The Struggle is Real

Ephesians 6:12 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. 

“That was probably just Paul going off on emotion”, I foolishly announced at Bible Study.
“You’ve got to be careful when you think about God’s Word like that.” 
The Lord used those quick kind words of correction to cut straight through my heart. Clearly, I was wrong.
“Well, of course all scripture is God-breathed.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17), I knew that.
By God’s grace, this was quickly confirmed. Someone pointed out that Paul’s comment referenced a verse in the Old Testament. For a while I beat myself up over it. How could I make such a monumentous mistake. Then God graciously reminded me that my swift correction was a grace in itself, by loved ones no less.

Days later I woke up reading and pondering: 
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

I had a feeling, in the Spirit, I was going to have to rely on those words later that day. Sure enough a subsequent attack hit me. A ridiculous doubt entered my mind concerning my previous mis-thought at Bible Study. This one was easily shot down by the word of God. So how did this pesky doubt linger? I wrestled in prayer, sifting through mental logs of scripture. A back and fourth barrage of thoughts pounded my consciousness. The irritating drip of doubt, like a leaky faucet, kept stealing my attention. 

Wisdom from the Lord told me to continue to act in faith, directly opposing the doubt. Since faith is proven solid through actions. (James 2:14-26, Hebrews 11) Through my daily Bible reading, by God’s grace, the doubt slowly slunk back. Confirmation after confirmation of truth in scripture, made a way for victory. 

Who hasn’t faced mind battles? It’s hard to begin to understand ’spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms’, as today’s verse describes. Who/what are our enemies besides doubt, misplaced fear, anger, jealousy, and a host of temptations of every kind.

It’s even difficult to label my experience as an attack. I should look at it with a James 1:2-4 mindset and take joy in the trial. It could have even been a test from God, as He is always in control. Obviously it was for my good to reveal such a misunderstanding. (Romans 8:28) Only then could I throw this stinky idea out, rolled up in yesterdays thoughts. The Lord purified me a little further through this blunder. It even gave more clarity — an opportunity to grow in an apologetic sense, of knowing truth and how scripture backs that up.

Praise the Lord, all my struggles don’t seem to hit at the same time. Because when one hits, it usually feels like enough trouble to handle.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Since most of these battles are fought in the mind, we must follow:
2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Now I’m thankful the attack or trial is over and done with for now. We need to take the time of respite to arm ourselves with God’s Word for combat. The whole Bible is full of Spirit and Truth — guidance through anything. Let’s make sure we’re consuming God’s Word daily!

Gracious Father, thank-You for Your loving-kindness, giving us Your written word to apply to our struggles as they come. Let truth bind us in, like a belt for our spiritual safety. Let faith be our shield against the flaming arrows of the enemy. You are our light, conquering the darkness of our daily battles. Jesus, You battle for us in prayer. When we are at our weakest, allow us rely on You. ~Amen.

Other Scripture to check out:
Touch up on the Armor of God in Ephesians 6:
Psalm 119:105
Romans 8:34
John 1:5

See also Bible Bootcamp