Armor of God [week1]

My __________ is not my real enemy.

You can fill in the blank with your own relational difficulty and find truth in that you only have one real enemy and that is the Devil himself.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. ~Ephesians 6:12

Our real enemy is the one who deceives, masquerades as light, manipulates and gets us off track emotionally, mentally, physically in order to derail us spiritually.  

The Devil is a Liar. Always has been.  Always will be.

According to Genesis 3, there is one basic lie that the enemy tells us over and over again.

"Did God really say?"

If you think about it, everything goes back to that one lie with the intent of causing us to question God's intent for us, who He is and who He has created us to be... sons and daughter in His image.  

I had a real live encounter earlier this year that reminded me of this very idea.  I was seeking to restore a relationship that had been disrupted with misunderstanding, imagined intentions and insecurity... The brokenness of the relationship had gone on for a solid month before I knew there was a rift-make that a chasm- between myself and the person that I love. 

I went to this person with love and humility and sought forgiveness.  I also wanted to understand what I had done to upset them so much so that they would not speak to me or tell me how I had offended them.  

Prior to the conversation, I had been clueless.  However during the course of that one month, the offense had been so inflated in the other persons mind and heart, anger giving way to resentment, bitterness and malice. While I was unaffected by all of this until I became aware of my injury toward them, they had allowed the enemy to consume their every waking and sleeping moment to the degree that their physical health was at risk.  

Bitterness Blames.

The words, "I am sorry that I offended you, it was not my intention and I had no idea that you were upset with me." were barely out of my mouth when the verbal attack from my loved one came.  When I tell you that I have never experience an encounter like this, I mean to tell you that it was as if I were hearing and seeing something other than my loved one. 

The moment was vile, venomous and visual.  Distorted was this loved one's countenance.  While I was looking at flesh and blood, that is not what I was encountering. This was an onslaught of Spiritual Warfare.  The difficulty lying in the fact that this was, indeed, my flesh and blood, but my struggle was not with them in the natural.  The wrestling match in the heavenly places had manifested in the natural world and this was not a pretty moment. 

Standing on the Word of God to love, seek restoration and right relationship was not mutual that day.  To this day, my loved one has not said another word about the encounter.  It seems to be that while I had offended them and was expected to humble myself and apologize, they are unwilling to do the same.  The implied rational is no wrong was done on their part, only mine... another deception they choose to believe.

I came away from the encounter knowing that I had just done battle in the heavenly places. While I felt God was honored by my intention toward humility, love and restoration of relationship, I was also completely undone, heartbroken and devastated.  Had my loved one ever truly loved me? Have I always been a distraction, a disappointment, a hinderance? 

In this heartbroken state of torrential emotion that was not easily abated for days, my biggest FEAR, rooted from my childhood, became clear...

Am I Loved? Cared for? Wanted?

I also realized that bitterness runs deep and long and wide in my family tree and now I am faced with a daily pursuit to not allow this destructiveness to continue in my own family.

Warfare.  The Battle is Real.

If you are a Christ Follower, you have, will or maybe are facing it right now.  Remember who the real enemy is.  Your real enemy seeks to steal, kill and destroy relationships... if one of your flesh and blood relationships is not right, you can bet the Devil is at work...get in the word. Fight like a warrior of the King.  

The Word. Worship. Prayer.  

These are my Roots.