“The real struggle”
“By His Blood” 2020 Lent devotion #35
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 one sentence from scripture goes against everything we think, feel and experience in a day. We have to deal with flesh and blood, that is, people, from the moment we wake up until we fall asleep at night. People say things that anger us. People fail to follow through with commitments. People cut us off in traffic or cut us off in conversation. It’s “flesh and blood” who eat the last cookie, put the empty milk container back in the refrigerator and never clean up after themselves. People start wars, fires and rumors. Flesh and blood neighbors play their music too loud, don’t take care of their yards and let their dogs bark all night.
I could go on and on. I’m sure you could, too.
But let’s move on and consider the different reality that God’s word declares. We are really struggling with the rulers, authorities and powers of the dark world. We are engaged in a battle with the spiritual forces of evil.
I don’t care how you look at it, that is scary. I am not only frightened by their existence but I’m terrified to think I encounter the spiritual forces of evil daily. This sentence reminds me that there is always more going on in my world than I can see. It also reminds me that I need someone who is up to the challenge of overcoming those powers.
Ironically, even though our struggle isn’t against flesh and blood, the one who overcomes these spiritual forces of evil, Jesus, became flesh and blood for the very purpose of defeating them. Fully human – flesh and blood – just like us, you wouldn’t think he would stand a chance. Yet he resists Satan’s temptation, commands the demons, restores lives and overcomes death itself.
In that sense, the struggle is over. We are more than overcomers through him who loved us. The struggle that remains is to listen to him rather than the lies of enemy. His word is truth, and that is always where I will find the victory.
Thank you, Lord, for your word of truth and victory. Amen.