Recognize Your Enemy

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty power in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

There’s a real-life battle being waged in the earth. The battle is invisible, but that doesn’t make it any less real.

So, who is our enemy in this battle? Who are we fighting against? Ephesians 6:12 tells us we are fighting against, “evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world,” “mighty powers in this dark world,” and “evil spirits in heavenly places.” Our enemy is invisible. Our battle is against spiritual wickedness.

Sometimes we turn our focus to other people and believe they are our enemy, but our battle is not with any person. It’s not with our spouse or our neighbors. It’s not with people who look different than we do or believe different than we do. Our enemy is not any person or group of people. Our enemy springs from evil in the invisible realms of the spirit world.

Darkness and hatred spring from evil. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” We battle darkness by spreading light. We battle hatred by spreading love. We do not defeat our enemy by quarreling and fighting with each other. We defeat spiritual evil in the heavenly realm by shining God’s light into the world and showing God’s love to everyone we meet.

Matthew chapter 5 says we are the light of the world and that our good deeds should shine out for all to see. It also says we cannot get by with just loving those who love us but must also love those who treat us badly.

The world has plenty of darkness and plenty of hatred. We can change that by speaking and sharing light, life, and love to those we come in contact with. We share God’s light and love when we are kind and generous with people, even to those who we think may not deserve it. What each of us does to spread light and love helps push back the darkness. It’s how we fight the invisible battle and defeat the spiritual wickedness in the heavenly realm.

Dear God, thank you for forgiving my sins and filling my life with your love and your light. Help me spread your light and love to everyone I meet. I know there’s a battle between light and darkness, and between hate and love. Make my light shine out to break through the darkness and let me show your love to break through hatred. Help me remember my battle is not with people, but with spiritual evil in the heavenly realm. Thank you for giving me victory through Jesus Christ. In his name, amen.