I travel a lot. Having orphanages on three continents, I’m on a plane almost every month. One thing I can tell you, I always know when we’re over U.S. airspace. I know it sounds crazy, but over the past few years, I get a sick feeling in my gut coming home to America. The atmosphere is ripe — anger, bitterness, violence –– I can literally feel it 2,000 feet up.
Turning on the news or looking at Facebook, it seems the wheels are coming off our society. America has seen some tumultuous times, but what we’re experiencing today has a truly ugly vibe.
While it’s easy to blame the government, politicians, the media, ISIS, Black Lives Matter, the KKK, LGBT supporters, Planned Parenthood, the NRA and yes, the church, none of these are the cause of our recent and bloody discontent.
Who is the real instigator of unrest?
It all started when Lucifer, the most beautiful of God’s angelic beings, decided he didn’t want to worship and serve his creator anymore. He, himself, wanted to be worshipped and served. In his rebellion, he coerced God’s newest and most precious creation, Adam and Eve, to follow suit. Though His human family chose to turn its back on God’s presence and provision, God continued to love them and planned a way to redeem them.
Now, nothing makes a fallen angel madder than to see God’s love for His people — those He created in His own image. The Bible tells us Satan wants to “steal, kill and destroy” and he “roams the earth like a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour.”
Most chillingly, the Bible tells us he is the “prince of the power of the air.”
What does this mean? Simply this: Satan’s most cunning trick is to control the atmosphere.
You know what I mean. We’ve all walked into a place and the atmosphere is charged. Rage, despair, lust, selfishness, division – we know that sick feeling when evil stirs up the mob and controls events.
Know your enemy. It’s not the person across from you with a different skin color or point of view. It is Satan, plain and simple. Joshua found this out after miraculously crossing the Jordan with 4-million Jews looking to take the land God promised them, starting with the walled city of Jericho.
Now Jericho was an evil society where babies were burned alive as sacrifices and women were raped in the temples of the false gods of Ashera and Baal. They had no value for human life and violence ran rampant. Joshua was waiting on God’s battle plan when the most amazing thing happened:
“Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, ‘Are you for us or for our enemies?’
‘Neither,’ he replied, ‘but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.’ Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, ‘What message does my Lord have for his servant?’” – Joshua 5:13-14.
Of course, the Commander of the Lord’s Army is Jesus himself! But what fascinates me is His reply to Joshua’s question – “Neither.”
As Christians, aren’t we in the right? Isn’t God on my side and doesn’t He want to smite those I feel are against His people and His commands?
No. He wants to redeem them.
If the people of Jericho would have turned from evil and followed the King of Kings, Jesus would’ve forgiven them and spared them.
So when you’re locked in a debate over race, sexuality, abortion, politics, guns, immigration or any other hot button topic in the headlines, know this: the person (or mob) you’re arguing with is not the enemy. God wants to redeem them through love and offer them salvation.
The enemy of our times is Satan. So take control of the atmosphere! Get off whatever bandwagon you’re on and get to what really matters — loving people into the Kingdom of Heaven. The days are not only evil — they are short!