It was a Wednesday evening. I was sat at a friend’s dinner table breaking the Bread of life and also scoffing down sweet treats (a girl can multi-task 🙂 ). The topic was spiritual warfare (definitely needed some cakes to lighten the load) and we came to this common verse in Ephesians 6:12. God knows how many times I’ve read that verse but that evening, someone read it in a different version and it clicked like no man’s business!
“Our fight is not against people on earth but against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness, against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world.” Ephesians 6:12 (Easy to Read Version)
The standard King James version would read ‘flesh and blood’ instead of ‘people.’ I guess using direct and simple language (‘people’) really demystified the whole thing for me or maybe it was because I was reading that verse against a backdrop of ongoing conflict with someone in my life (I wasn’t at fault, if you’re wondering 🙂 )
Anyway, reading that verse in a different version really pulled back the curtain for me to see that fighting back and rolling the mud with people wasn’t going to solve anything. I’m not in any way excusing people’s bad behaviour, which should be called out in love; but as a Christian, I need to take a two-dimensional view of every conflict I come against.
There is the physical manifestation of a person’s rudeness/hatred and there is the spiritual dimension of the devil trying to manipulate a situation to steal your joy and create a stronghold of bitterness.
I look back at some tough situations I’ve been in and I realise now, with spiritual hindsight, that the devil was behind the scenes like a Machiavellian Villain (think Lady Macbeth), a master puppeteer pulling everyone’s strings and directing a well orchestrated concert of evil and chaos. Yes, people spoke terrible things to me and persecuted me but it wasn’t all them. They didn’t realise it but they were empty gloves the devil gladly filled and wrecked havoc with.
The devil works like a Machiavellian Villain; a master puppeteer pulling everyone’s strings and directing a well orchestrated concert of chaos.Tweet
So, if you’re going to win this year, learn to hear the devil behind people’s insults. Learn to see the devil’s intentions behind the chaos brewing in your home/job/relationships. That offence is Satan’s bait to keep you trapped in bitterness and unnecessary angst. Disrobe that conflict with your spouse/manager and you’ll most likely see a devil hiding behind it, fermenting trouble.
It’s not surprising that our world is heading on a collision course – White Christians v Black Christians; Evangelicals v Pentecostals; Biden supporters v Trump supporters; Pro-Vaccine v Anti-Vaxxers. If only people would get this point and stop aiming their keyboards at each other, maybe we’ll finally have a chance at dispelling the fog of hate and fear and see our way clear to the light of civil disagreement.
So my friends, as we press further into 2021, please remember: you’re not wrestling against people. You’re wrestling against an arch enemy who will use people to cause strife and pain. But guess what, the game is up! We know the emperor has no clothes because ‘greater is He who lives in us than he who lives in the world’ (1John 4:4).
Please hear me well. I’m NOT claiming that everything bad that happens to us is necessarily caused by the devil (sometimes people are just annoying!). However, in every conflict/annoyance/argument/difficulty, I implore you to see beyond the offending party and ask, ‘what else might be going on here?’ You just might see that the argument is a Trojan horse for the devil’s mission creep into your life and then you’ll know to nip it in the bud ASAP!
Dammy x 🙂
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