Have you ever been blamed for something that you didn’t do? Please don’t tell my elderly- never been on the internet-doesn’t know what a “blog” is father that I shared this little tale with you- it’s too good not to tell!
My dad has had false teeth ever since I can remember. Once, when I was about twelve or thirteen, he couldn’t find them. I know. Can you imagine? He was beyond frustrated and was certain that one of us took his dentures! He pointed his finger and raised his voice at my brother and I seeking confession, but was only met with wide eyes and open mouths. How could he think that we would ever WANT in any way to touch his false teeth? He eventually realized where he had put them. He had definitely accused the wrong people.
I have never again been blamed for stealing teeth, but I have been falsely accused of other things. I have also done my fair share of blaming the innocent. Usually it involves missing mascara or something spilled on the carpet. After charging the wrong person for the crime I feel terrible and often stupid. Nothing like fighting with someone only to realize it really had nothing to do with them at all.
I have fought my husband over stupid things as if he were my enemy, seeking to hurt me when in actuality he is a good-willed man with my best interest at heart. We’re on the same team. Yet, I have misjudged and assume, built up arguments in my mind and blasted him. .
I will be honest, this year has been a year of fights, disagreements, and drama. Not with Trent so much, but in a house full of tweens and teens battles happen. I’ve dealt with issues that I never anticipated. As a mother, I have banged my head against the wall as I fought some of the same battles over and over again. Much of it has been uncharted territory with children that did not come with instruction manuals. Why Lord? If my blender comes with one, my children should!
We find ourselves armed and ready to fight, but God reminded me recently that I am often battling the wrong enemy. My children, husband, job, or person with a different political view than I might not be to blame for my disappointment, frustration, inconvenience, or unhappiness. We fight what or who we see, but we have an enemy that is unseen.
God has called him the “father of lies” for a reason. He gets into the midst of situations and relationships, pitting us against each other with ease. He knows our weaknesses and our wounds and picks at them using people and circumstances. He knows how to push our buttons!
I prayed today, asking the Holy Spirit to show me my enemy at work. I prayed for wisdom so that I know how to fight the real battles that are going on the lives of those I love.
When I stand facing my teenage son, feeling disrespected and raise my voice against texting and Snapchat, there very well could be a greater battle waged by the enemy. I was reminded to teach my son, but fight the true enemy.
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 NLT
He revealed to me that most of the fighting will be in prayer as I stand in the gap for them. The weapons that the world uses in battle are intimidation, manipulation, sarcasm, silent treatments, yelling, and bullying. I will admit to using them all, and I’m sure you know as well as I do, that they do not work. Our greatest weapons look very different.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 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. 2 Cor. 10:3-5
Our enemy has won when we engage the world in battle. When we pick up its weapons seeking control we are defeated already. The battles against flesh and blood are a distraction from the spiritual war that is going on around us. What a great strategy. We can’t forget that our enemy has a well-planned plan of attack.
We must identify where our defenses are weak and reinforce those areas with prayer and with the truth of God’s Word. I am sure that the enemy would love to completely destroy my relationship with my teenage son as he distracts me from the real battle for his soul. That is exactly what will happen unless God opens my spiritual eyes, and pulls back the curtain to reveal the battlefield for what it is. Fighting my son is fighting the wrong enemy, yet creating one in the process.
I don’t know what battles you are facing. I won’t pretend to. I do know how easily it is to let this world and its trappings make me forget the spiritual forces at work around me. I become too comfortable here on this planet as if it is all there is. In no way do I want to live in a spirit of fear either because my God has promised me that He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world.
My Savior has already secured the victory. The war has been won, but I am still living in a battlefield. I can walk through it with the wisdom of the Victor, with the Spiritual armor that has been given to me knowing that Jesus has my back.
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:10-20