I have a confession to make - I really should be cleaning. BUT, God showed me something while I was in the shower of all places (something about the hot water and zoning out in there must be why so many of my epiphanies happen in the shower lol).
My epiphany was this - the devil wants to seek and destroy all of us. He wants to prevent the lost from being found. He wants to keep the found lost and wandering without purpose. He wants to attack and destroy every thing that Jesus said was important to us.
One of the things Jesus mentions over and over is that the world will know believers by our love and care for each other. What's one thing the church seems riddled with? You guessed it - devisiveness and ugliness to each other. What is one area where we seem to fail over and over? Yep - building meaningful and deep community with each other. This is so heartbreaking because we are supposed to be helping each other - comforting, encouraging, exhorting - all these things are supposed to be present within relationships between believers. How often does that happen?
I was just reading in II Corinthians about how God comforted Titus by sending other believers. That was His chosen means of bringing comfort to His servant.
How often the enemy you are supposed to be praying for is actually a brother or sister in Christ? I am afraid the answer is way too often. :(
It occured to me - again - that we are in a battle. So are our fellow believers. We are NOT each other's enemies. I have often wondered how to pray for your enemies. Being idealistic and having an overblown sense of fairness and justice, I have a hard time praying for people I think are doing the wrong thing. Somehow it feels almost like I'm saying what they did or are doing is okay. Over the past year and half, God has shown me that forgiveness doesn't mean that I am saying what someone did is okay. It just means I'm leaving the consequences up to Him.
But seeing it this way - as another believer being hurt and destroyed by the devil - well, that gives me a whole other level of compassion for those that hurt me and spitefully use me.
Let's be really honest - we sort of expect the world to attack us. It is can blindside us when the "enemy" ends up being someone who is supposed to be our brother or sister in Christ. The hurt goes so much deeper maybe because we instinctively know this isn't how God wants us to treat each other.
This epiphany moment gives me a lot more compassion for others who hurt me. I have the spiritual gift of mercy so if I can have compassion for someone, it really helps me to forgive and to pray for them. It makes me feel less like a victim and more like I have some say in the whole situation.
Seeing this spiritual warfare laid out in front of me, I feel like God has given me glasses when before I was terribly near-sighted.
So, when someone hurts you or does something that feels deeply unfair or unjust - when you can't understand how a believer could act that way to another believer remember that our battle is not with flesh and blood. Our enemy is much trickier and more powerful than that and one of his goals is to turn us against each other. After all, a house divided against itself can't stand!
Okay, back to cleaning for me!
~ Blessings, Bronte