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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Who Is The Enemy?

I suppose that all teenagers are not rebellious. Some parents may have their children grow into maturity with a complete understanding of why their parents have given the principles and boundaries these teenagers live under. However, many teenagers think that their parents are the enemy and the world is their friend. This understanding will cause them more grief than than either the parents or the teenagers can imagine.

The church has a number of immature Christians. They act just like teenagers when accepting authority. They rebel because there is something they want. They think that their church leaders are the enemy and the other immature Christians who don't know what's really going on are their friends.

It is normal for those who are immature to rebel against authority. They want to do as they wish. They want to make those who keep them from doing so as evil. Immature people will even make their actions seem noble. They will couch it in spiritual ways if possible and in human compassion when not. 

Amazingly, most people fail to recognize what is going on here. They see this as merely the selfishness of those who are immature. They see their enemy as those whom they can see.

Paul didn't see things this way when he wrote to the Ephesians. He saw that each struggle came against spiritual evil which worked in the physical world. This spiritual evil rebels against God's will. It disrupts the fellowship of God's church. It thwarts the reaching of souls for Christ. It stops the teaching of the Scriptures. It forgets the mission of God's people. It takes away from the glory that should go to God.

Our struggle is not with those people who are disrupting our churches. Our true struggle is against a much more sinister force. This force is working behind the scenes. This evil one is separating God's people. It works in the spiritual areas which are unseen. 

This enemy works to set children against their parents and parents against their children. He works to destroy God's creation. He keeps working relentlessly. He wants us to think that we are the problem when it is him. 

This evil cannot be tolerated. He has declared himself our enemy. An enemy only wants one thing: your defeat. We recognize him and fight in the only way we can. We must go to God in prayer and ask for victory over the devil. He cannot defeat God.

However, we will always be defensive as long as we fail to recognize our enemy. We will fight against others. We will use political, emotional, psychological and other means of subtle coercions to get our way. We will fight each other rather than the evil one(s). We must recognize the worm for who he is and fight him in the spiritual realms. 

Do you have a struggle going on in your church? Now, think about it, who is the real enemy?

Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)
12 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.

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