“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” Ephesians 6:10-20
“You turned on the people that were trying to help you,” the Spirit of God who lives inside His followers spoke to my heart one morning.
I had been in the thick of a fiery spiritual battle like many I have faced in the past most often when the Lord is doing an especially enormous work in my heart and ministry. I won’t go into the details of His work in this case nor of the battle itself, but suffice it to say the Lord brought clear and strong conviction that I had handled the battle wrongly and poorly. In one specific way.
Friendly fire. Instead of fighting the spiritual battle with the armor of God and with prayer and most of all with walking in God’s love, mercy, faith, trust, truth, patience, and forgiveness, filled with and led by His Spirit, I had turned on the very people who were trying to help me!
Friendly fire is when people turn on and wound and sometimes even kill the people who are on their side. That’s exactly what I had done. In this case, I had used words to lash out at the people for whom I should have been thankful and with whom I should have been loving, kind, merciful, and patient.
There was only one right way to handle the wrong I had done. True sorrow over my sin and repentance before God and those I had harmed. That’s exactly what I did. I could have kept on wounding those I had already offended. Or I could have stopped lashing out and simply wallowed in self-condemnation given my sin. But that’s not the way of the Lord. It’s not the way of repentance.
I needed to turn from my sin and turn back to God and His Word. I needed to receive His love and forgiveness, be re-filled and refreshed with His Spirit, and walk on and battle on. That’s exactly what I chose to do.
That’s what we all need to do when God shows us our sins. We need to turn from them, put our trust in Jesus who died on the cross to pay our sin penalty and was raised from the dead, and live the life of a Christ follower. Ever learning to walk in God’s ways, repenting when we fall, ever being conformed to Jesus’ forever glorious magnificent image.
In a battle? Entrenched in sin? Caught up in friendly fire? Hurting those trying to help you? Stuck in self-condemnation? Can you identify with any of this? Please do as God’s taught me to do. As He desires we all do. Repent and turn to Jesus. And walk on. In His love, in His grace, in His mercy, in His strength, for His awesome glory, AMEN!