If spiritual warfare is real (it is) and sin is real (you better believe it) then it should come as no surprise that some of our greatest battles come on the verge of our biggest breakthroughs.
The enemy doesn’t want us to take new ground. He pushes back. Our old sinful nature doesn’t want us to take new ground. It pushes back. God has new territory for us, but the resistance we encounter to take hold of it is often very real.
“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
“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
But we don’t always recognize it. We don’t see what’s happening in the heavenly realms. We don’t realize what’s at stake.
And so we chalk it up to a bad day, week, or month. A difficult season or person or situation. Or we just pin it on ourselves and wish we weren’t so fallible.
Sometimes it is just the natural. Sometimes it’s the supernatural. Often it’s both.
I want to get better at recognizing the players in the war so that I’m not blindsided by the battles:
1. What is God up to in my life?
2. What is the enemy up to in my life?
3. What is the old me up to in my life?
4. What are others up to in my life?
5. How are the natural and supernatural interfacing in all this?
These are relevant questions. If we don’t know the answers, we’re likely to keep circling. It’s movement, but it’s not forward.
We need God, others, and the tools he’s given us to come through the battle victorious.
How good are you at recognizing the fight? Can you answer those five questions?
I’m motivated by knowing that there’s often a breakthrough on the other side of the battle. We’re not fighting without a purpose or a prize.
And ultimately, through God we’ve already won. He’s bigger than any battle we face. We just need to claim his strength and allow Him to lead us into the victory.