If you’ve ever had fall out with someone it’s likely that at some point in your life the enemy will use that fall out to reignite wounds inside of you. That happened to me recently. I got word of a new round of anger and pain that was publicly circling itself around anyone who would listen and when I heard about it I immediately went on the offensive. My natural instinct said that I needed to start warring in the Spirit. I needed to set up my spiritual defenses and gather my prayer warriors. I even heard the Holy Spirit echoing the same thing so I did what I knew to do. I turned on worship, let my prayer language fly, and immediately started crafting a text determined that the enemy would not get the upper hand. And then it happened…. I felt that sweet gentle pull of the Holy Spirit as the words, “All I did was praise. All I did was worship. All I did was bow down. All I did was stay still” sang around me. I didn’t need to be defended. I already was. As I set there listening to “Defender” fill my spirit I realized just how blessed I was, how loved I was by Jesus, and how much freedom I had walked through. I took a quick inventory of my life and almost burst with the joy and the privilege I walk in every single day. I’m so undeserving of it, so very undeserving of every single blessing and yet I have it.
As my spirit came in to alignment with His Spirit it all clicked in to place. I needed to war, but not for me… for them. In an instant I went from defensive frustration to loving brokenness. I didn’t need to be defended. I walk in pure freedom most days, surrounded by people God has used to redeem the relationships that were never designed to bring hurt. I didn’t need to be defended, they did, the people who spewed so much hurt and hate. The people still wounded and bleeding, not from man’s wounds but from an unseen enemy that seeks whom he may devour. Make no mistake, the enemy is crafty beyond our human understanding. We can not win a battle against him in our own skin. It hurt me how much he still had a hold of people who are so obviously anointed by the Holy Spirit. It hurt how deeply the enemy was working to keep them caught up in pain.
The pain hit, empathy flooding my soul in a way completely unnatural to my instincts, and I prayed. Not for myself, but for them. I prayed against everything coming against my enemies. They weren’t my enemies at all, not really. It may be a naïve notion that theological philosophers would protest against, but I don’t believe in the inherent evil within people. I believe in good. I believe even the worst of us God longs to draw back in to His love. So I prayed for them. I let tears roll down my cheeks as the Holy Spirit broke off every selfish inclination, every bout of fear, every hint of anxiety. I let my prayer language roll off my tongue in brand new ways determined that His words would prevail over mine so inclined to speak out of arrogance and ignorance. I prayed because it was all I knew how to do against an enemy trying to take over a sister’s skin.
The enemy wants us to believe that we have to constantly defend our position, our salvation, and our grace through Christ. We don’t. We’re already under the shadow of His wings. We’ve already come under His protection. We don’t have to fight for our freedom, it’s ours for the taking. And we don’t have to hate our enemies, it won’t save us even if we do. The thing that breaks darkness is light and the brightest light of all is love. It’s impossible to come to this place through your own free will. You have to let some things inside of you die first. You have to let Him kill some things inside of you so that some greater things can live. I can’t explain what happened in my spirit that day but something broke. It hurt for a second but not in comparison to the pure peace and joy and love that replaced it. Jesus doesn’t leave us scarred. He makes us new. We’ll all have “enemies” at some point, but not really. Really we only have one enemy, and when we let that truth connect to the part of us that’s connected to Him, love comes in like a flood, purifying everything the enemy meant for evil. I can’t tell you how to get free from pain or how to forgive your enemies. But I can tell you to lose yourself in His love. The love of God changes us, minute by minute, need by need, pain by pain until there is nothing else left of the scarred bits of us tainted by this world.
If you’re ready for that kind of freedom you won’t find it in a blog or a book or the latest enigmatic message. You can only find His freedom through Him. But He doesn’t hide His face. Ask and you shall receive, knock and the door will be opened to you.