Atlanta area news reports this week had two horrible tales of evil: an older couple who drove three hours away to purchase a car through Craigslist were murdered by the one who listed the car; and a single woman who killed her three children, then herself in their apartment. These kinds of horror stories are all too frequent in our society. In addition we hear of the ghoulish tactics used by Isis in Iraq & Syria, Boko Haram in Nigeria, who recently killed 2000 people in one village stalking down Christians and burning their churches! So far they have destroyed 1000 Christian churches and killed thousands of people.
All manner of evil is pervasive and real in our cities, country and world around us. It is real and present. But as a Christian, what is my response to be ? What can I do to be the salt and light in the world Jesus spoke of (Mt 5:13&14) to help prevent or stop this kind of evil?
Mt 6:9-14-“ Pray,then, in this way:‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.’Your kingdom come.Your will be done,On earth as it is in heaven.‘ Give us this day our daily bread. ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (NASB)
We see in the Lord’s prayer how we are to pray,that we are to ask the Lord to deliver us from evil. Other versions of the bible say, “deliver us from the evil one”,talking about satan or the devil. Some of the wickedness people do is so clearly depraved it could only be inspired by the devil, a being personifying evil. The bible says we are in a spiritual,physical & mental battle with him and he sends “flaming arrows” to harm us,but they are deterred when we employ and put on our “shield of faith”.(Eph 6:16) In John 17:15, Jesus prayed to the Father to keep His children from “the evil one” who is in the world.
So how do we respond? We should not wring our hands,we should not be disheartened, but realize we can effect change through pray,preaching and persevering.
- We should pray for the Lord to keep us safe, sheltered from evil & then to protect us from the plans of the evil one. Ps 91 speaks of this. Then the bible also says whatever we bind on earth is bound in heaven and visa versa.(Mt 16:19) We should bind the devil and his demons,cut off their access to operate in our life and dispatch angels to do God’s bidding by the declaration of His Word. Ps 103:20.
- We must preach the gospel in our churches and wherever we go. (Mt 10:7&8) The good government of God must be proclaimed. Many who are doing evil do it because they have never heard the Kingdom message preached !
- We must overcome evil with good and outlast and triumph over the evil forces in the world with righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. We must relentlessly withstand evil and shine light on the ways of evil till it is vanquished. This is not a short term battle. We will fight it as long as we live on earth but we must stand against it with prayer preaching and perseverance.