Will The Real Enemy Please Stand Up?
Prior to explaining to us in detail in Ephesians 6 what our “combat gear” needs to be when dealing with the devil’s schemes, the Apostle Paul attempts to instruct us where to point our weapons and at whom. The problem for many Christians is we are a little slow to get Paul’s drift. Possibly even resistant. Granted we are at play in a very material world, and because this is so and the physical world is so present with us, for our sake and that of others we must begin to take it to heart when Paul instructs us that “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.”
It’s so natural to want to blame or lash out at who we see in front of us and to assign the blame to others for the scars, pain and misfortunes they have played a part in causing us. Note the emphasis on the wording, played a part, as in accomplices whether by their design or not.It is painfully difficult to make a distinction as to where the source of our misery originates. As much as we would like to take the direct route and blame our Mom’s and Dad’s and significant others who for a time were on the playing field of our lives . . . and who may have been instruments Satan craftily used to create havoc in our lives, (potentially lasting even until now), Paul tries to direct our focus to the source, the diabolical initiator of our pain, shame, dis-ease, low self-esteem and insecurity. He wants us to see the enemy for who he really is.
What I am saying is in no way is intended to minimize the damage we suffer at the hands of others used as Satan’s accomplices. My motive is for us to look beyond the “weapon” to see who ultimately is wielding it, and for us to consider whether we are able, even willing, to see deeper with new eyes of compassion, and look for where the roots of discord, destruction and evil originate. It’s too easy as we look at how some of the mess and hurt has impacted our lives and made us who we are, crippled or not, to only point to mistakes made by parents, peers and people of influence and direct our hostility towards them. Instead, to maintain sanity and align our hearts with God’s, we must begin to direct our hostility towards the biblically identified target, Satan, and not at our folks or others.
It isn’t them we should be angry with, it’s the evil one who is bent on our destruction and will use whatever means are available to accomplish his goals to steal, kill and destroy us. He is a murderer! He is the one who worked through your parents and others to try to cripple or destroy you. You want to know why your folks (and others) did some of the things they did? Go and take a hard look at what happened to them when they were kids and what they were exposed to. Simply stated, hurt people hurt people. Damaged people damage others. Let’s not get mad at Grandma and Grandpa either. If you trace all of that garbage back to its ultimate source, who do you finally end up with? That’s right! Direct your anger at him and aim your compassion at those who are visible. That’s biblical. Think About It.