Do you ever forget what battle you are fighting? I think that I get so angry, so self-righteous, so indignant, so flame-throwing, nail-spitting mad, that I just close my eyes and throw fists every which way I can muster, hitting innocent victims, and only accomplishing more self-hatred.
Oh my, I’m fighting hard. I’m fighting the people I love the most. I’m fighting those who are trying their hardest to help me. I’m fighting against my own body. I’m even fighting God who loves me more than I can ever imagine. I’m blindly lashing out because I am spitting’ mad.
And by golly, I sure feel like I have all the reasons in the world to be mad. So in indignation, I spit in the face of anyone who challenges me for lashing out.
But in my anger, I am having a free-for-all flow of aggression. I have no aim, no real enemy. Thus, everyone who is actually for me becomes the enemy. I become the enemy. God becomes the enemy. But the real enemy remains totally unchallenged, and I imagine that he is doing a little victory dance as I blindly let my fists fly at my most cherished allies.
Why is it so easy to forget?
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [all the people who love you and care about you, your own body], but against rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12, additional comments my own).
I gravitate toward the softer, sweeter ideas about God and the spiritual world. I fail to consider the reality of evil, darkness, and dun-dun-dun….Satan. No one wants to hear about that guy. I certainly don’t. Why don’t we? It doesn’t feel good. We can’t comprehend evil. The nature of the unseen realm is that we….wait for it….can’t see it. We can’t see it, and we can’t wrap our brains around it. So it must not be there, right?
But wait….why does it feel like I am being hit from all sides? Why does all of this fighting feel for naught? Why does evidence show that prayer actually is effective, powerful, and meaningful? And why in the world is the Bible (you know, God’s own Spirit-breathed, life-giving word) so hyper-focused on these ideas of Spiritual battle? Why do I feel like a warrior if I’m not actually created to fight a real, bonafide enemy? (Hint: I’m pretty sure my enemy is not other people, my own body, my family, or the medical world).
Maybe I’m the only one who has fallen for this sugar-coated, palatable, white-washed Christianity. Maybe I’m the only one who has started cringing at any mention of “forces of evil,” “weapons of the enemy,” and any scripture that refers to life as warfare. So if I am writing only to myself, it is still worth it. I’ve got some major lessons to learn. Everyone else can just read along and eves-drop on my internal conversation if you would like. But based on some conversations that I have had, I get the feeling that I’m not alone.
I need to start fighting the real enemy again, using the weapons that I have been gifted with from the Father of Lights, who gives wonderful gifts to His children. He, who has filled us with perfect love that casts out all fear (1 John 4:18), has called us to go forth into battle with our eyes wide open. And the great thing is that we have a complete set of armor to wear into battle. (Ephesians 6: 14-17). We are fully equipped, empowered by the Spirit of God, with the Son of God at the right hand of the father interceding for us.
But I’ve got to stop fighting the non-enemies. As long as I am fighting aimlessly, I will always be defeated. And as long as I forget who is my real enemy, I will keep fighting aimlessly.
So today, I draw the line in the sand (this may be like my 35th line in the sand–Good thing God is so patient and long-suffering): I will put on the armor: truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and the word of God. I will allow the Spirit of God to open my eyes, and I will fight the real enemy.
I don’t know what the outcome will be. There’s no guarantee that it will result in physical healing, the absence of mental illness, complete resolution of trauma, or the absence of suffering in life. It will result, however, in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). And honestly, I don’t think that I could ask for a better life than one filled with all of those gifts.
So watch out, Satan. I’m no longer turning a blind eye.