Saturday, November 20, 2010

Overcoming Evil

Marching relentlessly throughout history, and with a ferociousness that employs both overt and clandestine power equally, evil lives. This evil strives to convince mankind that all religions are universally true, and that the gospel is antiquated as revealed in Scripture. And at its core, this evil has attacked, redefined, ignored, and even mocked the person of Jesus Christ. It continues to use riches and success and everything that pertains to this life to divert attention from the life to come.
And if evil cannot completely tarnish the person of Christ, it will attempt to lure those who speak His name into self righteousness. Evil never slumbers or sleeps and its scope is enormous, active in the littlest things all the way to world wide events. Evil knows no boundaries and is never embarrassed by the depths of depravity into which it ventures. Evil hates God, and in particular, the Lord Jesus Christ. It will only compromise to leverage a greater evil in the future.

Sophisticated and cunning, evil uses different levels of pressure and a range of suggestions and logic. It appeals to the flesh, and even incorporates religion and the spirit world to lure susceptible and unsusceptible souls into sin and darkness. Evil has a plan and is well able to adjust and customize its approach in order to maximize its effectiveness. And when one avenue closes, evil can immediately change course and probe other spiritual weaknesses, or create one.
Determined and aggressive, along with skillful passivity, evil operates openly and camouflaged simultaneously. Evil loves to be neatly defined, which allows it to maneuver inconspicuously outside the defined parameters. Evil uses immorality, indulgence, and all sorts of sin in order to destroy people and their souls, however the main object never detours from drawing sinners into rejecting Christ, and drawing believers away from serving the Lord Jesus.
Evil itself is a mystery, but make no mistake, its tentacles lead back to the father of all lies, Lucifer, also known as Satan. This is a personal entity that hates God with a viciousness unfathomable to the human mind. He is not God’s equal, and this is not a great battle between comparable rivals. Satan has been defeated through the death and resurrection of the Son of God, however God holds the door of the ark open in hopes that many more will enter into God’s eternal redemption. But until the end, God allows evil to roam. We are not robots or just divine marionettes dancing for the amusement of the Creator.
We have been made in God’s image, and in God’s sovereignty, He has bestowed upon us the ability to choose between evil and good, Satan and Christ. Now many have chosen Satan without actually realizing it because they have been deceived. Some have believed in a false Christ and are actually serving Satan. Does that sound a little harsh and inflexible to you? Then you still do not realize the depth and force of evil and its captain. Imagine a demented person who wants to see people fall off a high cliff to their death. If they remain many yards away from the edge the possibility that they will fall over the edge is remote. But the closer they walk to the edge the smaller the distance is to death and tragedy. So if evil can allure people to live and think along the edge of spiritual disaster, then the task of complete damnation becomes much more possible.
Churches will gather and present research about death metal and black metal bands, and the evils of Hollywood and other rock and pop icons. They will hold seminars that decry such genres that lead young people away from their moral and spiritual moorings. Crusades for young people about sex and drugs are designed to have these young people eschew such things, and many times some do. But evil does not fight against such things because evil knows that when older people target younger genres they are blind to and ignore the ways evil has overtaken them.
Vows and professions and resolutions are all well and good, however there is only one way that actually stands against evil. We as believers are called to love, worship, and serve the Risen Christ with all our hearts, souls, bodies, and minds. This is our relentless journey; this is our labor of love. Evil invites us to depart from our passion to follow Christ, and if evil cannot get us to completely detour, it calls us to compromise. A little compromise at first, and then greater and more treacherous compromises down the road. Evil and its captain are hard at work endeavoring to besmirch the name of Christ and damn the eternal souls of men.

And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

otice what John says under the anointing of the Spirit. We who believe have been given salvation, strength, God’s kingdom, and the power of Christ, and through these the evil one is cast down. Brethren, we live in a world filled and controlled by all sorts of evil, but the entire earthly kingdom lies with the Wicked One. The acts of evil just expose the power behind this present earthly kingdom. But the church, the Bride of the Son of God, must not partake of this kingdom. We must come out from among the spirit of this world and become incandescent pilgrims who by our words and lives call to those in darkness. We must be Jesus, who said,

“My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”

Open your ears and your hearts and listen, not just hear, what the Spirit is saying to the children of God in these last days.

“Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”

Like a global tsunami, evil rushes around the world to execute the purposes of the enemy of our souls who realizes his time grows short. It is everywhere and it labors day and night. But in the midst of this tidal wave lives God’s people who have professed faith in Jesus Christ and are called to follow in His steps. And yet we have inclined our ears to the sirens of evil, and have become prisoners of that which is against God’s Christ and God’s kingdom.
What is the word of our testimony? Is it not the Lord Jesus Himself? Are we not imitators of God and the Savior? Are not our lives His very own property? Must we exhaust our lusts upon this earth and submit to its dictates? Are we blind to the beautiful satisfactions of evil, or deaf to the wonderful songs of Satan? Evil has provided a feast and we have accepted its invitation to dine.
Let us arise, awake, and return to our Blessed Lord and Savior with hearts full of repentance and a determination to serve and worship the Living Christ! Let the things of this world grow strangely dim and let the Spirit take inventory of everything we do. And let us die to ourselves and be resurrected in the power and person of Jesus Christ. Let this be a honest reflection of who we are and how we live:

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

No comments: