Thursday, October 26th, 2023
As I was seeking God for a blog topic, He brought one word to my mind: “family”. This is one of those words that unfortunately doesn’t always lead to warm and fuzzies. Some have come from broken families, some have been betrayed by family members, some have been abused by family members, some have an entirely twisted view of what a family is, and our society as a whole has almost completely walked away from the Biblical family God intended. Yes, there are some that have truly incredible families that have fostered wonderful environments where people can mature into the individuals God designed them to be. This is not meant to be a doom and gloom blog. I just recognize the fact that lately, possibly more than ever, the enemy is using families to try to destroy so many inside and outside of the body of Christ. I know of multiple family situations where what used to be a loving, supportive and respectful situation has become anything but.
The first area that I believe God wants me to touch on is found in Ephesians 6:12:
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Whenever I find myself in any strained relationship, this verse comes to my mind. It’s not the family member or the friend or the work partner or the child or the spouse that we are wrestling with. The enemy and his cohorts have instead found a willing subject to use to try to distract us from our walk with God. All the puppets acting in our governments, professional athletics, school systems, financial systems, etc. are not the ones that we are to direct our energy and efforts on. They are not the ones that we need to defeat. The most important weapon we have in these battles is our prayers. We need to use the authority in our mouths and our minds to push back satan, the wicked puppeteer. When I can remind my soul of this scripture verse, realize that I am not fighting a human, and that my prayers carry more power than any earthly weapon, it always brings a complete shift to my view of the situation. The part of me that felt offended or hurt or angry realizes that the one who is behind the strings has already been defeated. Does that mean all those relationships are suddenly healed? Absolutely not. Instead, its my perspective and my understanding of my role in this situation that have been healed.
The other topic I am going to touch on is the fact that over and over in scripture God refers to us as being adopted into His family. Why does he refer to us as sons and daughters? Why is He referred to as our heavenly Father? Well, God knew families in a broken world would rarely represent the family He intended. He knew satan was going to make the destruction of the family one of his primary targets. After all, the 3rd person in creation killed his brother, the 4th person in creation. God knew all along that all of us would benefit from coming to the realization that He is the only perfect Father and that we were created to be His sons and daughters. That is where we will find freedom, endless and unconditional love, healthy discipline, acceptance, encouragement, comfort, healing, and on and on. Even if we have one of those incredible families that I mentioned at the beginning, there will still be times that we do and say imperfect things to each other. No earthly family is perfect.
There is one other scripture I want to look at. Matt 19:29 says:
29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.
If we were supposed to always put our family before God, there would never have been a scripture like this. I am not saying that every little rift or difference amongst family members means we need to leave our family members. Please hear my heart. What I am saying is that there may be situations with family members who are so deeply unaccepting of the Christian road we travel that God shows us a fork in the road. We can either choose to try to please people or we can choose to keep our eyes on Jesus no matter who might be offended. Other times God will ask us to shower a family member with love in order to show them a picture of Jesus. Then some other times, we may need to be the ones to repent in order to heal a relationship. But sometimes, God may pull us away for a season. Perhaps it is for our healing, it may be for their healing, or it may be to get us to release our grip on them and let God carry them. Whatever our situations are the most important thing we can do is seek God and obey His leading. It would be wonderful if we all got along, never hurt each other and showed each other respect. We can look forward to that in heaven.
In any battlefield, spiritual or physical, one of the most important things to know is who our enemy is. Otherwise, we will waste energy and resources and innocent people will get hurt. Satan has been and will always be the evil one spreading his wickedness and using any willing subject to steal, kill and destroy. He is the one we need to wrestle with, keeping our mind set on the fact that Jesus has already defeated him. The One who wants to be our Father and calls us His sons and daughters has already overcome it all. He knows the best path for us to walk and He has plans to reach and minister to those all around us in the process. It may not always look like ministry, but that’s because we don’t see things as God does. The earthly family we were born into and the spiritual family we are adopted into was no coincidence. We can leave the fingerprint of God on everyone in our family. And that could mean gentle love, tough love or anything in between.