Facing Earthly Struggles
by Lynette Kittle
“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
Growing up my junior high best friend, Peggy, loved professional wrestling. It was an unknown world to my sheltered pastor’s kid background. Little did I know when she invited me to watch it with her, I would be taken on an emotional roller coaster as she cheered, cried, threw herself on the floor, beat the tabletop, and shouted throughout the match.
Oh, the drama! To her, it was all so real, while I watched her and the matches in disbelief. Although I’ve heard it’s mostly staged for entertainment and wrestlers are putting on a show, to fans like Peggy it’s a real battle being fought between good and evil, Mr. Goody-Two-Shoes pitted against his Evil Nemesis.
Looking Beyond Appearances
Like many fans may be unaware of what’s really happening in pro-wrestling events, often real-life situations can be deceiving to those looking merely at the outward appearances and actions. It can seem and feel like individuals and groups coming against us are our personal enemies, however, Scripture reminds us that there is more to what’s really occurring beyond what we see, hear, feel, and experience.
Although opposition may look and feel personal, in reality, they are really opposing God and those who represent Him on earth. Most of our earthly opponents are unaware of how they are actually being played by the devil and his cohorts to go after us.
Although it’s easy to seem like our opposition just hates us, it’s much deeper than most of us and even many of them understand. There are spiritual forces behind their feelings and actions causing them to believe they are expressing their own thoughts and feelings when in truth they are being influenced by evil spiritual forces that hate God.
Like 2 Corinthians 4:4 describes, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
Beyond their own comprehension, unbelievers are being used to war with God, with many being completely unaware of who is leading them in their thinking and actions.
So How Do We Successfully Face Struggles?
Often we as believers can lose sight of who is fighting us, too, causing us to start trying to wrestle on a human level. But God has called us to a higher form of defense on a spiritual level because that’s where the real scuffle is taking place. So how do we face struggles on spiritual levels from our human standpoint?
1. Prayer is our first point of defense. James 5:16, explains how the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Spending time in prayer is number one defense against the attacks of our spiritual enemies. As well, 1 Chronicles 5:20 describes how when some of the tribes of Israel were in combat with their enemies, God heard their cries during the battle and answered their prayers for help because they trusted in Him.
2. Praise defeats the enemy. 2 Chronicles 20:21,22 describe a battle scene where King Jehoshaphat sent men ahead of his army to sing to the Lord and praise Him for the splendor of His holiness saying, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever.” As they began to sing and praise the Lord, God caused the enemy to begin fighting among themselves rather than attacking his army.
Praise is a powerful line of defense in the life of every believer. Like Exodus 15:2 describes, “The Lord is my strength and my defense; He has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”
Spiritual Weapons Win the Battles
As Christians, what happens in the spiritual directly affects the outcome of the struggle in the physical. Protection from the enemy’s attacks comes when we trust God and turn to Him for help. Like Isaiah 54:17, assures, “’No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from Me,’ declares the Lord.”
By putting into practice God’s spiritual ways of dealing with the enemy through speaking words that come from our heart to the heart of God through prayer and praise, we will see Him move on our behalf.
Intersecting Faith & Life:
Set some time aside to look at the struggles you’ve been facing. Examine ways you can address them using the spiritual weapons God has provided.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Tinnakorn Jorruang
Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, StartMarriageRight.com, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.