… 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. –Ephesians 6: 12
I find it easy to forget the reality of this verse. It is so easy to forget that we are locked in a struggle against spiritual realities; and not against what we can see (or who we can see). It requires eyes to see, eyes of faith, to realize the unceasing truth of this passage. The kingdom of darkness constantly is assaulting the kingdom of light, the kingdom of the Son of His love; and all of us who are in the kingdom of light need to remember that all of the pressures, and anxieties, and stresses of daily life are framed within this reality—this ongoing struggle between the two kingdoms. Our real battle is not with our boss, with our coworkers, with our friends, with our spouses, with our family members, with our “enemies”, etc.; it is with those spiritual realities listed in the above passage.
Our weapon of warfare, then, is the Gospel—the person, Jesus Christ! Whenever we are tempted to get angry, in the flesh, our immediate appeal should be to the Gospel. Whenever we are tempted to get even, our immediate response should be to the Gospel. Whenever we are tempted to exalt ourselves, our immediate move should be to humble ourselves in the Gospel. Whenever we are tempted to curse our friends, and our enemies, our immediate response should be to pray in the Gospel.
I realize that I’m stating the obvious, and really I am just talking to myself; but maybe this self talk might be something you need to hear too. We live in a material world, and it is so easy to be seduced by our hedonistic and flesh bound world; I think, in light of this it is important to remember the truth of this verse, we are a part of a spiritual struggle that is ongoing until we the Church militant is reunited with the Church triumphant on that great day of consummation. So keep up the fight, and keep looking to Jesus!