Spoiler alert…Going a little deeper today, my friends.
Ephesians 6:12 King James Version (KJV) –
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
For years when I would read this scripture I would assign it to topics far and removed from my reality. (It’s always seemed a little deep and dramatic to me, to be honest). Lately, however, I have really begun to sense the reality of this truth in my daily life.
Do you ever feel like you tend to meet the same types of people? Same brokenness? Similar personalities? Repeated situations? Same arguments? Do you sometimes feel overly weak and unable to face these challenges?
This, my friends, is often referred to as a familiar spirit.
Homework time. Get out a piece of paper, or your journal, and start to reflect on what those similarities are. What are your greatest weaknesses? What do you feel unable to grow through? Do you tend to find yourself in the same sort of relationships over and over? Sometimes, the enemy attacks us in our weak spots – especially when we are already struggling.
And other times, God is allowing us to walk a familiar road in order to reveal to us those things He is wanting to heal, or free us from, with the sole purpose of strengthening and growing us.
I have a deep need to love others well. As a recovering co-dependent, it’s especially painful for me when someone feels I have been intentionally unkind or have made the decision to be dishonest. Being a peacekeeper, and having been emotionally abused, I will shut down and feel very small when someone is angry at me – most notably when I am not given the latitude to be heard, believed, or when the other person dominates the conversation, leaving no margin for authentic dialogue.
And yet, instead of recognizing it for what it is – a battle in the spirit – I strive…”If only I had explained better…been more gentle or more clear…if I could just do it right, it would be okay…”
All the while, my peace is gone, my focus no longer on what I have been called to, and I become completely obsessed with my own shortcomings.
If this sounds foreign to you – congratulations!! You get to pray for the rest of us (we should always use our freedom to set others free!). And, if this sounds a bit familiar, be encouraged that it is not you, but rather a ploy to set you on the wrong path. Don’t be discouraged, or blame the other person, but rather fight where the root is – at the spirit that comes against you.
Personal shame, doubt, blame, insecurity, and fear must bow to the name of Jesus. Don’t allow those things which do not belong to you, control you for one minute longer.
We do NOT battle against our brothers and sisters…love your neighbor, fight the darkness…
Lord, help me to release those things which do not belong to me, giving them to you to judge as unworthy of Your child. Help me to see all things through spiritual eyes, taking no offense to the decisions or words of others, but taking captive every thought, and bringing them under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. Enable me to love well, not only others, but myself – recognizing that I am a beloved child of the King and worthy of the life you have prepared for me.
In Jesus name, Amen.