Wrestling Against Evil

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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. Ephesians 6:12 English Standard Version (ESV)

Are you a little overwhelmed with the horrors you are hearing about and reading about these days? I am. It seems every morning there is a new heartbreak, another voice of crazy shouting words of hatred and ugliness into our world. Anger marches down the street to destroy the innocent. Corrupt minds plot deception in their dark rooms. Words rip apart our relationships and diseases attack our fragile bodies. Each morning there is the newest daily dose of bad news.

"What is going on in this world of ours?" I think with dismay.

If I didn't have God's own words in my hands, I would forget that there is a word for all of this. Evil. And I would forget that God hates it. And God fights against it. This evil has been on its destructive path for a long, long time. And we are caught up in the crossfire.

Right there in Genesis, before the paint is dry on the ‘No Trespassing' sign to the Garden, God is warning Cain, the son of Adam and Eve, "Why are you angry? Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to overtake you. Do not listen to that voice." (My paraphrase of Genesis 4:6-7.)

Sin is the child of evil. It seeks to destroy and tear down. It draws close and whispers in a soft voice. It seeks to own us; to have us. God tells us not to give in. To rise above.

But how in the world do we do this? Personally, I know I am too weak and too small. When confronted with this chaos of evil my first response is disbelief, quickly followed by anger. That is not the way of God; that is the way of the enemy of God. That is buying into the emotions of evil.

When Jesus walked the dusty streets of this earth, he experienced first-hand the horrors of evil's reign in our world. And he left us with the perfect response; ‘Love others as I have loved you.' (My paraphrase John 13:34.) Boy, did he ever do an excellent job of loving! He was insulted, spit upon, publicly humiliated, and tortured until he died. And he prayed for God to forgive them as they shouted their words of hatred.

That action of praying is the solution, I think. Loving others is hard. Praying for them is a bit easier. And it is in holding them up to the Lord that I find compassion for them and peace for my soul. It is in praying that I find my heart changed. It is where God's presence is more evident than the whispers of evil. It is where light overrules the darkness.

I cannot defeat evil. But God can. And He has given me a job to do while He is in battle; to love as Jesus loved, to pray as Jesus prayed. May my heart and my thoughts and my words reflect the light of my God. Amen.

Question: Who are you trusting during these turbulent times? Whose words are informing your thoughts?

"Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord." Leviticus 19:18 NIV

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7 NIV

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide

Photo by Johannes Plenio from Pexels.