At the start of any coaching engagement or group workshop the conversation centers around what someone did to hurt my clients. The conflicts are real. The pain people carry is often tragic and the scars can last a lifetime. The interesting thing is when we are in pain, we fixate on what our eyes can see.
The formula: Person + Bad Behavior = ENEMY #1
This formula penetrates our brain, and wreaks havoc on our emotions, making it really hard to identify the real enemy. This enemy likes nothing more than to keep our gaze diverted in the wrong direction so he can do his best work to make us assume the worst and lose hope.
I’ve experienced this. In my most important relationships. Hope is gone. Grace and mercy are in question. One time, I could see the rocks going over the cliff’s edge– that’s how close I was. Oh yes, friends I felt like I had a choice. Maybe I did, but I’ll just skip to the end; God had another plan.
In my own marriage it took me a long time to realize that my husband was not my enemy. Sure, he hurt me with words & actions (i’ve hurt him as well) but at the end of the day he is not the one that I should be waging war against.
As a Christian, our battle lies not in what we see but what is unseen. Ephesians 6 supports this idea:
11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can make your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore take up the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground…
We are bombarded daily by things that hurt us; unthoughtful words, jealousy, sickness, financial hardship, unmet needs, or closed doors to name a few. Take a second to speak out loud, what hurts you. No one is listening, but God. Speaking these hurts out loud will release you and will mark the beginning of healthy relationships.
Just in case the dots haven’t connected yet, people aren’t the enemy, oh no, the real enemy is Satan. You see, he hates the God of all creation. The God who knew you before you were born, the God who had a vision and plan to bring you into existence at this point on the timeline. You are that amazing and the enemy wants nothing more than to make you doubt it with every fiber of your being.
Well I’m here to tell you, that you don’t need to listen to the enemy. Please don’t believe his lies. Those things that keep you up at night, second guessing decisions, or hold you back from fully engaging in the world. These become the very things that keep you from experiencing the fullness your precious life has to offer. The result? We forget that there is an unseen enemy that is the true cause.
I can hear what some of you are saying right now.
Kristin, you don’t understand.
~ He’s horrible. My boss really has it out for me.
~ Everyone excludes me because I don’t measure up.
~ That family has it all together, and my kids are a mess.
Well, it is in these messes that God shows up if we let him.
Are you willing to let him?
Think of this as a “choose your own adventure,” if you are willing, jump to point (A) if you are not jump to point (B).
- What is it that you know to be true about how the enemy is coming between you and your most important relationships?
- What did you think it was instead?
- What is a promise God speaks that can give new life to your situation today?
- What is one thing you can change that will begin to reflect this new understanding?
- What is it that holds you back from trusting God with all you have?
- Can you remember a time that you truly trusted him with something big or small and you had a positive experience?
- Can you allow that positive experience to influence your ability to trust God now?
- Ready to jump to Point (A)?
This work is not for the faint of heart, but I assure you that God is for you and not against you. He walks through the fire with you and supports your every step. The enemy does not care about one singed hair on your head, but if I know my readers, you care. You know how important it is to walk with love and truth which is only found in God.
So what is different for you now? Share with me or someone what you are up against. Light it up so that it can no longer hold you back from building those relationships that will bring life more abundant.