“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.” Ephesians 6:12
How about a challenge for us as we enter this Monday? Something we can sink our teeth into a little. Are we up to it? I think we are :)
The challenge is this: as we begin a new week in a world that is not our home, that we don't act so much as if it is. This week we will remember that our spouse that just doesn't seem to get us even after all this time isn't our enemy. Our stubborn child isn't. That friend that keeps asking for our advice and doing the exact opposite and driving us bananas isn't. The boss that we can't seem to find common ground with isn't. That person at church that maybe we just had another run in with that left us feeling on edge is not the enemy. The one that walks into where we work with a less than gracious attitude isn't.
Our real enemy, satan the liar, can get us so distracted with all his sneaky handiwork that we take back the reins we let go of before. We then find ourselves praying that God would just get a hold of them, change them, and remove 'the thorn' in our side. (Not that sometimes a person can't be a thorn - a relationship certainly can. But either way this applies)
Let us make a pact with one another today: To not let the real enemy, that prowls around like a roaring lion seeking who he can destroy (1 Peter 5:8), to not let him control our emotions, and shape how we view the world around us.
This week, knowing full well we may fail miserably at moments (grace will fill those spaces), lets vow to pray for our response to those that are like fingernails on chalkboard. Let's pray and ask God to help us. To help us see them as God does. To remember our shortcomings (quite often don't we get angry with someone because we see ourselves, truth be told?), and that God loves us in spite of them and He asks us to reflect that behavior.
Let's decide that we will keep in mind over the next few days that their own journeys may be very very painful right now, and what we may be seeing are results of deep insecurity and hurt, or from whatever their empty spaces are longing for. And don't our own empty spaces make us behave horribly sometimes? Yes, yes they do.
Lets ask God to show us the planks in our own eyes that keep us frustrated - frustrated enough so much at times that we hone in like beacons on the things they do that we allow to make us crazy, sometimes even exaggerating those actions out of proportion.
And if we know this person, lets determine ourselves to find at least two things positive about them - and mean it. And here comes the biggie - lets find a way to share it with them.
I know, I know. But we can do it. I think its what we are called to do in His love.
The truth is that if we can't find those things we simply aren't looking hard enough... So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them" Genesis 1:27
We battle a realm we don't want to get drug down into. And that's what we do when we let our feelings and emotions beat us, and we begin listening to the goading and lies of the real enemy. We get drug down to satan's level.
I'm tired of looking around and suddenly finding myself there.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
May God be glorified is us this week!
I would love to hear back about how this week goes for you :)
Joyful on the Journey