Something that the Lord has been showing me over and over through my relationships this past year and by seeing other relationships encounter turmoil, division, or whatever else you want to call it is that we can not view those that have hurt us as our true enemy. We only have one true enemy and that is the Devil himself...well, and the flesh. Both of those things want us to believe lies about other people to gain ground over our thoughts and our "rights" that we think we have. I was reading in "My Utmost for His Highest" the other day and it was about how God uses circumstances to test our faithfulness to Him. We say God is in control of everything very easily when things are going well, but when things around us are falling apart that involve people, or something they have done, suddenly we believed it was caused by that person and then we can totally lose focus on who we should be focusing on. And then we start wanting to be in control of fixing the problem or taking matters into our own hands. Yes, people do things that are wrong or hurtful to others, but how are we to respond to that. Are we to continue to stake blame on them and be unforgiving and bitter toward that hurt, or are we to see it for what it is? Trust me, I've had my share of bitterness, unforgiveness, and sometimes hatred over people who have hurt me and it did nothing but made me miserable. The Truth is God still in control, even when we think we are. Either he allows or orchestrates things to happen for a higher purpose than what our angry, hurting flesh is willing to see. The enemy doesn't want us to see it that way though so he starts putting thoughts in our head about that person or those people that have hurt us, and even about God, therefore keeping our eyes off of of Who we need to have them on. Remember, God had good will toward us, and if God caused or allowed this to happen, then He did for our own good. It may not make sense right away, but we will always be able to look back and learn from it if we are willing. We have to fix our eyes on God who has either caused or allowed this to happen for a higher purpose. And the only way to come out of it in the right position, is to depend completely on the One who ordained this situation in the first place. When we feel we are in a battle with someone, we need to look beyond that person and into the spiritual realm, and see who are battle is really against. Remember, "our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers and rulers of this dark world". If we could believe that folks, how many people would we have spared unforgiveness toward. Let's fight our battles the way God calls us to, and start rebuking the enemy and not our brothers and sisters in Christ. God is on our side and knowing that He is not just on our side individually, but on "our" side as children of God as a whole. That person may see you as their enemy too but that is just them believing the same lie you are. So that is when you need to pray for them to see things clearly as God does. Whoever it is that has hurt you, or even continues to hurt you, start going to the Throne of God on their behalf and claiming that God is for you both and Has a beautiful plan for your lives. And it also requires surrendering what we want out of that relationship and asking God to reveal what He wants. And then patiently allowing Him to accomplish it in His timing...it's tough but not impossible.
The biggest breakthrough I think Tim and I have had in our relationship recently is realizing that we are not each other's enemy. I believed too long without even realizing it that Tim was out to make my life difficult. But little did I know that he was believing the same thing about me...ha! Who was behind that? Uh..huh! The truth is we are not out to get each other and have no ill will toward each other in the grand scheme of things. We have said hurtful things to each other or even done hurtful things to each other, but really when it comes down to it, we didn't want to do that. It was an "in the moment" time of weakness that we regret. The only person that wanted to tear us apart was the enemy himself. And God was finally able to pound it into us after a difficult season that we had to go through, that He is on our side together, He is for our marriage, and as long as we believe the Truth of His Word over each other instead believing the lies that we have for so long, we will be ok. And things have been monumentally better since then. But it's a daily thing. We have to take every thought captive, EVERY thought, EVERY day....to the obedience of Christ. Which means we ask ourselves in every situation "is this thought from God, myself, or the enemy"? If your answer is anything but from God, than you rebuke it and replace with something that God would have you think about that person, even if you have nothing to work with. Just speak a blessing over them, even if you don't feel it, just do it. There is power in that...and the results will follow in your favor.