Friday, September 20, 2013

Fighting Evil

I have been spending the past few months watching my sister suffer at the hands of someone who does not have her best interest in mind.  And I am watching him drag her through the mud with slanderous words, lies and using a lawyer to launch baseless threats.

As Christians, when we are under attack do we fight back or do we stay down and wait for God to rescue us?  Maybe the answer is both.

So I was praying this morning against evil.  I have become over this last year aware of evil and how it surrounds us.  I see it all around me.  Last night I heard of another struggling marriage.  And my heart breaks.  I see evil in my children, I see them struggle between God and Satan.  Finding their way through.  Jake has made his decision but is not immune to temptation.  Isabelle has yet to reach out to God.  She is listening to Him but she is listening to the world as well.

We have a legacy of faith in our family. 3+ generations of men and women serving God.  It is a blessing, surrounded by people you can always trust to encourage and direct you down a godly path.  And my prayer is that my children and the children of all my family and the generations to come will know and serve God as this past 3 generations have.  We aren't perfect but we all serve a perfect God.  And I pray that, try as he might, Satan is not able to get a stronghold in our family or plant any seeds of doubt that may grow up and affect future generations.

As we live a life of faith, as we grow this family of faith, growing from 5, my parents and my siblings, adding 11 children and spouses, Satan will pursue our destruction.  As we face life’s challenges, and they will always be there, I pray for strength and courage to fight knowing our battles belong to the Lord and He will always be the ultimate victor.

Sometimes in our life as we follow the Lord we find ourselves under attack from the Evil that surrounds us.

At the end of Deuteronomy when Moses names Joshua as his successor, as he prepares his people to enter the promised land he says, “be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  In the first chapter of Joshua, as God is preparing the Israelites to enter the promised land and attack the city of Jericho, claiming what God has promised them, he repeats Moses' words 4 times in the first chapter, “be strong and courageous”. So we go to battle against evil.  But not on our own.  We are strong and courageous because we know the Lord is with us, He goes before us.  Actually before Moses says to be strong and courageous he says that God will be crossing the Jordan before them. 

And this reminds me of David’s battle cry against Goliath, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty...for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

We do have to fight at times.  Yes, Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek but he also acknowledges that he is sending us as sheep among wolves, "therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves." (Matt 10:16) This is not an idea that has to be at odds with one another.  We hear more about the idea that Christians must turn the cheek and be innocent as doves but we forget God led his people into battles and Jesus told his disciples to be shrewd as snakes.  We don't want to engage in the Evil behaviors of Satan but neither do we stand back and let him take over without a fight.

The Israelites went to battle and killed the people of Jericho.  David did kill Goliath and cut off his head and the Army of God did then chase and kill the Philistine army he was part of.  God’s people were under attack and had to defend themselves and at times God had them defend themselves by completely eliminating the attackers.

Not all of us can imagine standing in front of Goliath, a big warrior with armor and deadly weapons, with only a sling and a few stones.  But if you are under attack from an enemy and find yourself alone and standing scared you probably get it.  It doesn't look like you are going to be the victor in this battle.   Be like David who knew the outcome before he started.  Who volunteered to fight Goliath not because he thought he was a great warrior but because he knew God was a great warrior, “this battle is the Lord’s”.

Returning the Joshua and Jericho...Before the battle God sent out the army to simple walk around the city.  7 days in a row and then 7 times in one day.  He didn't put the army first, he put the priests first.  Then they gave a battle cry of victory before it had even started. And God dropped the walls.  They didn't keep standing there waiting to see what would happen next, they went in and did the work God had laid before them.

Each battle needs a different strategy but each battle belongs to the Lord and is fought by Him.

Pray circles around your children.  And when the walls fall be prepared to go in and battle for them.  To fight the lies and evil that Satan is trying to plant so they can instead be filled with the Spirit of truth.

Stand like David against the people in your life who feel like Goliath at times, and remember, he only had a sling and a stone but he did attack.  And because he was fighting the Lord’s battle he won.  No fear.

I don't want to become a family of aggressors attacking at every injustice.  The idea of fighting to right every wrong that comes my way, be right and win is just exhausting.  I think there are times when we do turn the other cheek, let evil have its say and then let it pass on by.  But there are times when we must stand up and fight evil, protect our children, and believe in God's power.  When family is under attack we don't stand behind a rock and wonder how we will get out of this, we stand up like David knowing that while it might not seem like we have the right weapons to win the battle, we are confident because the battle belongs to the Lord.

Ps 20:7 “Some trust in chariots and some in horses but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”

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