Ephesians 6:12 KJV — For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness, in high places.
Do we still not understand? We have a grudge against our brother, sister, friend, parent, child, ex-spouse, et cetera et cetera because we think they are to blame, and there’s no excuse for what they did. They chose to hurt us the way they did, so we have a right to be upset, and our mind is made up.
And we would be wrong. The Bible clearly says, our battle may look like it’s with flesh and blood, it may feel like it’s with flesh and blood, there may be no humanly way to deny the facts saying its flesh and blood we are battling, yet still, we are told this is not the truth.
The Lord said to me, “so you believe this was done to you, for the ninth time, by the same person, and therefore they are absolutely to blame?”
Reluctantly, I admit the truth, I said, “yes, how can they not know what they are doing after repeating it nine times?”
He then asked, “have you never been the cause of someone’s suffering and pain without meaning them harm, and unknowing how you hurt them until much later?”
“I have,” I replied.
Next He asked, “have you ever been told that your actions caused suffering and pain for another and you responded with a roll of your eyes thinking how sensitive they must be, or have you denied their pain altogether believing no one could have possibly took you the way they did, therefore you became the true victim in your own eyes?”
My silence spoke more truth in that moment than any words I could use to answer. Still with head hung low, I said, “wow Lord, how could I be so blind?’ They are no more at fault than I was, yet true hurt and pain had been inflicted.”
We blame each other so quickly and unforgivingly. We won’t even hear their side as we feel we already know. Two sides, both unknowingly deceived by the enemy and ready to never give in. Both are ready to part ways unless the other realizes what they have done and convincingly apologizes.
Neither side has even the slightest understanding of the true plan of the enemy at work here because although scripture spells it out from A to Z as literal as it sounds, we don’t see how we can be used by the enemy at all. And we refuse to believe the enemy is to blame for all the actions and decisions of others either.
The truth, whether we want to believe it or not, is that our enemy has spent thousands of years studying us. A concept we may be able to contemplate but really have no understanding of. He knows how to use us against each other, and he knows exactly how to get an emotional reaction out of us. If we don’t make a conscious effort to be self controlled, especially over how things make us feel, he is happy to control our emotions for us. He is more than happy to tell us how we feel and how we should respond to our feelings.
We are taught from a young age how to control our actions no matter how we feel in order to be socially acceptable. Like not to hit, pinch, bite, or pull someone’s hair because they hurt our feelings. Or, like running to the bathroom when we need, instead of going out in the open like the dogs and other animals do. We are taught to respect authority even when it seems completely unfair. All things that we must learn to be at least socially acceptably self controlled.
We are not taught how to analyze and control our thoughts and emotions, just our actions in spite of our thoughts and emotions.
Thoughts, whether true or not, once emotionally accepted, then become our reality. This is how two people can go through the same experience and perceive the events and the effects of events differently. One may say they were scared to death and will never do that again, while the other says, “I laughed so hard I can’t wait to do it again.”
The word of God tells us. 2 Corinthians 10:5 KJV — Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
This is to say, we have control over what we think. We get to decide what we want to think before the thought takes root in our emotions. Our thoughts don’t have to become our reality unless we either decide to allow them to or choose not to be in control of them at all, thereby giving the enemy control of what reality we will live in.
I often hear people saying, “I can’t control what I think or how it makes me feel.” I, too, am guilty of these statements. God’s word tells me that by repeating these statements, I have repeated the enemy’s lies. God’s word clearly says I am in control of my thoughts if I choose to be, and how I allow myself to feel pertaining to my thoughts.
2 Corinthians 10:2-5 NLT — Well, I am begging you now so that when I come, I won’t have to be bold with those who think we act from human motives. We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.
Although I can not control what others do or say to me, I am in control of how I decide to perceive their actions and words. By consciously deciding my own thoughts about it, I also keep full control over how I’m emotionally affected by it. I’m no longer caught off guard taking offense and reacting.
I know the truth and refuse to be ignorant of the enemies schemes. I know that although someone I love may say or do things that hurt me, I am not truly fighting them. No, my true battle is with the enemy who so deceptively tries to conquer and divide, turning everyone against each other.
Because Father God forewarned me, this was one of the enemies tactics, I chose not to be hurt or offended, and I chose to react with the following Scriptures in mind;
Proverbs 15:1-4 NLT — A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing, but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness. The LORD is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good. Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
Proverbs 21:23 NLT — Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.
Philippians 2:2-5 NLT — Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Colossians 3:13 NLT — Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
When I get hurt by someone, I know that although I felt a sting, I don’t have all the facts. Facts like
- 1. What kind of day have they had?
- 2. What triggered them to inflict pain upon me?
- 3. What trauma from their past might be driving their present emotions?
- 4. What lies might they have been told about me?
- 5. Are they angry or hurting as bad as they are trying to hurt me?
- 6. Did they even mean it the way I took it?
- 7. Did I hear them wrong?
- 8. Did something from my past cause me to be oversensitive?
- 9. Is my mind blowing this out of proportion?
- 10. Do they really mean me harm, or could it be all in jest?
The enemy is counting on me to make a move, react, respond, retaliate, or run. He doesn’t care how I choose to react so long as I react. Reacting is going into the battle blind, without strategy or facts. We can react without conscious thought. If, instead, I choose strategy, I would first gather facts, evidence, guidance, and understanding from wise counsel. Father God knows all the facts and hidden details that I need in order to claim victory over my enemies.
What the enemy didn’t expect was for me to choose not to react at all. He inflicted enough pain to constitute a tsunami of emotions flooding my perceived enemies territory, wiping them out without mercy.
The enemy never guessed I would choose to heed the warnings and wise counsel of God, and by putting on His armor, the enemy could not generate a reaction from me. I knew I was not really fighting the one who hurt me. That person was the disguise the enemy chose, so sure it would trick me into entering the battle unprepared.
We fight not against flesh and blood. Although it looks, feels, and hurts like flesh and blood, it’s really just the enemy trying to take us down!!
James 4:7 KJV — Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Until next time, may God bless you and keep you as you seek Him with your whole heart.