Last week I made a quick, spur of the moment, trip to see my husband’s parents. Mine are both gone for over 22 years now and my in-laws have been as parents to me for many years. As a result I’ve not finished reading any books to post book reviews, or been able to get on-line to create a new post until now.
One thing that is on my heart is the evil that is in this world. On my way to visit I met, at a gas station, another family from the area where I live and they were just returning from El Paso, which is just a few miles south of where I was heading. They informed me of the tragic shooting that occurred that day (Saturday) at a WalMart in El Paso. The incident had occurred just before they left town and in the neighborhood where they had been visiting. My immediate response was to get on my phone and inquire of my family and friends who live in El Paso. All but one had marked themselves as safe. I sent a message to the one and at a later time she too told me she was safe. After arriving at my destination, as time allowed, I watched news video about the incident.
Now my thoughts. There is much evil in this world and all of it is instigated by the dark forces of evil, namely, as many would recognize, Satan, the Accuser is the source of this evil. The people who do these evil acts are in some way possessed of the devil, by some demonic spirit who takes control of that person’s behavior. It is my opinion that because society has strayed so far from God the demonic spirits are given permission to enter into people and wreak havoc. The Bible tells us that Satan prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). Without belief and faith in Jesus a person is subject to this demonic possession.
Is it any wonder that these kinds of tragic incidents seem to be on the rise? We’ve taken God, the Bible, and prayer out of our schools. So many churches are social clubs rather than places where the Word of God is taught in depth. False doctrines have infiltrated churches with things like prosperity ministries and lukewarm, tickle the ears, sermons that do not serve to mature believers into the power that is available to them through the Holy Spirit. Jesus gave us the power to cast out these demons that cause all kinds of sickness of body, mind and soul. So few churches teach their congregants about this and if they do, the members will either fire the preacher or leave the congregation because they are offended.
Truth is offensive to those who do not know the truth. The Bible says that the truth shall set you free (John 8:32). Jesus said of himself that he is the way, the truth, and the life and that no man comes to the Father except through him (John 14:6). So, in order to get to the truth we must believe in Jesus. Those who believe in Jesus will be able to cast out devils (demons) and lay hands on the sick and heal them (Mark 16; 17-18). A few ministries do teach this truth, but many believe the lie that these gifts were only given to the apostles of Jesus day. Satan does not want God’s people to know this truth because it is the greatest weapon we have against him.
Before a believer can be effective in exercising the gifts given to us by God, through the Holy Spirit, we must be fully prepared. That preparation is itemized for us in scripture. We are told to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-17). I’ve covered this armor in a previous blog post a couple years ago (The Armor of God May 28, 2017). Exercising the gifts of the Holy Spirit is going directly into spiritual combat and one will be attacked by the enemy of our souls when we go to war.
One of the things I’ve learned is that when we allow sin into our lives we will be ineffective in spiritual warfare. Sometimes we don’t even realize that we’ve let sin settle into our life. Regardless of whether we realize it or not, by letting sin have a foothold in our life we’ve given the enemy of our soul permission to rule our lives, after all, he is the source of all sin. Human weakness is the inability to rid ourselves of sin, only Jesus can deliver us from our sins. That is why he came to earth and lived as a man without sin, offered up his human life as the once and for all sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. Anyone who believes that he died on the cross and was raised again on the third day and accepts his sacrifice for himself can be freed from sin, from the wages of sin, which is death, eternal death as I understand it. Certainly there is no one who is without sin. For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). But, by repenting of our sin He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sin (1 John 1:9). setting them apart as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12).
Once we do ask forgiveness and repent, repentance is important, we cannot continue in our sins and ask over and over again to be forgiven of the same sin and consider that repentance. No, repentance is turning away from that sin. Yes we occasionally fall back into a sin, say, for instance, we have a terrible temper and we repent. Most of the time we do not let our temper get the best of us, but on occasion we may still have something that the enemy of our soul throws at us and we’ve let down our guard, our shield of faith, and we explode in a fit of unrighteous anger. If we recognize that failure and ask forgiveness then he will forgive and set us back on the right path. But to allow ourselves to continue with the angry outbursts day after day, even asking forgiveness every time, is not true repentance. True repentance is turning away from the sin and not allowing it to rule our actions.
So, if we are to work in the power of the Holy Spirit in this spiritual war, we must repent and put away our sins. Then, and only then, can we be the light to the world and have an impact. When we walk in the light of God and work in the power of his Holy Spirit we will be able to cast out demons and heal the sick, and this world is very sick. The sickness of sin is the reason for all the tragic events such as the shootings that occurred in El Paso and Dayton this past weekend. Satan is allowed to run rampant in the world and there are simply not enough people working in the power of the Holy Spirit to bring people to salvation and prevent these horrendous acts.
These acts of violence are not the only things that are caused by the workings of the enemy of our souls. Demonic influence is the source of all sickness as well. God created a world without sickness, but, Lucifer, that old serpent, deceived mankind and he sinned, and through that disobedience to God sin entered into the world. Now it’s a broken world and there is sin, sickness, violence, perversion, lies, and a host of other things that make it an imperfect world. None of the imperfections are God’s doing, rather, it is the work of Satan, the accuser of man, prowling around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He devoured the man (men) involved in the tragic shootings that have been happening, in the spread of diseases that occurs, in all forms of wickedness that occurs. Yes, we have medical and psychological explanations for all these things, but, in the end the ultimate source is Satan. The only real answer is Jesus.
Do you know and trust in Jesus? If not, then the trials of life will be a burden to you, give your life to Jesus and let him carry your burdens, he said in scripture that his yoke is easy and his burden is light (Matthew 11:30). Fro as a believer I am no longer a slave to sin, but a servant to righteousness (Romans 6).
Blessings to all,