~ Matthew 5:43-48 ~
~ Ephesians 6:10-20 ~
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.12 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.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
'The world' is to be behind us, so to speak, where we can protect them against the spiritual forces...but they don't want us there. While fighting for them, they damn us and cast us out of 'their world' and so we end up fighting both them and Satan. But we have to be stronger than that. We have to remember who we're fighting against and who we are fighting for.
All those men and women, and possibly even children, who hate you because of your faith, are part of 'the world' Jesus died for; 'the world' God loves. Though they hate you and curse you, God loves them - even if they hate Him. God wants them back in His care, just as He wanted you and I back. We were His enemy once, too...and we were LOVED into His kingdom. It's time to pass it forward (all the mercy, grace, love, forgiveness, healing, peace and freedom) - by 'battling' God's way.
Jesus tells us to love our enemies; to pray for them. (But that's not Satan, of course. :) ) I know that's not easy, because we're still governed by the flesh in many emotional situations, especially when we're wronged in some way, but our emotional response doesn't change what we're called to do. We're called to 'fight the good fight', 'love one another', 'love our enemies', pray for everyone, and stand our ground, God's ground, against Satan and his cronies.
It's a spiritual battle we're in. We're to fight in a realm unseen - using love for the world, and using prayer and faith to win each battle. Most of us (and, yes, I've been there and will probably need reminding to get out of there again some day soon) have been grounded in our fight. We've taken to fighting the world, to damning our human enemy, to cursing those who curse us. We've pulled ourselves out of God's fight and joined in fighting for the other side, rather than fighting on Jesus' team. We've taken to battling on the earth, rather than staying in the heavenly realms where the real fight is taking place. This, in turn, keeps many from reaching God, as they cry out, "They call themselves Christians? Pfft! Where's the love! Hypocrites!!!"'
I can't imagine God being happy with that, can you? We enjoy our eternal life while we hiss and curse at those that p' us off, keeping them from God's love? Hmmm... Gotta rethink that one, ay.
When you join an army, you follow the leader. You do what the Commander tells you to do. You are a team, working to defend, protect, or set free, and you go where you're told to go, and you're told when to fire and when not to fire, and so on. And so it is with those of us who follow Christ. He is our Commander, therefore we must battle the way He tells us to.
"But I [Jesus] say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you..."
Who is protecting the world? Who is praying for the world? Who is leading the world through this spiritual battle to the safety, truth and love of Jesus Christ? If we don't love our enemy enough to pray for their salvation, then perhaps we love Him enough to do this for Him, yes?
Your enemy can become your greatest friend at the foot of Jesus' cross.
It's Satan we're up against...and it's time to stand our ground against him. It's time to love the world, and it's time to pray...
<3 <3 <3