In the devil’s merciless mission to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), one thing he loves to do is to attack people’s relationships with the Lord most of all and also to attack people’s relationships with one another. Stands to reason. After all, God’s greatest commands are to love Him with all our hearts and others as ourselves (Luke 10:26-27). The devil attacks our relationships with God and with others vehemently, vengefully, viciously, and vigilantly. Which is exactly what he did for the umpteenth time one day when I was on the telephone with a beautiful and beloved sister in the Lord.
I can’t wait to tell you what happened. Because this time around, unlike so many times in the past when I have had struggles with relationships and we allowed the devil through our flesh to wreak havoc on us as individuals and in our relationships with one another, the devil lost and God’s loving will prevailed!
When I shared a concern with my friend about something she told me, she immediately snapped at me brusquely and hurtfully. If you don’t know me well, I am sensitive and always have been. I burst into tears. Then something beautiful happened. I told my friend what she had done. She immediately apologized. I immediately forgave. I got off the phone quickly because I felt I needed some alone time. In the next 24 hours, it was clear our friendship was stronger not weaker!
Let me take you deeper with all this. And please consider your own relationships whether with people close to you, not so close, and even strangers. With anyone at all. The devil loves to get us upset, hurt, bitter, resentful, vengeful, angry, rageful, prideful, arrogant, self-pitying, judgmental, condemning, merciless, unforgiving, unloving, and anything else for that matter that is ungodly.
When we live in the flesh and not according to God’s Spirit and the godliness to which He calls us, we are wide open prey to the devil’s attacks both as individuals and in our relationships.
Please read these verses and then continue on as I share with you the rest of this wonderful testimony!
“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” Galatians 5:14-18
By God’s grace alone, and I truly give Him ALL THE GLORY, my friend and I chose God’s way of love, grace, mercy, kindness, patience, and forgiveness – instead of the way of the self-centered, self-loving, self-pleasing, self-seeking, selfish flesh. Choosing the way of Christ protected us from the devil’s attempts to harm our relationship. And the Lord so lovingly and mercifully protected us!
Friend, is this message for you? Are there relationships in your life that need healing? Mending? Needing love and forgiveness? Grace and mercy? Kindness and patience? Tender love? The way of Christ? We can’t make others do what is right in the sight of Jesus, but we can make sure we ourselves do God’s will in our relationships with others. And we can pray they will do the same and be humble examples to them in how we ourselves think, speak, and act according to the leading of the Holy Spirit and in the precious love of Jesus!
Please follow Jesus in every area of your life – relationships with others included! AMEN!
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8
“Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22
“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;” Romans 12:9-10
“A friend loves at all times…” Proverbs 17:17