One of the biggest keys to living a life devoted to Christ is to have a clear picture of who our enemy is. You can’t live a victorious life if you don’t know who it is you need to defeat. While it is easy to think of the phrase “life is a battle” as being simply a romantic analogy, it is actually a fundamental truth of Christianity. We are engaged in battle twenty-four hours a day as we seek to live passionately for our Savior.
First, let’s make it clear who your enemy is not. Anything made up of flesh and blood is not your enemy. People are never the enemy. How could we possibly perceive any human being to be our enemy when Christ told us to love every one? Therefore, I submit that it is not possible to love your enemy because if you consider another human to be your enemy, then you do not love that person. I think what Jesus meant when He said to “love your enemy” in Luke chapter 6, was to have no enemies. It is consistent with scripture when we see that Christ did not treat those who would kill Him as His enemies. He knew who was behind their actions as evidenced by His requesting the Father to forgive the people killing Him because “they did not know what they were doing” (Luke 23:33-34). We first need to make the shift in our hearts of transforming our enemies into friends so that we can love them; we need to always see others as Jesus saw them. Satan loves to distract us and to shift our focus onto other humans. We blame other people for our mistakes or our circumstances. We cannot do this and love those same people, which is why we cannot consider anyone to be our enemies while at the same time say that we are followers of Christ. Jesus did not treat humans as enemies; He treated them as friends.
No, our battle is not against flesh and blood, but rather against spiritual forces. Yes, demons really do exist, and yes they can and do impact your life. Perhaps this is where the old “the devil made me do it” excuse came from. The devil cannot make you do anything; he or his demons can put the temptations in place to make you consider doing something, but only we – as creatures gifted with freewill – actually can choose to act on that choice. As a holiday season is upon us, perhaps it needs to be said that Santa Claus is not the enemy of Christmas, but rather it is the spirit of greed and selfishness. The Easter Bunny is not the enemy of Easter, but rather the spirit of denying the resurrection of Christ. Other nationalities are not our enemy throughout the year, but rather the spirit of pride, hate and covetousness. Demonic forces are persistently trying to shift our focus away from the good things of Christ and onto the ruinous things of self. Christ died to not only bring forgiveness for our sins but in doing so He defeated Satan and his demonic forces. He gives us the power to do the same. The good news is that the end of the story is already written and Christ, along with those who profess Him as Lord, will be victorious in the spiritual realm. While we are still on earth, however, the battle rages on.
Don’t mistake who it is that we are fighting. Don’t allow Satan to shift your focus onto the wonders of creation as being your enemy. Our fight is always against the spiritual realm, against Satan. We wage war against those forces by making Jesus the Lord of our life, doing those things he modeled for us and in so doing demonstrate His love to all of His creation. Be careful not to get caught up in actions or arguments that only advance a flesh and blood agenda. Engage only in those things that advance the Kingdom agenda. Love God and all of His creation and demonstrate that love in tangible ways every day that you have breath.