For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 3:8-9
8Dear friends, don't
ignore this fact: One day with the Lord is like a thousand years, and a thousand
years are like one day. 9The Lord isn't slow to
do what he promised, as some people think. Rather, he is patient for your sake.
He doesn't want to destroy anyone but wants all people to have an opportunity to
come to repentance.
However, how are we to handle those with whom we have put in that 'camp'...with whom we call enemy? Whether they have actually come into our home and hurt us or they have done something that is quite contrary to our beliefs. Whatever they have done, God does not want us to stoop to a fleshly level. He wants us to maintain our walk in the Spirit as we trust Him to take care of the things our carnal nature would want us to fret about. "The just will live by faith".
Now the works of the flesh are evident:...enmity, strife...fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions...and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. ...
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
Matthew 5: 39-48
You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. 39But
I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right
cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants
to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If
someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who
asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
43“You have heard that
it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But
I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute
you, 45that you may be sons
of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good,
and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If
you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax
collectors doing that? 47And if you greet
only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do
that? 48Be perfect,
therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Who is our real enemy? As you see in the following verses, our real enemy is in the spiritual realm, not the physical. So trying to fight the devil's works with tangible weapons just gets us involved in the works of the flesh (Gal.5:19)...so, we become a partner in the 'dance' the true enemy is trying to start.
He is all about destruction and the best thing he can do is to start a fire under our carnal nature, lie to us and get us involved in operating in the flesh and devouring one another...and keep us far from our primary task, which is to produce good fruit...to carry-out the new commandment, so as to draw people to Christ.
As we can also see, the fight is comprised of both offensive and defensive battle...and it is God, as we spend one on one time with Him, who will teach us to do this spiritual warfare. Our enemy loves to see our carnal nature show itself, and hates peace, faith, truth and of course the name of Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;
Ephesians 6: 10-20
10A final word: Be
strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on all of
God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the
devil. 12For we are not fighting
against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the
unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits
in the heavenly places.
13Therefore, put on
every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time
of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14Stand your ground,
putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15For shoes, put on
the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.16In addition to all
of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the
17Put on salvation
as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God 18Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. 19And pray for me,
too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious
plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. 20I
am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that
I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should
John 4: 24
God is a Spirit: and they that
worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.