If it happened to Jesus, why are we surprised when it happens to us?
During a time when I felt particularly embattled in my ministry, I decided to study Jesus in warfare. I took a paperback edition of the Bible and, with an orange highlighter, began to mark the occasions when Jesus was in some form of spiritual conflict. My criteria for defining warfare was whenever the enemy tried to hurt or hinder Jesus from fulfilling His mission. I marked out every time His life was threatened, or He was assaulted with physical violence, false accusation, slander, betrayal, plotting, traps and trickery, deceit, gossip, condemnation, intimidation, name-calling, and other forms of rejection. These are all the same tools the enemy uses against us today.
Once it was completed, I fanned the four gospels and was amazed at how orange the pages were. Jesus was in constant spiritual warfare from the cradle to the cross. He also experienced what is now called “spiritual abuse” by the hands of those who were in authority.
For the most part, the devil used those who were closest to Jesus in an effort to hurt and hinder Him. He used Judas Iscariot because of his proximity to Jesus.
Judas was not just a disciple, but a friend who Jesus had spent time with and trusted in. It is interesting to consider how the enemy used one of the closest warm bodies to Jesus to try to impede Him from doing the will of God.
Then, there was Peter. One minute he was speaking revelation by the Spirit, and the next minute he was being used by the enemy to resist Jesus, who responded by looking at Peter while speaking directly to Satan.
None of us like the idea that the enemy can momentarily use those who are closest to us in order to speak aloud those things the he wants spoken, which often hurt and hinder us. The fact is, the enemy wants to use a family member, a friend, another pastor, or a board member
who are supportive one moment and then pitted against us the next. He knows that this can blow us out of the water more than if he used someone we don’t know. Besides, if it happened to Jesus, why should we be surprised when it happens to us? Yet, we always are.
I hope this study will give you another perspective on spiritual warfare and help you to win the war the way Jesus did.
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