Throughout Scripture, God’s people are reassured when facing an enemy. The repeated command, “Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed …, for the battle is not yours but God’s (2 Chronicles 20:15),” reminds them and us to take heart.
Although we know our real battles are not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places, this spiritual warfare is manifest in our lives in the physical realm.
So we are to be sober-minded; and watchful because our adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.1 Peter 5:8
With all this in mind, how are we to respond when the enemy attacks? We all struggle against worldly pressures and temptations, but today Bible believing Christians are under siege from a variety of cultural and political forces. We are seen by too many as an enemy to be defeated. How should we respond?
Jesus Christ addressed our dilemma directly in Matthew 5, saying, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be like your Father in heaven, since he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
This means that while we resist the pressures to abandon our faith, we must also never abandon our commitment to treating others as we would wish to be treated. We can stand firm, speak out, share our faith, and pray constantly, with the assurance that this ages-old battle is in the hands of our gracious and loving Creator God.