Okay yesterday I was depressed. Today I’m a bit ticked off and ready to pick a fight but I really shouldn’t do that, here’s why…
The more I’ve thought about what’s gone on over the past few days the more I’m convinced that I’m in the middle of a spiritual war. Satan and his minions don’t like what I’m trying to do so they are opposing me on multiple fronts. Just to recap over the last 3 days I have; lost a big opportunity at a new account, had a competitor out-right lie to one of my clients and had a significant new sale put on hold because my supply chain partner missed a critical detail in the quote. The more I think and pray about all this, the more I am beginning to think this is more than just a run of bad luck. This is starting to smell demonic in nature. Like it or not I am in the cross fire of a war between God and the Devil.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. [Ephesians 6:10-18]
I have made no secret of the fact that I am a pacifist. I wrote a whole series of posts early on in my blogging career on pacifism and why I believe taking a non-violent stance is the only way a true Christ-follower can read what Jesus was teaching. If you want feel free to go back and read them here, and here.
I can understand why some of you might read that passage and my current stance as a bit disconnected with the person I am and the message of Meekonomics. But what I read in that passage is not a offensive position at all, I see instructions on how to be strong, and stand firm in the face of adversity but nothing about any offense or any move to “take the fight to the enemy”, that’s God’s job. My job is simply to “stand firm.”
When I read through the list of weapons I noticed that almost all of them are solely for the purpose of defense. The only weapon we have at our disposal that can be used offensively is the sword of the Spirit but Paul is quick to point out another detail that most people miss. The sword of the Spirit he says is the word of God.
And what is the word of God? In a word – Love!
It’s pretty difficult to battle your worldly enemies armed only with Love. How exactly am I supposed to go out and fight for my business with love? Remember, I lost a big sale this week, one of my clients was lied too and people made mistakes that cost me money. Now I’m supposed to go back out in the market place armed only with love? How does that work?
Well, take a look at the beginning of the passage – “our struggle is not against flesh and blood!” The first thing I need to remember is that the people who did these things to me are not the enemy. They were acting in their own self interest and likely had no idea about the implications of their decisions, both for me and ultimately for themselves. But unlike me, they also have no idea that they are in the crossfire of a spiritual war and that their actions are being influenced by the evil one.
So what’s a good soldier to do? My job in all of this is to simply stand firm, take up my defensive position so that the “flaming arrows of the evil one” cannot harm me and let God do the rest. I’m in the middle of a spiritual battle but it’s not my job to fight it. I just need to stay alive long enough to share in the victory. Maybe God will step in and change the minds of the people who are against me, maybe the Devil will retreat and they will see the error of their ways or maybe I just need to forget about these people and move on. That’s not for me to decide, God will make that clear to me later, right now all I need to do is stand firm.
So no matter what you are facing today, stand firm my friends, stand firm…