Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Who are we fighting?

Ephesians 6:12+13-"For we do not wrestle 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. 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 firm."

Every day. Literally. Every single day something happens to make my heart dance before the Lord. It could be as simple as a five minute stroll with my Savior, but recently the King of Glory has reigned soveriegn in my life. He has given me His heart for the lost and has broken me that He might use me.

And I am angry. I am furious, actually. The difficult struggle for me is separating the person from the evil. It burns me to see people claiming Christianity, but turning and speaking with malice, getting drunk on a nightly basis, and surrendering themselves to apathy. It angers me. I feel a bit like Jesus must have felt when he walked into the temple and saw all of the chaos. He ran through toppling tables, destroying efforts-they were contaminating His Father's house. That's what I want to do! But I know I am not called to judge. However, I am called to fight. But what does that look like? Honestly speaking...what does it look like to see evil within someone claiming the cross and topple it over in them?

So as I turn this over in my head-2 Peter 3 comes to mind. "Always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks for the reason for the hope that you have...but do so in gentleness and respect." So my anger stems from the hope I have in Christ. I want to see Him glorified. I want His name worshipped, not defamed. So does this really mean I must convey my anger with gentleness and respect? Yes. My anger not only stems from my hope, but my faith...and not only my faith...but my love. And what is love? (1 Corinthians 13) God is love, yes?

So hate what is evil...I should have no patience for evil, but be patient with those consumed in it. I should have no kindness toward it, but kindness toward those who are entangled in sin. I should be jealous on behalf of God for the soul this force of evil is trying to claim. I should boast in Christ! My pride comes from that. I should not and cannot be gentle to evil...I must fight it with the double-edged (Hebrews 4:12) sword that is the Gospel! Seeking not my self, but God in that person. Evil should anger me...not those committing evil. I will never forget how Satan has wronged me...I must not lest I forget His grace. Remember your many sins...don't dwell in them. The biggest part of 1 Corinthians 13-Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects-I will not protect evil, but come at it with open fire-my weapon being the Gospel, I will not trust evil-Satan is a thief, a liar and like a wolf waiting on its prey to destroy it and by the Grace of God and victory claimed in Him-evil will NOT prevail.

Consequently, I must be on guard. Satan will even turn my hate for him and try to use it as hate toward others. I must not let him take that in me. I will take every...and I do mean EVERY...thought captive, making it obedient to my King (2 Cor. 10:5). I will demolish the arguments and pretensions that try to set my mind apart from God. I will not let this righteous anger be perverted by my enemy. He can take each thought turning it into gossip, divisive efforts and judgment. I will not let that happen. I love my Jesus too much and I love His creation...even if they do not claim Him as King yet. I will claim them in prayer. My effort is Christ glorified...daily, constantly...in everything.

Bottom line: I will not stand down. And in that stance...I will fight evil valiantly in His strength and in that same strength looking on those blinded by evil with the eyes of Christ...ever loving, ever patient...and ever ready to welcome back into His arms the prodigals.

Who do we fight? Satan and his minions. Who wins? Yaweh, Jesus, the Holy Spirit. Onward, Christian soldiers...we've got a war to fight. And amazingly enough...the strongest way to start, proceed and finish is on our knees. Shall we?

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