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I know this challenge is moving quickly.  Hopefully you can go back through on a different set of weeks and move through it slowly, or you have taken some good notes along the way about what God might be doing and can revisit those.  I am going to repost something I believe is essential.  We can not move forward for very long without this understanding that we all have the same enemy and it is not each other.  Our marriage will end up with limitations that we can not seem to get around.  Paying attention to the fact that our enemy will take us out to get to our spouse, or vice versa is a huge tool in battling/exposing some of the warfare set against marriage.  Then you will begin to notice how you can apply it to every other relationship you have.  But for now we are going to focus on applying this understanding while arriving in our marriage with a fully engaged heart.  Whew!  Good thing we are multi-taskers right?

This is a hard one to believe at times especially where marriage is concerned.  “We both have the same enemy?” It is irritating how simple the truth is yet how complex it is to default to that truth.  There definitely is an enemy at work, but it is not each other.

How hard has the enemy worked to distract you from that truth?  How many times has he hidden in the shadows while you, or your spouse stood holding the very instrument that seemed to cause the wound, or damage in the relationship?

Have you ever considered that the enemy will take you out to get to your spouse?  What about the flipside?  The enemy will take your spouse out to take you out?  He already has.

Now, let’s keep wrapping our brains around this because it will take a while.  Jesus gave us the ultimate example of how we all have the same enemy.  He was beaten to near death because the church, (His Bride) manipulated through control, an entire group of people and even it’s ultimate authority of the law.  While He is hanging there suffering and getting ready to die, He starts to pray for us….those who hung Him there.  He says, “Forgive them Father they know not what they do.”  Then He lays His life down for (us) His Bride.  He still chooses to be married.  He still chooses to see us for who we really are and He is focused on fighting “our” enemy.  “Our” meaning, His and ours.  We all have the same enemy and it is not each other.  Jesus’ ultimate example of not fighting flesh and blood but focusing on principalities and powers is completely powerful, beautiful and is what we should be striving for.

It is irritating how simple these issues really are.  They boil down to really dealing with losing sight of a couple simple truths.  But why cant we see it in the moment?

I have a theory.  At least this is how I see it taking place.  If the enemy wants to distract us from the truths and from peace then he is going to have to create chaos, urgency, pain and misunderstanding.  So many times I think he kicks us in the face so-to-speak.  It creates pain and chaos instantly.  Your eyes tear and you are not exactly sure where the blow came from.  There is an urgency to deal with the blood gushing from your face and it places you instantly in a self-protective mode.  As you are able to focus again the enemy is nowhere but your spouse, parent, child, best friend, sibling etc is the one standing there (it is going to hit you in a relational place).  The pain aspect causes a reaction of blame.  “Who is to blame for this?”  Did you know we can not even have a car accident anymore?  Insurance companies and lawyers have to have someone to blame because someone must pay for the circumstances.  The gal that rearended me was at fault.  She was so worked up over her own blame I had to keep telling her it was an “accident”.  Accidents can happen.  It means you did not do it on purpose.  If you are blaming someone then you are in a self-protective stance and you can not trust anyone in that place.  The flipside, they won’t be able to trust you either.

So in order to be able to fight back at the real issues you have to be able to break down what the real issues are.  If you go into a kung fu match you better have taken a few kung fu classes so you can counter your opponents moves.  You do that by learning how they fight.  Well this is a little lesson in warfare.  You have to begin to learn how the enemy works and what his tactics are.  What is he really aiming at in this situation.  He could have taken me out and had but he wasnt aiming just for me, he wanted my kids and my husband to go down too.  Not only that but he wanted their wounds to come from me.

How can you stop in the midst of a battle and pull back enough from your own emotions to consider how the enemy is coming against the one you are in conflict with?

Consider what angle the enemy is using against them?  Pray and ask God to open your eyes, or to bring His truth.  If you seek me with your whole heart you will find me.  He IS truth.  He IS light.  He can reveal but you have to call on Him.  It takes practice.  It is like learning a new fight maneuver.  It is awkward at first.  But trying it more and more it gets easier.  Then it is a natural reaction to what is coming against you.

Let’s just let that marinade for a little while.  The bible holds supernatural truth.  It takes us a bit to wrap our natural brains and understandings to catch up or catch hold.  It is a truth we must choose.  It is a truth we must fight for.

I am blessed to have a husband who has chosen to fight against “our” enemy and not me.  He chooses to see the truer things about me.  He knows that I am still Jennifer and loves me past my wounds, past my hormonal issues and even past all my weaknesses.  He has had to fight to get there both on his own and in collaboration with me.  We have given each other permission to share and talk about how the enemy is trying to take us out with mistrust, miscommunication or just stress.  We also have given each other permission to speak truth in those moments to help us not get distracted.

*Now I am in no way advocating a dangerous or violent situation.  But what I will say, (which is completely not politically correct) is to seek out, or pray for someone who is not just going to tell you to leave your spouse.  You want someone who can see that you both have the same enemy.  You want someone who can recognize that you both need to be rescued. *

Standing with you all ~ Shield to shield!