“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.”Ephesians 6:12 NASB
How many times have you used this scripture to remind yourself of what is truly going on behind the scenes? I have used it many times; yet I don’t think I truly had a definite core value regarding it. Remember I have talked about core values, how they line up with your actions and how your actions don’t always line up with your words; you can read more in these articles: Simon of Cyrene and Core values and Grace. I believe we have all had AHA! moments with God. This is when we see God clearer and where true repentance happens in that moment; when we see things the way God sees them.
I had started this blog stating I would share openly what is happening with me, an open life journal. There are times this is fun and at times it isn’t. Yet, I choose to live from the inside out in honesty. Why a public forum???….maybe it will help someone else.
I had been talking to my husband, Bryan, over a month ago. There had been a situation that had happened and I was angry at the injustice in it and the history that I have seen and heard about regarding these same people. I looked at Bryan and I said, “I hate them, no don’t look at me like that, I hate them!” Now my husband and I have been married for nineteen years and thankfully he knows when to let me just say what is in my heart and let the Lord deal with me, haha!! I went on, “My mom told me not to say I hate someone, I can say I dislike them but not hate. But Bryan, I hate them.” Later as scripture flooded my heart like: hate in the heart is just like murder and you aren’t walking in the light because you hate it would have been easy to be overcome by self hatred and failure like I had in the past. But see I know the trick of the enemy, he loves to use scripture to always tell me I can’t measure up. So, I agree with him in the truth that I can’t live up to the law, ever. But I know Someone who has….and that is Jesus!! In that moment I am so thankful, grateful for all that Jesus did for me and the whole world and in that thankfulness something always happens for me but first I had to be open and honest with what was going on inside of me. If we start at the wrong starting point with God and see Him as a judge of our actions and not realizing all of God’s wraith has been taken on His own Son then we are fearful and can’t approach God with what is going on inside….and we begin to pretend that all is well (saying no, no I am in control of my emotions I don’t feel that way) and all we are doing is painting the outside as good and not dealing with the inside and we know God is more interested with our inside. We must acknowledge the truth of what is going on inside of us. Jesus took the law all the way to our hearts, trying to show us we can not ever perform this, but He could fulfill the law for us.
So, what do I do with this??? This very real feeling of hate in my heart?? These were real things that someone has done, is doing and may continue to do until God gets ahold of them. I think it was about a week later when God spoke to my heart and this is what He said:
Darlene, you don’t hate the person you hate their actions. It is the action not the person you hate. This is what it means when Paul was explaining to the Ephesians that the fight is not against flesh and blood but the powers and principalities of darkness. It is okay to hate wicked “acts” but you really don’t hate the person because the person has been made in My image and you walk in Me, in the Light, it isn’t who you are. What you are railing against are the powers and principalities of darkness.
Here are some scriptures that go along with what He told me:
“”The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate.” Proverbs 8:13 NASB
“Hate evil, you who love the LORD, Who preserves the souls of His godly ones; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalms 97:10 NASB
Now I was able to see things more clearly, literally dividing the person from their actions. Look, I fully understand that I am not perfect because I know the Perfect one climbed on the Cross willingly for me and the whole world. People choose to do evil things to one another but that doesn’t define who they are. Jesus defines who they are, they are still created in God’s image. Does this mean that these actions are okay…no……and I wrote more about this in: Horizontal and Vertical (Part 4) and Has “Sorry” Lost Its’ Potency (Final Part)
Just because I have forgiven the person for their behavior does not mean that I need to trust them, or be around them. Nor does this mean I should not look at and judge the actions they have made. Note I said judge their actions; I didn’t say judge the person. Lastly, remember forgiveness doesn’t come overnight, it is a process of healing with God and friends. You can read more here: We Stand In the New Covenant.
Now, I feel like I have written on my heart: “Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. This is simply Jesus in His fullness….I in Him and Him in me. I do not have to make an effort within myself not to do something….because literally Jesus has changed me from the inside out. This is where I have the privilege to walk everyday, because of Jesus.