Monday, January 21, 2013

Know Your Enemy

I have had a huge problem lately, I can sum it all up in one measly little word people! They have been a nuisance, a source of irritation, a thorn in my side and a pain in my neck! From the biggest to the smallest, behind the wheels of vehicles and in my very own home. I am absolutely sure this has nothing to do with the grouchy, grumpy mood I have been in the past couple of weeks. 
It's everybody else... they are driving me bananas. There is even a slight chance I am including you in this mental list I am preparing. 

Though I am still working through my people issues, I had a thought today. I feel like I should say, because of my post a few days ago about putting on the Armor of God and fighting Satan, that I am not usually all that "into" spiritual warfare. Mostly because I do not know a whole lot about it, partially because I think the devil is a big old smelly bully and have always wanted to be mindful to give God a whole lot more attention than that other idiot! All that being said God sure does seem to be bringing to my attention that Satan is a real enemy and there are certainly times to fight.

Ok, so time for today's epiphany. While the last couple of weeks I have worked hard at reminding myself that people are humans, humans are imperfect, and the imperfect let us down - today I was reminded who our struggle is against. It should have been obvious.

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. Ephesians 6:12

That's a pretty well known verse, right?! But I suppose I always thought it applied more to the big stuff... 
violence, deep hurts, wars, etc. 

During my quiet time today I did not even make it past the first three verses in the bible. Because it was that good, and left me thinking...
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Genesis 1:1-3

Grew up in a Christian home, pastor's kid, been saved for almost 25 years, been reading the bible for a long time - and yet somehow I had missed this. In the beginning, there was darkness. I always think of humans - being human and screwing it all up. But there was an enemy here on earth before there was sin. The serpent tempted Eve and then she fell into sin. 

I have spent the day meditating on and looking into these first few verses in Genesis. Here is what my lexicon had to say about this particular appearance of darkness found in verse 2, check this out

I had never thought of it. Before creation there was already darkness. Before Adam and Eve and people and naughty fruit messed things up - there was already an enemy ready to pounce. There was a serpent full of hatred and lies. 

And so as annoying and frustrating as people have been the past few weeks (and I am quite confident I have been no picnic to be around either) and as quick as I try to be to "let them off the hook" because they are human, I need to remember that my fight is not even against them. The girl who blew off my attempts to be "Christ like" towards her, the kid that acts ungrateful after I pour my whole self into them, the friend who just doesn't understand where I am coming from... these are all my brothers and sisters. We have the same enemy, face the same temptations and struggles. I can spend all my energy and fight on them or I can direct it at the jerk who deserves it. Maybe, in the midst of it all I could show a little grace and compassion. Perhaps Hannah, my three year old, said it best"I'm not being mean but even people who are stupid and ugly and on accident they are mean to me, I just still like people!" The devil? Well he's just stupid and ugly, period! 
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