“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood…”
It Never Ends!
January 2020 was an eternity ago. “It” attacked China, the Philippines, and South Korea. Newspapers, cable networks, and social media displayed shocking stories accompanied by shocking images. Governmental lockdowns took hold. Bustling crowds and busy streets disappeared. People are now sick and dying.
At first, “it” was over there, somewhere. By the end of January, it was here! Everyone everywhere was talking about it (and still are). The unseen war can no longer be ignored. For most, the facts don’t matter. Hysteria has taken hold. Time has dragged on and on and on and…
The end of another year is in sight. The unseen war is still out there, just outside your door. For others, it has crossed the threshold and is now inside, in the places you once thought safe. “It’s” always been there, except at the very beginning. “It” never gives up. Unrelenting, the struggle will continue until the last day of the coming age.
Head in the sand, supposed experts prove their lunacy headline after headline. “We will save ourselves. Let’s get on the same page already! Come on, people now, smile on your brother…” Is that even possible, now?
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What’s “It” All About
This post is not a tirade against doctors, government officials, news sources, social media posters (imposters, if you ask me), ill-informed relatives, neighbors (did I miss someone?), or anybody else. This post isn’t about face masks, social distancing, black lives matter, or the elections. If you are not part of the “family” this post is not about you.
Church, this post is written to you, and you alone. Imagine what could happen if Jesus’ followers everywhere decided to do three things before opening our mouths to say anything about the “it” issues of our time?
- Don’t react in the flesh and do/say something you will regret later.
- Stop attacking the wrong enemy. Identify what the unseen war really is, where it started, and what is the only solution for it.
- If you must speak, ask for God’s help and direction to speak the truth in love, not out of anger.
Can I get an Amen?
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:12
Every one of the crisis issues facing humanity connects to the struggle Paul identifies. The “it” issues are the lines of the Enemy’s attack in an eternal cosmic war against our Creator and His Creation. The Adversary, Satan, is directing his forces in an all-out assault. He knows time is running out. Every day he sees the end is getting nearer.
What To Do
All politics is local. Here in the United States, political operatives are taking a page right out of the second chapter of Acts. They target states, cities, neighborhoods, and individual homes. These operatives know more about the people living next door than you do, and they have never met them. Republicans, Democrats, Independents. They know the names of all your neighbors, how many live in the house, what media they consume, how they vote, what they believe, and what they don’t.
Jesus follower, what do YOU know about your neighbors?
Be the Church where you are, right now.
- STOP WAITING for things to return to normal.
- STOP WAITING for the day you can return to “big” church.
- STOP WAITING for someone else to do what God has commanded you to do.
Now Is Our Time!
The early Church had a grassroots plan of action. House to house, neighbor to neighbor, community to community. The Church devoted itself to the Apostles’ teaching. They ate meals together, shared all that they had with one another, and prayed for one another by name every day. The Church needs to organize and operate that way again, the way political activists do. Not to turn out the vote, but to reach people with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
The American part of Jesus’ Church needs to WAKE UP. Self-interest and a hoped-for return to the status quo are getting in the way of God’s will for us in these tumultuous days.
What’s At Stake
This country is in the midst crippling crisis. Look in the mirror, believer. Understand that this is a spiritual war. It cannot be won from the pew, in the voting booth, or in isolation within your family fortress.
The truth of the matter is that we are not saving lives. We are losing them. In the spiritual war that started in heaven and then broke out in the Garden of Eden, everybody dies.
Only those who are vaccinated by the blood of Jesus Christ and infused by the Holy Spirit’s power can live as God intended. Christian, you have a high calling, to make disciples of Jesus who make more disciples.
- Read Acts 2 and pray for God to lead and empower you to reach your neighbors. Here is a suggested prayer: “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland (Isaiah 43:19).” Lord, open the eyes of my neighbors and let them see and know in their hearts that You have made a pathway for them. Amen.
- Take out a piece of paper. Draw a map of your neighborhood. Over each house, place the names of the people living there. If you do not know their names, go to their front door and introduce yourself. Ask for their names and tell them you want to pray by name for everyone in the house each week. Ask if there is anything they would like you to pray for in specific.
- Host a neighborhood social in your front yard. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You supply everything. Invite your neighbors to bring a lawn chair. Before eating, gather people together and pray for the meal. Plan a simple community-building activity. Let God direct the conversation as people get to know one another.
- Let me suggest that you read “The Gospel Comes with a House Key,” written by Rosaria Butterfield.
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Very true… The enemy is not the people but the dark spiritual forces that can only be defeated by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Hate sin and love the people.
Thank you for the reminder and the encouragement and the practicals on what to do as we face “it” 😊
This war is not about the politics or the virus. It is about the fact that the US has turned its collective back on God. It is not just that people have grown cold–it is about direct rebellion against Him. We as the church must start telling the truth, must call people to the Lord Jesus since He is the only One Who can heal us. That means that wherever we have opportunity to speak the truth, be it with individuals or with a wider audience, we MUST speak it. Worse times are coming just as God has said in His Word, and we should care enough about others to give them the way to be on the winning side–God’s side.
I agree completely, with one addition. The spiritual war is in full bloom all around the world.