If he would just love me more, my marriage would be okay. If she would just be there for me when I needed her, I wouldn’t feel so alone. If I could just get that promotion, I would feel so much better about myself. If we just made a few hundred more dollars a month, I wouldn’t be so worried. If my child would just behave, I wouldn’t feel like such a failure. If he hadn’t abused me, I wouldn’t be struggling with this addiction. Feel free to enter your own, if…….then…..right here.
All of the statements may be true to some degree. But I have found that in my own life, all too often when I get the IF the THEN hardly ever follows. I thought if I got another degree then I would feel better about myself. Negatory. I thought that if my husband was home more then I would feel more loved. Negatory. I thought that if Ryan started making better grades then I wouldn’t feel like such a failure. Nope. And the list could go on and on and on.
In the bible it says that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against evil. It is my tendency to make the battle about the people in my life. If they could just straighten themselves out, or let me straighten them out, I would be GREAT! However, that is so not true! I think that maybe Satan likes to lie and tell us that the problems we are having are just about the OTHER people in our lives. That way we will waste countless time and energy trying to get whatever it is or whoever it is that we believe will make us feel okay, and all the time we are completely ignoring the real problem. The battle, the real problem, is Satan. Oh he may use others to get to us, but ultimately the battle is against him.
If he can get us to be resentful about people we love, to refuse to forgive the one who victimized us, to be angry at the principal for not meeting our child’s need, to be paralyzed by our victimizer where we cannot even move-then he can fool us into completely focusing on whoever and whatever it is-and completely losing our focus on loving others and seeking God with all of our hearts.
We may have some genuine problems going on with the flesh and blood in our lives. They may cause some genuine hurt and pain, and there may even be some relationships we need to let go of because they are unhealthy. However, the ultimate battle is against Satan. And the good news is, the battle is already won. When he died on the cross, IT WAS FINISHED. That sin that keeps sucking you back in, that lie that you keep telling yourself (mine would be that I am worthless), that event that was so terrifying that it continues to haunt you-it is finished. You are not defined by any cycle of sin, victimization, or negative thought pattern. You are defined by grace. You are defined by the truth that you are a daughter of Christ. You are defined by the spirit that entered into your innermost being the moment you accepted Christ as your savior. The spirit that is light, and in him there is no darkness. That is what you are defined by. And you have everything you need to fight the battle, all you have to do is ask.
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.