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 (Ephesians 6:12, KJV).
Here something to consider: just because something sounds spiritual, does not necessarily mean that it is spiritual. In order for something to be truly spiritual, it must line up with the Word of God. In other words, in order for something to be spiritual, it must be scriptural. It is important to spend time in the Word of God because there are things that may sound scriptural, but are not. Please understand that even when using a verse of Scripture in a teaching, it does not ensure that the principle that is being taught is sound. We cannot base a teaching on a single verse; there should be at least two or three verses of Scripture used in proper context. Everything taught must conform to the Word of God; we cannot seek to conform the Word to our teaching. This means all of us need to read and study our Bibles. Whether we are dealing with warfare as in this case, or any other principle, we must study things out while relying on the Holy Spirit to teach us. We must always remain teachable, regardless of how much we think we know. Dovetailing off the previous lesson, a very important tool in warfare is the written Word of God.
Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you (KJV). The most important way to wrestle is walking in love. Everything God does for us is based upon His love. When we were His enemies, the Father blessed us by sending Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Because of His great love, Jesus laid His life down for us, even though He had every right to curse us. Everything we do should filter through love. For example, when we speak, we are called upon to speak the truth in love (see Ephesians 4:15). Even faith works by love (Galatians 5:6). Notice the pattern of love that God has given us: everything He did was for the sake of the recipient of His love, not Himself. When walking in love, we are doing things to benefit others with no strings attached. The moment we do something in order to gain something for our self, we have stepped away from pure love. For example, if I bless someone because I desire recognition for the act, I am “blessing them” for selfish reasons. If I did something in order to be appreciated, I did it for myself. If I do or say something to get my way, I am manipulating the circumstances; I am not walking in love. Love says, “The lost need a Savior, and I am going walk toward them who do not know Jesus Christ in a loving manner for their sakes.” In Jesus’ earthly ministry, we are told that He went about doing good. Why did He do good onto others? Love.
Romans 12:14 reiterates what Jesus said in Matthew 5:44, “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not” (KJV). A major weapon of our warfare is blessing. As sons and daughters of the living God, we are to live a lifestyle of blessings others. In order to wield this weapon; we must do it in love as already stated. Blessing those who curse, despise, or insult us is not an easy task. In fact, it something we have to do in the power of the Holy Spirit. We cannot see ourselves as being their enemies; rather, we need to see ourselves as being their friends. We should also see them as future brothers and sisters in Christ. After all, Jesus died for them as well. Romans 12:17-21 goes on to say, “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (KJV).
Jesus sums it up this way: “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:44-48, KJV).
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