"'Even those closest to you—your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—will betray you. They will even kill some of you. And everyone will hate you because you are my followers.'" Luke 21:16-17NLT
Jesus told His followers that they wouldn't be the most popular kids on the block. Unlike many parts of the world, Christians in America have had it pretty good. However, there is still persecution that comes our way. It comes in a variety of forms. Hatred, gossip, discrimination, physical and emotional abuse. We shouldn't be surprised.
One of the challenges that the Church in general has fallen into is an "us" and "them" mentality. We seem to posture ourselves to have enemies. If a friend, co-worker or family member assaults our beliefs and us personally, we may consider them to be our enemy. Is this the view we should be having? I don't think so.
Because you are a Christian, a friend, co-worker, neighbor or family member may consider you to be an enemy to them, but they are not an enemy to you. There's a big difference in looking at it this way. We are called to love those who consider us their enemies.
So who is my "enemy"? The Bible says; "A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For 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.
Therefore, 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." Ephesians 6:10-13 NLT
We have an enemy--Satan and his forces. They are spiritual. We can stand firm on and in God's power. The greatest act of God's power was the cross of Christ. It brought us love, forgiveness and acceptance.
So, who are you fighting? Why?