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Know your enemy
Pastor's corner
Roland Banks first presb
Roland Banks is pastor of Hinesvilles First Presbyterian Church and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance. - photo by File photo

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take us the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”
— Ephesians 6: 12-13

Truer words were never spoken or written. Your enemy is not Joe down the road or Lucas at the office or Charles at church.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood. Our enemies are not people in authority like our family, police officers, commanding officers or politicians, but rather, our battle is one of spiritual warfare.

All during his earthly life, people were trying to kill Jesus. But Jesus knew that neither Herod the Great nor the Jewish religious leaders were his real enemy.

His real enemy was Satan, as illustrated in Revelation 12:3,6: “A great red dragon having seven heads and 10 horns and on his heads were seven diadem … And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.” The red dragon is, of course, Satan, and the woman is mother Israel, giving birth to the Messiah, the Christ child.

Therefore, knowing that our real enemy is Satan, Jesus commanded us in Luke 6:27-28, to, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

Jesus also said in Mathew 5:43, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.”

Talk about the ultimate in conflict resolution. If we will crucify our foolish pride and humble ourselves under the loving hand of our heavenly Father, then we will be blessed with peace.

Unfortunately, I learned this lesson the hard way. So many times, I let my foolish pride take over, resulting in bitterness and anger and conflict with others.

Satan would manipulate me through my foolish pride so that I would get into trouble with a capital T. But when I finally took up the full armor of God and humbled myself before the Lord, I became free to love even the unlovable. I now proclaim what the Bible tells us, that we are defenseless against the evil schemes of the devil without the whole armor of God.

It is spiritual warfare that we are fighting each and every day.

Therefore, we must know who our real enemy is and be equipped with the right defensive weapons; the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit. By the way, every piece of this armor of God is based on the word of God; therefore, it is imperative that we study God’s word and store it in our hearts.

Begin today to get properly equipped for the spiritual battle. Turn off the TV, grab your Bible and read it, go to Sunday school, church and Bible study. Please don’t go into the battle defenseless!

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