in the right to do so. However, if a Christian were to dare stand up for himself or herself, we are falsely accused of all manner of evil. That is why we must always remember this is not a worldly war and we should ask ourselves the question…
Who is the Real Enemy?
To put it bluntly, the real enemy is Satan, the devil, the opposer of all that is good and the accuser of all who follow Jesus Christ.
When we are being falsely accused, as indicated in the paragraphs above, it is not the people saying the words who are making these accusations. It is the devil who is behind those people, putting words into their mouths and pulling the strings as an evil puppet-master. He is the one responsible for ALL of the attacks that are made on the people of God.
As Christians, when we know and understand this, it becomes quite liberating because we see with new eyes. We see that the falsehoods and lies, the persecutions and accusations brought against us, and the arguments meant to tear us down are not human motivated, but are motivated by the evil spirits.
As a consequence we are able to overlook the people attacking us and see the real enemy for who he is. The devil who tries to remain hidden and who uses subtlety when he lies according to his own evil nature is manipulating people to do his will. And why not? He is the master manipulator who pushes people’s buttons to make them act contrary to sound judgement.
So as Christians we are able to forgive and have compassion on the people who attack us. They are simply being used by the devil to try and tear us down.
This is why Jesus counselled us to pray for our enemies in Matthew 5:43-45
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:43-45)
When we understand that the real enemy is not the person attacking us but rather is the devil, then we can pray for the person. And many times the Lord has turned around the hearts and minds of His opponents and they have become Christians. Just look at the Apostle Paul who violently persecuted the early Christian church, and yet became one of the greatest teachers and preachers of the truth of the gospel.
War on the Flesh
Now we need to also understand that there is another war going on which the devil will use against us. It is one thing to use other people against us, but the devil is also a master at using ourselves against ourself.
He will plant seeds of doubt in our minds to try to destroy our faith. He will attack us with our weaknesses by tempting us over and over again on the things that can bring us down and makes us fall. Consider the alcoholic who is continually tempted to go back on the booze. Or a drug addict whose former friends turn up unexpectedly with a stash. Or the chronic gambler who has to pass stores that sell lottery tickets and betting agencies that seem to pop up everywhere, and now are so easy to access through cellular and mobile phones.
It is the devil who orchestrates all of these things and more by causing the passions of our flesh to flare up and lead us astray. He wants us to be out of control so he can toss us about and wreak havoc with our minds, emotions and our faith. He wants to rip us apart so that we will forgo good judgement and reject the faith we have in Jesus Christ.
That is why Paul reminds us, and we MUST remember that we are at war, not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
A Spiritual War
This is a spiritual war and if we are to win it, we need to learn how to fight with and in the Spirit.
The Lord has not left us without the ability to fight and wage this war. Ultimately it is a war of good versus evil, and in order to win this war we have been given weapons that are spiritual by nature. We cannot fight this war by using worldly weapons. The war in the spiritual realm is not fought using guns, knives, explosives and the like. There are different weapons that we must use.
In my next post we will look at the weapons of this warfare in greater detail, and we will learn how to employ these weapons so that we can fight and win.
Of most importance right now though, is to understand that even though we are in this war and fighting this war, it is not our war. This war has been going on since the beginning when Satan was first identified as evil and cast out of the presence of God. From the beginning of the creation of the world, the devil has had it in for man, as we saw when he caused the fall of man in the temptation of Adam and Eve.
This war has been raging for a long, long time. We must remember that in order to fight this war in the spirit, we need to use the power of the Spirit to overcome. God has not left us helpless but has provided for us so that we can learn to fight the good fight. So in my next post we will look at how we can defend ourselves against the devil and win by using the many weapons that God has given us to be able to fight a spiritual war.