Last week I talked a lot about seeing the Holy Spirit moving in the hearts of people. The two catalysts I was referring to was the school shooting in Florida and the death of Rev. Billy Graham. In direct opposition to the movement of the Holy Spirit, the devil and his minions are also on the move: the hate-filled speech is returning along with divisions. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
People are being held captive by the real enemy of our souls: the devil. Look around and you will see an enslaved people, bound by the devil in chains of sin, selfishness, pride, lust, power and greed. As Christ followers, we need to pray humbling and bold prayers. “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.” (1 Tim. 2:1-6)
As Christ followers we aren’t called to divide, but to unite under Christ. “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of His household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.” (Eph. 2:19-22)
It is easy to point fingers in judgment of others and their actions, but I encourage you (and myself) not to do that. No matter what it looks like, the enemy isn’t the one espousing the very thing politically that you oppose with every fiber of your being. “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.” (Eph. 6:12) Know who it is that is making the division, who is spewing the hate: it is the devil who has been a liar since the beginning (John 8:44). And remember to whom you belong, Jesus Christ, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). You are the child of the One True King (Gal 3:26).
“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life.” (Deut 30:19-20a) We have a choice: speak and live as if we are still enslaved to sin, or choose freedom in Jesus Christ: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36) Perhaps a fast from social media, news or whatever gets you riled up is in order; and in turning AWAY from the snares of the devil (2 Timothy 2:26), we need to turn TO the Lord. “Even now, declares the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate” (Joel 2:12-13a).