006. LOVE THE PERSON AND HATE THE ENEMY
Sometimes, I find myself in a situation where someone is saying and doing things that are just not of the kingdom. In those scenarios, I have to catch myself from seeing only the person. I want to love them and try to refrain from placing all my frustration on them, because there is often demonic influence at work. I always feel weird talking about demonic activity, as if I’m in a B-movie carrying a giant crucifix and holy water! Despite how awkward I my fell discussing it, Paul tells us “We are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world ... against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). This is not a movie! It is real! As believers, we can be influenced by the enemy, coming into agreement with lies he tells us. This is not always an intentionally malicious choice, but rather a subtly deception. This is why I want to love the person and hate the enemy. There is a reason why Jesus commanded us to love one another (John 15:17). I’m not saying that sometimes people are not to blame, but Jesus gives us an example of how it’s not always simply the persons fault. In Mark 8: “Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. ‘Get behind me, Satan!’ he said. ‘You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men’” (8:33). Yikes! Jesus didn’t let Peter off the hook, but He called out the real culprit. He commanded satan to get behind Him, because one of his tactics is to block God’s purpose for our lives. Often, when people are acting like road-blocks to your destiny, you have to see who is really at work. Love the person and call the enemy out and put him under your heel, in the name of Jesus!
I have to admit I have a hard time seeing past the person, but Jesus is in me, so I know it’s possible. Also, let’s not start condescendingly looking down on others, because we think they are demonically influenced, and we are not. The truth is, you and I may be the ones in agreement with the enemy. I have heard it said that deception by its very nature means you don’t know you’re deceived. Pay attention to the aftermath of your words or actions. Do you find yourself in a constant place of negativity? Are you relentlessly plagued by assuming the worst of others, rather than loving them? Do you always find yourself in the middle of drama, and you’re the constant denominator? Jesus told us, “‘By their fruit you will recognize them’” (Matthew 7:20). If you are wandering if you have come into agreement with the enemy, then check the fruit of your life. Ask the Lord to give you the eyes to see where you have been deceived and the humility to admit it, repent and cast out the spirit by name. The emotions of pride will try to deceive you but you have the Holy Spirit inside you, so ask the Lord for His desires. Philippians 2:13 reads, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (2:13). If your emotions are ruling you, remember that God can give you the righteous longings you don’t have yet.
Today, stop and take time to ask the Lord to reveal where you may have partnered with the enemy, and ask Him for the desire to address it and repent. If you are controlled more by the temporary things of man than by the things of God, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the spirit at work, and cast it out by name! With the authority given to you as a son and daughter, say out loud, “Spirit of____ I cast you out by the power of the Holy Spirit, and in the mighty name of Jesus!” As a child of God, you are on the offense and not the defense, and remember to love the person and hate the enemy!