Your spouse offends you with unwholesome words. You’re innocent (as far as you know). Your flesh enraged, you lash back. And before you know it, a full-fledged argument is underway. This is the time to fight! Right?
Your tween-aged daughter gives you that hateful look again, and before you even have a chance to think, sassy words come spewing out of her mouth. No time for this kind of behavior! Your flesh ignited with anger, you raise your voice a bit higher (a.k.a. YELLING), telling her she’d better go to her room…or else. This is the time to fight! Right?
As much as my flesh wants to say, YES! It’s time to FIGHT, deep down in my soul, I know it’s not.
Actually, it IS time to fight. But not with your spouse. Not with your child.
According to Ephesians 6:12, we need to redirect our focus towards the real enemy.
“ 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.”
Our biggest struggles are usually with our family members. Our flesh and blood. Who’s in agreement with me?
But God emphasizes that our struggle shouldn’t be with them. Will we have struggles with them? Yes. Will we have conflict with them? Yes. Will we get frustrated and feel like there’s nothing else we can do? Yes.
But ultimately our struggle is actually a battle between our soul and the enemy. The enemy against all Christ followers. Satan.
We are called to battle on our knees in prayer instead of getting pulled in to mindless yelling matches. This is not easy. I have learned the hard way that being flesh-driven instead of spirit-led causes me much grief and disappointment.
This powerful verse in Ephesians is a reminder to me that God can fight my battles a lot better than I can. When I take my concerns, hurts and offended heart directly to Him, then He takes over and gives me victory. Sometimes I only have a split second to decide how I’ll respond. The times I’ve chosen to walk away and find a quiet place to pray turn out so much better, bringing me peace only He can give. But the times I take things in my own hands and fight in my flesh? Not a pretty picture at all.
The enemy is out to destroy our marriages. Our families. Our close relationships. He won’t back down.
But God is for us. Greater is He that is in us than he that is in this world!
I pray that wherever you have conflict today with that family member or close friend, you’ll be ready to FIGHT!
Not in the flesh. But on your knees.