A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. EPHESIANS 6:10-12
Honestly, I didn’t want a scripture that indicated I would be experiencing spiritual warfare! I would have preferred a scripture about love or peace or joy. But it turned out that, as the year went by, being aware of spiritual warfare made it so much easier to pray and then refocus my thoughts.
So many times in 2021 I was tempted by thoughts that were critical, divisive, judgmental, anxious, fearful, depressing, insecure, or impulsive—leading to wrong decisions. When those thoughts came to mind, I started to feel a heaviness in my gut. Then I remembered that this might be spiritual warfare, and I prayed. I refused the thoughts that I knew were wrong, and I deliberately replaced them prayerfully with thoughts that were based on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable, that are excellent and worthy of praise.
I believe that the devil has a strategy to divide Christians. It may be over politics or opinions about the pandemic or anything else, when the world needs to see God’s people walking in love more than ever. The world needs to see and hear the Gospel. How can we change our divisive thoughts? What about when we see a fellow believer on social media expressing an opinion we believe is wrong? Pray for them; think about what there is to love about them.
What if your spouse, friend, or family member is upsetting you? Once again, pray and forgive them. Think about what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praise-worthy about them. Then before seeking the Lord about talking to them, talk to God to see if there’s something He wants to change in your life first.