“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood.”
We as humans tend to see our struggles only on an earthly level. We often view conflicts with those who oppose God’s purposes in our lives as irritating human behavior. However the Apostle Paul calls us to take a look beyond what is seen. He calls us to remove the blinding cataracts of an earthly perspective. He calls us to look beyond the human faces and see the unseen forces that oppose God’s purposes in our lives, “for our struggle is not against flesh and blood.”
Paul, the writer of this powerful truth, knew firsthand what people could do to him. To Timothy he wrote, “Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm” (2 Tim 4:14). He listed other people who attacked or deserted him in his service of God. Yet Paul kept in mind the ultimate source of these attacks and remembered God’s help: “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack” (2 Tim 4:18). Paul knew that people were only the front line in a spiritual battle for the truth of God that is revealed to us in Jesus.
Do you face opposition from people who are standing against God’s purposes in your life? Target your prayers against the real enemy and seek God for the accomplishment of his purposes. Surrender your earthly view for a biblically informed perspective. Then ask God to reveal if you are working for the wrong team in a situation of conflict. Just as others are prone to serve the evil one, we too are susceptible.
Prayer starter: Lord, grant me the grace to see beyond what can be seen with my eyes.
About the Author: Lyndon Wall served as a pastor in Alberta, Canada for fourteen years. He has also served the Jos, Nigeria mission community by providing pastoral care. Lyndon is the founder of Refresh Ministries, which is dedicated to helping people in ministry enjoy “healthy souls.” Lyndon earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
This excerpt is from Lyndon’s devotional book “Refresh“. Lyndon wrote “Refresh“ specifically for pastors, missionaries, and ministry workers whose souls have been parched by the stresses and tests of life. Stress is a reality of life. It can harm and drain us of vital energy. It must be responded to wisely. This devotional book was written to help you encounter Jesus Christ, the great refresher of the soul and give insights that will help you live with a renewed and joyful heart.