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“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

                When I was in high school there was a guy who did not like me. He probably was not the only one (I could be slightly sarcastic, before sarcasm was cool), but he was the only one who I could not figure out why. One day in class he told me he wanted to beat me up, but not in such nice terms. I think I laughed at him. My laughter did not help the situation. Fortunately, we never fought, although I felt pretty confident in the art of fisticuffs. This kid considered me his enemy.

                I am sure that we have all felt like that guy. Somebody gave us a wrong look and they went on our list. Possibly they said something we did not agree with and they became our public enemy number one. If you are like me, the person posted something that went against my beliefs and I was ready to fight.

                The truth is, I struggle sometimes realizing who my real enemy is. A politician is not my enemy (this does not mean that we have to support everything they do.) Tom Brady is not my enemy (yes, I am bitter over the Falcons losing the Super Bowl.) As a Christian, even a radical Muslim who seeks my death is not my enemy. I need to be wary of him, but our battle is not against him.

                Paul tells us in Ephesians that our real enemy is Satan and his demons who wish to destroy us. The politician who is on the opposite side of the aisle, the guy/girl who posts things we do not agree with, the atheist who disagrees with my faith, or the radical Muslim is not who I fight against. They are who we are fighting for. I stand in my faith in Jesus to win the politician, the Facebooker, the atheist, and the Muslim. Satan wants to have them condemned to Hell with him for all of eternity. He hates them as much as he hates us. He is the real enemy, and as long as he has us fighting the wrong people he wins.

                We fight this battle with truth, mercy, and grace. We must stand on the Word of God and not allow ourselves to be compromised, but also stand with compassion. We must guard ourselves from letting harshness invade us. We must be willing to accept insults and persecution in order to win the lost. We must stand like Jesus. We must stand against injustice and for the hurting.

                I do not want you to think that I believe that you should not stand up for what you believe in. If you want to argue with someone on Facebook, more power to you (you are not going to win many arguments online.) You want to put a political sign on your car or in your yard, that is fine. You can stand for any number of things. Just remember that the real battle is not against the people that do not agree with you. The real battle is against Satan.

                I also believe that it is worth noting that the war we are fighting is already won. The birth of Jesus, was a time of great spiritual conflict, as God in flesh appeared on earth to redeem mankind and defeat the hordes of hell. We already have victory and peace in the war with evil and death. Our greatest, and only true enemy, has already been defeated Our battle is to make sure that he does not take more people with him. Let us work hard to achieve this outcome.

Marty

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