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Who are you battling?

Categories: Glorifying God

This is obviously a posed picture. My wife battling a jurassic dinosaur in a child’s playground holds no real risk or mortal danger.

Did you read of Jenna Evans of California who dreamt she swallowed her engagement ring while she and her fiancé were being terrorised by villains on a speeding train? She woke to find her diamond band missing from her finger.

An X-ray confirmed her deepest suspicion. She had swallowed her ring in real life too! Lesson? It’s safer to not buy our loved ones rings of any kind. Maybe that’s why the story went viral. Boyfriends and husbands must have been the main sharers of this strange but true story.

More seriously, it’s a fine line between imagined and real enemies. If an imaginary foe in a dream could induce such fear, how much more terror would a real enemy inflict on us?

God himself warns us of our real enemies. He reveals an unseen spiritual warfare in the heavenly places which spares no one. There are three life-and-death lessons from Ephesians 6:10-20 of this unseen but inescapable spiritual warfare which I will share in my next few posts.

Ephesians 6:10 says: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”

Paul the Apostle, the author, enlightens us that our spiritual warfare is not against flesh and blood but against Satan and his allies waging war against God and his people in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:10, 1:20-23, 2:1-3, 4:27).

The first lesson is that we only have one arch enemy in life. He is Satan. When we make enemies of people God gave us to love, we have most likely fallen into the Devil’s trap.

In short, Satan is the master of destroying relationships. In Ephesians, he destroys our most precious relationship with God (2:1-3) and, consequently, with one another – which ranges from racial wars (2:11-12), church wars (4:25-32), marriage and family wars (5:22-6:4) to war at work (6:5-9).
This vicious cycle of wrecking persons and relationships began in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). In one masterstroke of stoking primal insecurity in us by doubting God’s goodness, Satan derailed our relationships with God, one another and creation.

A robust Biblical faith in God would avoid us blaming Satan for everything while not discounting him from anything.

Question: In what ways are you making enemies of people God kindly gave us to love – from a parent who sacrificially raised us, to a spouse who sincerely loves us, to a child who innocently trusts us, to a church friend who has blessed us – and falling into the Devil’s trap?

Confession: We have to realise that left to ourselves, we are masters of making enemies of our friends. Jesus our peacemaker (2:12-22), on the other hand, is the master of making friends of his enemies. Only he can take the warring out of our diseased hearts and bring true peace with God and one another.

Prayer: “Help me O God. I am so sorry for making enemies of the precious people you generously placed along my path to love. Open my spiritual eyes to see I only have one arch enemy, Satan. Save me Jesus. Stop my endless battling with others. Make me an undeserved recipient yet an unthinkable vessel of your reconciling peace. Amen.”

Author: Christopher Chia

Converted at Billy Graham Crusade in 1979 while studying in Sydney, Australia. Former journalist. Repented. Now preaching Good News!