In the course of parenting and home schooling, there is a spiritual battle that many fail to wage: the fight to not allow walls of protection and hurt to be built in our own hearts toward a husband, wife, child, or parent. What do you do when God places someone in your life who hurts or disappoints you? What is your strategy for handling the weaknesses and sins of others?
God has provided the basis for victory in Christ.
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 2:14)
Paul’s declaration of victory is packed with powerful truth. He acknowledged God’s provision in Christ. We know that Christ overcame sin and death at the cross and that Paul’s boast of all boasts was the cross (Gal. 614). However, notice that he did not say God wins this fight for us so that we do not have to fight. He said God “always leads us in triumph in Christ.” He was saying that when we follow God’s lead for fighting Satan and use His weapons in our warfare, we always gain the victory. What does Jesus’ victory on the cross have to do with our warfare against those who hurt or disappoint us? Here is a list of the things Paul mentioned in his second letter to the Corinthians.
- God paid for and removed the sins of the flesh from consideration through the cross (2 Cor. 5:14-16). That truth means He tore down the wall of separation between God and you, and those who hurt you, by the power of the cross.
- Because of the cross, God no longer recognizes any man in Christ in the flesh (2 Cor. 5:16-17).
- Because of the cross, God attributes the righteousness of Christ to all believers, thus overcoming our weaknesses and sins of the flesh (2 Cor. 3:21; 6:7).
- Because of the cross, God gave believers a new purpose in life: to no longer live for themselves but for Christ (2 Cor. 5:15).
- At the cross, by God’s uniting us with Him, He created a new man, namely, Christ no longer with a body of flesh but a body of many members who are forgiven, cleansed, and united with one purpose to honor Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).
In Christ, God provided a basis for victory in the spiritual battles that develop in relationships. If He tore down the wall between Himself and us, then we have a basis for tearing down the walls in our own hearts toward others. Jesus Christ on the cross shouts throughout eternity: Sin and death are conquered! The wall of separation is removed! Reconciliation is accomplished! What incredible grace!
When we follow God’s lead for fighting Satan and use His weapons in our relational warfare, God manifests that we know Christ.
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” (2 Corinthians 2:14)
When people are hurt and they war according to the flesh, the stench of hell and Satan are manifested. Walls are always built, and Satan leads them into defeat (regardless of arguments won, successful manipulations, etc.), because people are using Satan’s strategies as their basis for warfare. (Read about this truth in previous Chariot of Fire articles at spiritofelijah.com/chariot.) When we follow God’s lead and base our responses to the hurts and sins of others on grace through the work of Christ on the cross, a very different aroma is manifested—the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Christ.
When we follow God’s lead for fighting Satan and use His weapons in our relational warfare, namely Jesus’ work on the cross, we are a fragrance of Christ to God.
For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. (2 Corinthians 2:15-16)
Paul’s primary motivation in his relationships was his relationship with God. How very important it is for us to make this connection with the life of Jesus Christ! When we tear down the walls created by others’ sins and weaknesses because He tore down the walls between Himself and us, we remind Him of the glorious work of His Son on the cross. It proves we know His grace!
What is your aroma to God?
This kind of relational warfare seems foolish to people who haven’t seen God’s wisdom and strategy in Christ and the cross clearly. Paul wrote, “The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (1 Corinthians 1:25) The cross work of God has always appeared weak and foolish to proud men and women. However, to those who are being saved, it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:24)
Please consider your ministry to others in the sight of God. What is your aroma to Him? Is your ministry to your wife, husband, or children reminding God of how His Son tore down the walls of separation?
Fighting the way Jesus fought takes practice.
Every relationship is an opportunity to practice what you believe about the power of God and the wisdom of God in the cross. I invite you to repeatedly follow Jesus’ lead in destroying walls. Every time you are offended, step into the battle confident of the victory to come as you apply the cross work of Christ to others. You will find yourself healed and taking part in Jesus’ victory march before the Father—to the praise of His glorious grace!