by Pastor Tim Burt
When I was 20 years old, I was playing in a broom ball match that got quite heated. A fight broke out between a couple of guys next to me and before I knew what happened, it seemed like everyone started fighting. As I was turning my head looking around, I instantly saw a punch coming right at me. It hit me in the mouth and almost knocked out my tooth. That unseen punch was called a “sucker punch.”
We’ve all been there! We’ve all be sucker punched! We’ve all been suddenly hit with what we didn’t see coming, that had the potential to knock us out. The enemy of our soul tries to manipulate those kinds of attacks against our life. The Lord knows this and out of His love for us, tries to instruct us how to defend ourselves and then defeat these attacks. Yesterday I wrote about how not to be weak kneed after the first punch, but how to instead instantly gain strength from the Lord before you do anything else. I want to continue from there today.
Then, through the Apostle Paul, God reveals more. He informs us that God has weapons for us to use in this attack. The Bible calls them the weapons of our warfare. Eph. 6:11-12 says, "Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.”
When an attack comes, we are instructed to make sure we have put on our armor – God's spiritual protection for the attacks that come in life. Then He immediately instructs us hold on to the right mind-set – recognizing that the people that seem to be the source of our problem aren’t the problem. He informs us that we are fighting spiritual forces behind the attack.
Think for a moment: If you were being protected by a group of soldiers or policemen, would you want them to freak out at the first shot of a bullet or would you want them to be calm and use the God-given skills to think rationally and protect you?
You have to do the same thing. When you do, you’ve won the first round of the fight.
This is a great truth forgotten on a daily basis. People are not our enemy. If we truly understood that, we would deal with the battles we fight in a completely different way. We would become by default, people of prayer – praying through obstacles and setbacks before we tried to fix or deal with them. We’d fight battles in the Lord’s strength and in a way that glories God – through love and prayer. We’d have faith that He would help us deal with theses problems.
People live in unforgiveness, strife, and division for years and years because of how they initially and poorly dealt with a negative attack. The roots of bitterness grow deep. The hurt and pain is replayed in the mind countless times and the pain of that hurt 15 years later is as fresh as if it happened yesterday. It keeps people from forward progress and blessing in their life.
Putting a target on a person only creates division and strife and draws you into the wells of self-justification. It throws logs on a fire. You know this! Some situations are impossible to fix without making things worse. You need God's help and intervention so that you don't make matters worse! So, again, pause and pray in faith and then respond as the Lord leads you!
The enemy is the enemy of our soul. Our battles are first spiritual. That means we have to learn to put on the weapons of our warfare and at every point of conflict, remember who we are, who are enemy is, and who people are. People are to be the target of God’s love operating though us – even when it seems they are coming against us.
This is why Jesus spoke these words to us in Luke 6:27-36 says, "But if you are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you… Do for others as you would like them to do for you. "Do you think you deserve credit merely for loving those who love you? Even the sinners do that! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, is that so wonderful? Even sinners do that much! .."Love your enemies! Do good to them… Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for He is kind to the unthankful and to those who are wicked. You must be merciful and compassionate, just as your Father is merciful and compassionate."
Conflict, evil reports, negative situations, are real. They do show up in our life, often as a sucker punch. But, the Lord wants you to be strong in HIS might, put your armor, and know that people are not your enemy, the devil and his cohorts are. When you feel those fiery arrows in your life – pause, draw strength, and pray! More tomorrow…
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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