Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Discerning the Enemy

Our enemy is not flesh and blood, but principalities and powers in the spiritual realm.

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 (Eph 6:12).
This is an amazing statement. Most Christians have not grasped the import of these words.

Our enemy is spiritual. If someone is flesh and blood, they are not our enemy. They are on the same side as us.

Some people at Nazareth tried to kill Jesus, but they were not his enemy.
All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way (Luke 4:28-30).
Jesus did not fear them, because he knew the time for his death had not yet come. He did not hate them, because they were not his enemy, just lost flesh and blood needing a saviour.

Although Pontius Pilate had the power to kill him, Jesus did not see him as an enemy. His followers would have fought for Jesus, if he had called them to battle, but he was not interested in fighting against Pilate, because he was not the enemy. Even though he would eventually order his death, Pilate was on the same side as Jesus, because he was he was flesh and blood too. Jesus knew that Pilate could not kill him, unless God allowed it, so he did not fear Pilate. Jesus understood that Pilate was just another human, being used by the real enemy.

The people of Iran are flesh and blood. They are not our enemy. President Ahmadinejad is not the enemy. He is actually on the same side as us. He is also struggling against the principalities and powers. He is not doing very well, because he does not understand Jesus victory on the cross. He is a prisoner of war held by the enemy that we are fighting. He flesh and blood, so he is not the enemy.

Our enemy is not flesh and blood. We cannot fight against them with physical weapons. Assault rifles and machine guns are useless against our enemy, because they are spiritual.

If someone was to drop a bomb on Iran and killed President Ahmadinejad and his mates, the status of the battle would not change. The Prince of Persia would not be touched. He would be just as strong as ever, and might even be strengthened.

If we do not understand who is our true enemy, we can end up fighting the wrong battles.

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