“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” -Ephesians 6:12 KJV
Anybody remember what the Maginot Line was? It was a series of fortresses that France built after World War I in order to defend themselves against Germany. It was only on the border with Germany. However, when World War II broke out, the Germans invaded France through Belgium and the Netherlands, conquered France and defeated the Maginot Line from inside France itself! Why this history lesson? Because the Christian is at war. Whether they like it or not, we are soldiers in an epic battle with a powerful, cunning enemy, who has invaded our very bodies and minds, and has an ally within ourselves! Who is this enemy and his ally? The enemy is one we all know about. The enemy is Satan. The ally is our own sinful nature.
Here is how most spiritual battles play out: Most people, including Christians, think it is someone who is sinning differently than them, point their fingers at that person, and say: “THIS GUY is the enemy!” They mount bulwarks and laws against that person, paying no attention to the fact that they have a sinful nature too, and they are defeated, not by that “enemy,” but by that ally within themselves, who is operating under the distraction the different sinner provides. Trouble is, that is not fighting the enemy; that is distracting from the enemy. The enemy is Satan, who seeks to steal, kill and destroy; it is not the different sinner. Satan and the sinful nature within ourselves brings us down, but only if we let them. We have a true ally who can come live within us to fight our battles for us.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” –Matthew 7: 3-5 NIV
Now that we got who the enemy and their ally is, how do we fight them? There are several ways. One is through study and obedience to the Word of God, the Bible. That will strengthen you against Satan and sin, so you can fight properly. How can a soldier fight without proper instruction and training in their weapons? So it is with you. The Bible, prayer and belief are your weapons; use them. In prayer and belief, refer all complaints and temptations to the Lord. The Lord will fight your battles for you. It is His job to do the heavy lifting and repairs to your life and the person(s) your pray for. Simply ask, and keep asking, and the Lord will give you the answer.
So, where does this leave the “different sinner” in the Lord’s eyes? The “different sinner” is still a sinner. They are hostages to Satan and the sinful nature, just like you. Your task is to minister to them; that is, to tell the sinner that there is a way out of the pit, and it is through accepting Christ as your Savior. So, go and tell the sinner the way out of sin!
Know your enemy, know your ally, and you can be on the winning side.