It’s a crazy world out there right now! Just in the past few weeks we’ve had questionable police action resulting in the death of young African-Americans; police ambushed and killed in Dallas; police killed in Baton Rouge; terrorism in Nice, France; a coup attempt in Turkey; and continued persecution of Christians (killings, selling of women, beheading of children) in Muslim countries. Does it seem to you as if the world is just becoming a worse place?
I’m not sure our country has been so divided since the Civil War and that our world has been so at risk since Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Clearly this is not the worst time the Earth has seen in its history – Men have been far more cruel to one another in centuries past. However, as we consider ourselves more civilized today we are shocked by the amount of violence, hate, vitriol, and divisiveness we see daily in our country and world.
Like everyone else, I get very frustrated with it all. I’ve been tempted just to sequester myself from the news and social media to get away from all this stuff. I’m really understanding why the monks left the cities and built monasteries far away and just studied scripture and made fudge.
But at times like these, we must turn to God to understand what is happening and for instructions as to how we should act. And scripture is pretty clear!
When asked in Matthew 22 what is the greatest commandment, Jesus told us that we are to love God and love each other as we love ourselves. When we do this, Jesus explained, all the laws and prophets fall into place, meaning the world is right and we are in God’s will. However, the opposite is true when we don’t.
When we don’t love God and each other you get what we’re seeing in the streets of America today. Violence begetting violence due to a fundamental lack of love for God and our fellow man.
Jesus told us this would happen.
In Mark Chapter 13 Jesus tells us there will be wars and rumors of wars and we are not to be concerned because these things must come to pass. He also tells us nations will rise up against each other; there will be famines and earthquakes; and that Christians will be hated during this time, with brother betraying brother, children in rebellion against parents; and more.
But there’s more to it. In Ephesians 6, Paul tells us that our fight is not against flesh and blood but is a spiritual fight against Satan. We’re really not fighting racism, terrorists, Republicans or Democrats, police or ethnic groups. We are fighting Satan who has one job: Keep us from loving God and loving each other!
Apparently he is doing a pretty good job of it right now. Through his actions, we’ve become people who no longer have just a basic respect for our fellow human being. Satan has been able to influence us not to trust God and not to trust each other. We are living in fear and acting on those fears in the worst ways.
I see Christian leaders talk about the need for a revival. I agree but I think the kind of revival we need is different from the one they’re talking about. We as the church need to stand up in one voice – all 2.1 billion of us – and first rebuke Satan who has no power over us, and second demonstrate what loving God and loving each other is supposed to look like!
If you call yourself a Christian we need to stop the name calling and the us vs. them mentality and become encouragers of people by sharing the Good News of salvation and eternal life! We need to fight spiritual warfare with the power of the Holy Spirit not by picking sides in a political campaign. We need to stop falling into Satan’s trap and counter his strong attack with Jesus.
I know, it’s a lot easier said than done. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to stop myself from posting some clever meme on my Facebook page that I come to realize would do nothing more than divide my friends rather than unite them!
So here’s what I’m asking you to consider today. Love Jesus more than your own opinions on world events. And then act on that love of Jesus in ways that would glorify Him. Rebuke Satan in your life and in our nation and world. Be an encourager and lift people up. Refuse to fight a spiritual battle with earthly means. Instead bring Jesus and the Holy Spirit into the fight so that you we can win the day!
Jesus tells us that it is going to get worse before it gets better in a worldly sense. There is no better time for we Christians to show the world what our faith is all about.