Know Your Enemy
As we walk through the carnage of a week of bloodshed and violence, many of us are simply stunned. Many of us are looking for someone to blame, looking for an answer, looking for a solution.
In the coming days there will inevitably be a lot of talk, and lot of discussion, a lot of finger pointing as attempts to reach that end.
But we've been through that; we've been through a lot of that, and it has gotten us nowhere.
Let me get to the point: White people are not your enemy. Black people are not your enemy. Police officers are not your enemy. Hillary Clinton is not your enemy and Donald Trump is not your enemy.
Satan is, has been, and will continue to be your enemy.
I Peter 5:8 Tells us, "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
And oh how he is devouring. He is devouring the very fabric of what makes us a nation and a people. He is devouring the progress made over the last 100 years, he is devouring our families, our sense of community, and he is devouring relationships, hearts and minds. The wounds are ripped open and Satan is digging in to steal, kill, and destroy..
Of course, some people think this whole Satan thing is just silliness and that no such being exists. If this is you, I encourage you to take a look around and tell me exactly what it is about the presence of evil that you still doubt.
So if Satan is our enemy, what do we do about it? The answer is that we go to war.
Ephesians 6:11-13 - "11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."
Our duty as Christians is to do battle when called upon to do battle. Not against flesh and blood, not against other people who are walking through this mess with us, but against the powers of darkness. Right now the enemy is on the attack, and it is undoubtedly a time for battle. So what is the 'armor of God' and how do we use it?
Ephesians 6:14-17 tells us:
14 The belt of truth buckled around your waist (we are to know and speak what is true).
The breastplate of righteousness (as we live a life of righteousness, we protect all that is vital in our chest, namely we protect our hearts.)
15 your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace (be ready to walk through hostile territory. The gospel of peace allows us to walk safely over dangerous terrain, bearing the good news of the gospel, and as we walk we bring peace to the hurting).
16 the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one (our faith is what steadies us and protects us from the arrows of hate and fear that are flying everywhere at the moment).
17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God (the word of God protects our minds and keeps us focused).
Our tendency is going to be to talk and talk and talk on social media and around the water cooler. Our tendency is going to be to point fingers. Our tendency is going to be to watch what our leaders do and say about this battle. Our tendency is going to be debate, frustration, and bottled up angst.
But enough of waiting and watching. It's time for the church to rise and move the gates of hell. It's time to fight back in the spiritual realms.
Speak love, speak the gospel of peace and take the enemy head on. Because no matter how he rages, no matter how much carnage he leaves in his wake, he has already lost.
Enough is enough. The battle is on, and I'm in.