Waging War

waging wartrw

 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

Read: Isaiah 54:1-57:14, Ephesians 6:1-24, Psalm 70:1-5, Proverbs 24:8

Relate: Today Barak Obama addressed the United Nations. According to NBC News

He warned that “dangerous currents” threaten to create a “darker world” in a wide-ranging address to the United Nations General Assembly on Monday. Obama slammed Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad as a “tyrant” and urged the international community to work together to defeat ISIS. “There is no room for accommodating an apocalyptic cult like ISIL,” the president said.

The headline in a far less scrupulous news media outlet used this headline to to reinforce once again to their readers who the “bad guys” are: “ISIS shuts PLAYGROUNDS in Syria because they were being used as a meeting place for single men and women”

I love how they had playgrounds all in caps. ISIS won’t even let little kids play on PLAYGROUNDS! Young parents everywhere are cringing in horror. How can they be so CRUEL? I guess burning people alive and chopping other’s heads off isn’t enough. Now they won’t even let little kids play on PLAYGROUNDS!

I feel like some people might think I am making light of a horrible geopolitical situation. Please don’t think that. I am talking to and passing by people on a daily basis who are victims of the horrible evil that is happening in Syria. I have people on my prayer list who have horror stories far, far more tragic than anything I could ever be able to put into words. I understand, I KNOW, how serious this situation in a way I could never have been able to have imagined a year ago from the comfort of my suburban apartment back in New York.

But with all that said, ISIS is not my enemy. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, their leader and Abubakar Shekau the leader of Boko Haram, although they are responsible for incredibly heinous crimes, are not my enemy.

React: Before you all call me a heretic, read today’s scripture again:

 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

My enemies are systems of greed and apathy that create economic inequality pushing people into desperate situations where they are susceptible to villains like these. My enemies are spiritual mindsets that think that someone’s religion, or someone’s democracy, or someone’s  worldview can be enforced down the barrel of a gun. My enemy is the demonic world and the demonic thoughts that set themselves up in our satellites and airwaves (see also 2 Corinthians 10:4)

What is true on a global scale is also true in our backyard. Our enemy is not that evil boss. Our enemy is not that bully who keeps finding ways to torment our child. Our enemy is not the jerk who cut us off on the highway. God loves that reckless driver, and that bully, and our cruel petty boss, and al-Baghdadi just as much as He loves us. He laid His life down for them on that cross just as much as He did for us. As long as there is still breath in that person’s lungs, they are not my enemy. There is still hope for their redemption and I need to be working and praying for it with all that I am. Anything less is unchristian.

Respond: 

God, give me a love for Your people. Give me a love for *all* of Your people. It is so easy to look at the flesh and blood people who have offended me or who have marred our world and view them as the enemy. Give me the ability to see the world as You see it. Give me the ability to love this world as You love it. Let my heart break with the thing that breaks Yours. And let my actions, thoughts, and words reflect Your heart in me.

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Waging War

  1. An excellent reminder of how as Christians we are to view those who are committing crimes against humanity. We are to love them and pray for their change of heart and redemption.

  2. Yes indeed. My son asked me this morning what Spiritual warfare means. I used this scripture Ephesians 6:12 to explain to him. Our ability to see beyond the ordinary to understand what’s beyond the surface is what distinguishes us as children of God. Not everything we see is to be taken as they seem.
    God help us to major on the majors and not on the minors.

  3. Pingback: Ephesians 6:12 (Waging War) | Following Adonai

  4. Pingback: Ephesians 6:12 (Waging War) | A disciple's study

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