Wrestling With Flesh & Blood

by 7:48 AM 0 comments
This verse has come up a lot over the last couple of years, and I never really understood it:

Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

You might notice, that's the English Standard Version.  If you know me, you know I do my reading at home from the Good News Translation.  Here's how the same verse reads from GNT:

Ephesians 6:12 (GNT)
For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age.

For once, a different translation doesn't do too much to help with understanding, at least it hadn't for me.  I didn't really understand this verse for a long time.  It's only been recently that I've begun to be able to see how this verse applies to our human experience. I've really had to pray for God to give me the words for this post; for Him to bring clarity and understanding that only He can provide.  I certainly cannot do it alone.

When you get angry at someone or a situation, who or what is generally the target for your anger?  For me, it's almost always a person or an establishment made up of people.  Redeemed or not, we all know from experience that humans are flawed and depraved creatures.  Not because God designed us that way, but because sin entered the world and corrupted us in unimaginable ways.  When people (or groups of people) hurt us, it's easy to blame the individual(s).

To say "if so-and-so hadn't done [blank] this wouldn't be happening..."  <----- THAT, right there.  That blame on flesh and blood people for our current situations, that's the work of our enemy.  That's the work of Satan!  He wants to blind us from seeing him at work in our lives and within our world.  My preacher often reminds us that Satan's greatest victory has been convincing us he doesn't exist.  Not only does he exist, but he's the hardest working turkey you'll ever encounter.  Every move he makes is cold and calculated for the very purpose of destroying what God has made.

We give flesh and blood too much credit.  We're humans and only capable of stupid human tricks.  That's why " we are not fighting against human beings" because we're throwing punches in the air at the wrong target.  Who we are really fighting is "the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age."  Satan uses flesh and blood people as his smoke screen.  You don't see him at work behind the scenes, you only see the flesh and blood person who seems to be the source of your frustration and pain.

Even Christians can be manipulated by the devil, we are not perfect.  Where Jesus was tempted and was able to resist because he was PERFECT, we are not able to do that.  Remember, our nature from the day we are born is sinful.  It's all we've ever known until redemption through Christ.  Only through that redemption are we able to resist.  Bear in mind that we are not made immediately perfect; understand that.  You will still be tempted and give in.

When you find yourself in troubling circumstances, when you feel under attack, when  you feel like the butt of someone's bad joke - keep perspective!

1. The people involved are not your enemy, they are pawns.  The enemy is very real and his name is Satan (among many other titles).  "For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age."

2. God has allowed this circumstance into your life for a reason.  I believe often these seasons in life are designed to keep us humble and dependent on our creator, especially when we get a little cocky.  God has allowed it, but he will also provide you an escape.

3. Keep yourself in the Word - DAILY!  Do you want to know what your escape is?  What the purpose of this season is?  What God wants you to do next?  Read your bible.  Read, read, read!  The Holy Spirit will illuminate what you need to hear.  Not sure where to start?  I enjoyed jumping all over the bible the day I asked my friends to give me a page number between # and ###.  You could always try that.

4.  When you feel like people are the cause or source of your problem - you pray for them!  Pray for those under attack as pawns of the devil. Pray for the people who you feel are persecuting you.  Pray for them and ask God to allow you to see them and their role in your life, through His perfect eyes.

Jodi @ God Still Speaks

Head Writer

Boy mom of three. Married to the same man since 2002. Former working mom turned stay-at-home mom. I love my faith, family, and coffee.

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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests to made known to God. — Philippians 4:6