Last time we discussed God’s complete goodness, how he can be both merciful and just. So then how can a good God allow evil? What is the demonic agenda for our world? Why does it seem like evil is winning? This what we’re asking today in part three of this series: Who is God?
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Disclaimer: I am a layperson, not an expert. I don’t pretend to be. I am a fallible human in love with a perfect God, who seeks answers to big questions in the Bible. The next few posts are taking me quite a bit of time as I read and pray and think and process. I have asked God’s help and would never intend to write something untrue or misleading of his perfect Word. So I ask that you read the Bible for yourself. It is alive and speaking to each of us in different ways. The truth is there.
What does the Bible say about good and evil?
God did not create evil. God cannot do evil. Evil is, in fact, the absence of God the same way that darkness is the absence of light. He is the definition of good and only his will is done in Heaven. That is why when the angel Lucifer desired to take God’s throne and waged war along with one-third of the angels, they were cast down from Heaven like lightening to earth (Rev 12:7).
God did not create Satan, that serpent in the garden. He created Lucifer, a glorious angel of light (Isaiah 14). Angels have a will and emotions, and Lucifer used his gift of free will for rebellion. These fallen angels currently await judgement before they will be cast into the abyss never to return (Rev 20:10). In the meantime, they roam the earth, striving to take down as many human souls with them as possible.
The first humans he deceived were Adam and Eve, who God made in his image or likeness (Gen 1:26). They lived in the idyllic Garden of Eden, and God told them they could eat any of the fruit and seeds — except for the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He said they would surely die (Gen 2). Why did God put the tree there to begin with? It was to give them a simple choice to obey or not — love and serve God or rebel against him.
God told the couple, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Gen 1:28). He even brought the animals to Adam so he could name them. God put man “in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Gen 2:15).
It seems plausible that part of Satan’s rebellion stemmed from his disgust for the humans God made in his image and doted upon. No doubt he thinks himself superior as a high-ranking pure spirit to these weak hybrid beings who inhabit both the physical world and spiritual world. The fallen ones cannot touch God, so they desire to punish God through destroying his beloved humans.
Satan came as a serpent to Eve. (We do not not know what kind of serpent. Possibly one that no longer exists. Other books in the Bible call him a dragon.) He said to her “Did God really say not to eat it? You can be like God.” (A lie he still tempts us with today.) They fell for the lie, ate of the fruit, directly disobeying God. Eve blamed the snake, Adam blamed Eve. They felt the first pangs of shame and suddenly felt embarrassed to be naked.
Not only did Adam eat from the forbidden fruit, but as the garden’s guardian he also should have come to God with news of this crafty serpent’s lies. He was to subdue the creature and rule over it, not the other way around. So sin entered into the world and, as God warned them, sin leads to death.
(And just a curious little side note, Jesus, the second and perfect Adam, was mistaken as a gardener by Mary after he resurrected! See comparison between Adam and Jesus here.)
God curses the serpent and says he will crawl on his belly and eat dust all the days of his life. Then God gives the protoevangelium — the first gospel. He said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Gen 2:15).
What might seem harsh at first glance, is actually the first act of grace. He made us enemies. No more chatting it up in the garden, you are not friends. Why does he specify enmity between the serpent and the woman? Because the savior would come from a virgin woman with no human male DNA. Though Satan would bruise Jesus’ heel at the cross, Jesus crushed his head when he lived an obedient life to God, ruling over the old serpent, and rising from the dead. God had a plan for salvation from the very beginning.
Then God made for the man and woman garments of skin, clothed them and sent them out of the garden.
Free will has come at a great cost. God deemed it worth the cost to create beings of love, not puppets or robots — even the cost of sending his own son to pay for our countless sins on the cross, to give us a new life. In fact, Jesus endured the worst evil of all. And he has not left us alone in our sufferings.
It is important to mention that these two sides of good and evil are not equal. The fallen angel, Satan, is a created being. He is not omnipresent and omniscient like God. He has rebelled against God, but he is still under God’s authority. Jesus is the commander of all angels, holy and fallen. Demons in every circumstance in the gospels obey Jesus and are in fact terrified of him (James 2:19). Also, there are double the amount of holy angels serving God and working on our behalf than demons (Rev 12:3-4).
Light and darkness metaphors can be found throughout the scriptures. Sometimes it feels the darkness might swallow us whole, but the light of the world will return to take us home and we will enter into the garden once again and live with God forever, as he intended.
And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.”Revelation 22:5
What is the demonic agenda for our world?
Humans were meant to rule creation through the love and power of God. (Gen 1:26) Satan, in opposition to anyone ruling but himself, tries to separate humans from God. He does this by trying convince humans they can be like God and do things apart from him (Gen 3).
This earth is hit with evil from two sides: devious works of fallen angels in the spiritual realm and repeated sin by humans in the physical world. However, the Bible tells us “we do not war against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12). Our battle is not to be done with fellow humans in the physical world, but against the demonic rulers in the spiritual world.
Satan strives to distort and twist God’s plan for creation by whatever means necessary.
He tells us we can be our own gods and self love is the best kind of love. Instead, Jesus said “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)
Satan tries to dismantle the family unit with divorce, confusion on what defines a baby or gender. God says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” (Hebrews 13:4)
Satan attempts to stir up animosity and hate with controversy, politics, race, drugs. He especially loves to do this within the church. Jesus said, “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one — I in them and you in me — so that they may be brought to complete unity.” (John 17:22-23)
These lies and distortions alter the trajectory of human thinking and after time we find ourselves way off course — miles from where we should have been, no longer underneath God’s umbrella of protection, no longer living within God’s perfect plan.
The truth is the Adversary doesn’t have to get people to murder, steal or commit heinous acts to lead us astray to the pits of hell, a place created for him (not us). Two of his greatest tactics are distraction and indifference. The busier people are the less likely they are to take the time to seek God, go to church, become part of a community. And getting people content and comfortable in their own lives can mean they don’t have a reason to think deeper or seek help from Heaven for their struggles. They think they can do it on their own, not understanding that everything they have — including the breath in their lungs — is from God. Each of these tactics is meant to keep us from making the biggest decision of our lives.
We live in enemy-occupied territory on this earth. We live in a world that touches both Heaven and Hell. This short life given to you is the opportunity to chose which world you want to be a part of.
▪️ RESOURCE: If you want a detailed description on how the enemy strategizes, I highly recommend “The Screwtape Letters,” (affiliate links) a brilliant satire written by C.S. Lewis. It’s a collections of letters written by a high-ranking uncle demon to his nephew demon on how to trip up humanity and keep them from entering Heaven. It’s incredibly eye-opening and I think worth your time.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”James 4:7
Why does God allow evil?
Everywhere you turn it seems evil has triumphed in some new way, broken new ground, swallowed more goodness. Why has God allowed this? Is it that he is not all-powerful? Or if he is all-powerful, does he not care? These questions have kept many from knowing God.
Is God all-powerful?
To come up with a concise answer or clever analogy on why God has allowed evil not only attempts to simplify God, but also assumes that our perspective is as vast as his. He tells us that his thoughts are above our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9) and to lean not on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).
But we can read a response from God himself in the book of Job. When Satan asked God to afflict his “blameless and righteous” servant, Job, God allowed it. Satan said the only reason that Job worshiped God is because God had given him everything and put a hedge of protection around him. If he were allowed to take it away, he would see his true character. Job lost his livestock and servants to enemy raids, his sons and daughters were killed in a house that the wind blew down, and finally, his health declined. At first, he continued to worship God in his suffering, but after his health deteriorated into loathsome sores from head to toe, he asks God where he is! For a good twenty-plus chapters Job argues with his friends that he hadn’t done anything to deserve this and laments his life.
God responded directly to Job in a whirlwind:
38 “Who is this that obscures my plans
with words without knowledge?
3 Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?
“Who shut up the sea behind doors
when it burst forth from the womb,
9 when I made the clouds its garment
and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 when I fixed limits for it
and set its doors and bars in place,
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
here is where your proud waves halt’?
He goes on for multiple chapters about the details of his creation he maintains from the universe all the way down to the creatures of the deep sea. Then he says to Job, “
40 2 “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?
Let him who accuses God answer him!”
3 Then Job answered the Lord:
4 “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you?
I put my hand over my mouth.
Note that Satan had to get permission to affect Job in this way. The enemy did his best to separate Job from God, but he did not anticipate the affect God’s presence would have on him. Job might’ve failed his test in some ways, the way we humans tend to do, but God doesn’t leave us in our rags, sitting in ash. He comes down and offers himself to us. But notice he did not tell Job “in the end this is to strengthen your relationship with me and don’t worry, I will give you back twice fold what you once had (which he did do). And by the way, millions upon millions of people will learn from your story for millennium to come.” He simply did not tell him why.
The system that Job and his friends wanted for justice — this crime deserves that punishment, if you are suffering it’s because you’ve done some thing against God — does not account for the complexity of life and layers of cause and effect on this earth. God does things in his wisdom for many reasons, not just one — reasons so intricate and elaborate we cannot comprehend this side of Heaven. In fact, Jesus said to his disciples, “I have so much to tell you, but you couldn’t bear it” (John 16:12-13).
Many times people say if they could just know why this horrible thing happened, if they could see the good that would come from it or know God’s reasoning, they could move on. But this is most likely not true. I heard the example that you can know why you got a broken leg, but that doesn’t alleviate the pain.
God does not chastise our questions, but there are many times we must embrace his mystery. He is not in our debt and does not owe us explanations. He is not on stand with us as the judge and jury.
Does God care?
God despises evil more than you or I do. He will one day judge the abominations of rape, murder, abuse and blasphemy done to his creation. While the Bible might not tell us exactly why he allows it for a time, it does say implicitly and repeatedly that he cares deeply for his creation, but most especially humans, which are his greatest treasure on earth.
God cares so much he sent his only son down to earth in human form to bear our shame and sin on the cross, to pay for what we have done. Think about that for a moment. He is not shaking earth from the outside like a snow globe to see what happens. He entered into his creation. He made a way for us to himself when there was no way.
Jesus told his followers that to see him is to see the Father. They are one and have the same will and purpose. So what did Jesus do when he was on earth? He didn’t shrink back or shrug his shoulders. He came with the sole purpose to save us. He came to show us love and how to love. He healed and cared for the poor. He came to defeat death and evil once and for all. And now he says to you, “Follow me. Let’s do this together.”
“He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”Colossians 2:15
What is your response?
Job’s response was repentance and humility. What is our response? Maybe that’s what we should focus more of our attention toward — how we react rather than why it happens.
Two people can have the same experience, but two completely different responses. One might go through the hardship leaning on God and saying she could never have made it through without him. Another might say, “Well, just another reason to believe he doesn’t care.” It has to do with their heart postures.
What will our response be to an increasing evil world? Will we join in the evil or be an image-bearing light for Jesus? God is looking for a people to call unto himself (Deut 7:6). For what our reaction to evil actually does is show us who we truly are. This is our chance to live our our faith!
Where was God when that unspeakable thing happened to me?
We can address this topic philosophically or theologically, but eventually we are thrown into it personally. None of us leave this earth unscathed by evil. At some point, we have to move from our head to our heart. We have to let him in. Are you hurting, grieving or angry? Do you struggle to see God in the midst of you pain? Let’s get into it.
Jesus never left you.
I saw a movie called The Encounter (2010) written by Sean Paul Murphy and Timothy Ratajczak, starring Bruce Marchiano. He portrays Jesus as a server in a diner where several cars arrive after a bridge goes out during a storm. With nowhere to go the strangers stay in the diner talking to Jesus and slowly life circumstances and questions unravel. This is the compelling conversation/script between a young woman named Kayla and her server, Jesus.
Jesus: Kayla, I’m willing to give you many good things. All you have to do is ask me.
Kayla: I have asked! Have you answered? Do you have any idea how we lived? One week we’d be at my grandmother’s, and then in the next, we’d be in a shelter, and in the week after, we we’d be in child services or a foster home. But then my mom would get us back, promising us that it’d be better this time. But it never was! She’s a junkie. Junkies never change.
Jesus: Your mother loves you.
Kayla: Yeah, when she was drunk and crying about how she could’ve been this or that. She could’ve been? What about me? What chance did I ever have with a mother like her? Do you think she care if I brushed my teeth or if I combed my hair? Or if I was hungry? Or if I went to school? She’d never let me leave her side when I was little and cute. She could get twice the handouts. When I got just as dirty as her, people looked away. The way you did.
Jesus: I never turned away.
Kayla: So you were watching? When I had to flag down the police officer after my mother OD’ed? Or how about that time that guy robbed us and he cut me instead? I’m glad you were watching. I hope we were putting on a good show for you. I used to pray when I was little. Pastor Jim, down at the mission, taught me how.
Jesus: He’s a good man.
Kayla: Yeah. At least he cared. What did you do for us?
Jesus: I took all these hard things, Kayla, and I used them to turn you into the wonderful young lady that you are. So strong and enduring. Such a wonderful role model for your little sister.
Kayla: But right now she’s with him, my stepfather, Jake. The funny thing is … at first I thought he was an answer to prayer. He had a house, and a job. We were finally looking like that we were going to have a normal home life. But when he’d got to drinking, my mother and him got to fighting. It was worse than the streets. And then she locked him out of the bedroom and he looked for a new place to sleep. And not just to sleep. Where were you then?
Jesus: I was shouting into his mind and in his conscious to stop and stop. I was there in the bathroom. And I heard you. Kayla, your prayer before you pulled that trigger, it wasn’t for death. It was to go to a better place. Kayla, if you had died that night you wouldn’t have gone to a better place. So the night before, I caused your stepfather to stumble. That made him reconsider the prospect of keeping a loaded gun in his pocket. So he removed the clip and unknowingly saved your life. That was not the first time I saved your life. Nor will it be the last either. Kayla, what do you want?
Kayla: I just want to stop hurting.
Jesus: I can’t promise you that all your problems will disappear overnight. You have a hard road ahead of you, but I can tell you that you have a peace and a purpose, that you’ll not only survive, but you’ll thrive and grow, if you trust me. Will you follow me?
Jesus: Will you forgive all those people who hurt you? Even as I forgive you?
Jesus: Even Jake?
Kayla: How can you ask me to do that? You saw what he did to me.
Jesus: Yeah. But Kayla, look what he has done to me. (Shows his pierced hands.) I paid a heavy price for your stepfather’s sins. It’s the same price I paid for your sins. Now, Kayla, I want you to go back to Los Angeles and I want you tell the police what your stepfather did. I want him to go to jail. He needs to understand that there is a … price that has to be paid for sin, even in this fallen world. But, Kayla, I don’t want him to go to hell.
I want him to come to me, so that I can forgive him, so and give him new life. And you know there’s another reason that I want you to forgive him. If you don’t, all the anger and resentment will just … poison every relationship you have, even ours. If you want to love, you have to abandon hate. Don’t let anger steal your joy.
Kayla: I forgive him.
Jesus: And I forgive you.
I will never leave you nor forsake you.”Hebrews 13:5
Jesus weeps with you.
In the book of John in chapter 11 we read Jesus had been informed that his friend Lazarus was dying by his sisters, Mary and Martha. When he heard this he stayed two days longer where he was, for he knew this would bring glory to to God.
32 Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. 34 And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept.
Mary falls at his feet in tears. He too meets her where she is, and being moved by her pain, also weeps. Why would he weep if he knew he would raise him from the dead? Because he weeps with us, he walks through pain with us, he is there beside us and doing it with us. He is not a distant savior, he stays near to the brokenhearted. He is able to walk through your pain with you because he has endured the worst of humanity.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”Psalm 34:18
How can I not be bitter about what happened?
God does not minimize our suffering. The Bible is full of words from broken men, crying out in agony. There’s literally an entire book called Lamentations! It’s important to acknowledge what happened, grieve what you have lost and begin to heal.
But there are also some important things not to do in your suffering:
- Do not repay evil with evil.
- Do not make this pain your idol.
- Do not make this evil deed your identity. You are a victor in Christ, not a victim!
- Do not harbor the weed of bitterness in your heart.
Taken from my Thought Life Challenge booklet:
How can you heal wounds of disappointment and hurt? The answer is forgiveness. Even if he or she didn’t ask for forgiveness.
Why should we forgive? Simply put, because Christ forgives you. Beyond that, the dangers of harboring unforgiveness are many.
Bitterness and resentment take hold and affect your thought patterns, which in turn affect your actions because our actions stem from what is in our heart. If you harbor unforgiveness in your heart, justify it, relive it, feed it, it will poison you. You might believe you are punishing the person, but you are in fact hurting yourself, blocking God from from working in your life.
If you’re concerned about someone getting away with something if you forgive them, you need to give that to God. As Jesus did, you can trust your case in His hands, who always judges fairly. I love the way Miss Clara says it in the movie War Room: God is an excellent defense attorney.
There’s one more thing you need to know. Forgiveness can be one-sided. Reconciliation takes two people, but forgiveness can be done and released in your heart alone, freeing you from angry thoughts and bitterness.
Will you let him heal you?
Seek out a biblical counselor for help if you are struggling. It does make a difference if it’s Christ centered counsel. You need someone to point you to Jesus, not the ways of the world.
▪️ RESOURCE: Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Take Control of Your Life, by Henry Cloud and John Townsend, has made a profound impact in my own life. I highly recommend getting the workbook that goes along with the book to help you walk through your past and how that affects you today. You’re going to start to see things differently.
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”Romans 12:19
Holocaust survivor forgives prison guard
Christian Holocaust survivor, Corrie Ten Boom, went into concentration camps, along with her family, for hiding Jewish people in their house and aiding hundreds. Three of her family members died, including her sister, Betsie. She tells the story of her interaction of coming face to face with one of her former camp prison guards in her book The Hiding Place:
“It was at a church service in Munich that I saw him, the former S.S. man who had stood guard at the shower door in the processing center at Ravensbruck. He was the first of our actual jailers that I had seen since that time. And suddenly it was all there — the roomful of mocking men, the heaps of clothing, Betsie’s pain-blanched face.
He came up to me as the church was emptying, beaming and bowing. ‘How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein.’ He said. ‘To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!’
His hand was thrust out to shake mine. And I, who preached so often to the people in Bloemendaal the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side.
Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him.
I tried to smile, I struggled to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me your forgiveness.
As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me.
And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on his. When he tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.”
Why do I do evil when I want to do good?
There are evil things done to us that we could not prevent and could not change. But much evil that we experience on a daily basis are consequences of choices we make.
Listen, God is good and comes to those who call on him, but don’t invite evil in.
Stay away from Ouija boards, tarot cards, mediums, fortune tellers, witchcraft and the like. These can open up doors to unclean spirits that can be hard to close. You are not getting intel from holy places, but evil ones. Remove anything related to these practices and other idols from your home.
Listen to what Deuteronomy 18:10-12 says:
There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer 11 or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, 12 for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord.”
Stay clear of pornography and prostitution in all forms. 1 Corinthians 6:18 says, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” This was meant to be and covenant act between man and wife. The two become one in the covenant of marriage both in body and soul with God as the third strand of the braid. Who or what are you inviting into that covenant with your spouse (if you have one) and God? If you are looking at child pornography, you are a part of the human trafficking business and the largest slavery problem the world has ever seen.
Be sober-minded. Ephesians 5:18 says “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” We are not to lose control with alcohol or drugs, but gain control by being filled with the Spirit. When we alter our consciousness with the myriad of substances available to us today we choose to give ourselves over to something not of the Father’s Kingdom.
Do not support evil songs, wicked movies and entertainment with the devil’s agenda. It goes deeper than you probably know. There are well-known celebrities unashamedly putting on concerts with rituals, witchcraft and literally constructing portals to enter a dimension of hell as you enter the stadium. Blasphemy and rebellion drip from their tongues and the people sing along. Google it.
Addiction is bondage, it enslaves you. Jesus says he will set you free (Gal 5:1). God says he will not tempt you beyond what you can bear (1 Cor 10:13). But friend, as Pastor Greg Laurie once said, “Jesus will set you free, but you have to walk out of the jail cell!” Call on your God for forgiveness and strength. You don’t have to do that thing that has come to your mind right now. You don’t.
The longer you mess with the things of the devil, the harder it is to leave them and the more he can sink his claws into you. These are his things and he can do with them what he pleases so get them out of your house and life.
▪️ RESOURCE: If you need a music alternative, there are so many amazing Christian artists right now! I’ve put some of my favorites in this Christian Dance Spotify playlist. Try listening to WAYFM or KLOVE on the radio. It will change the atmosphere.
A new tactic
To be quite honest, the devil seems to have switched tactics. He lurked undercover for centuries, deceiving and lying slyly under the cover of night. Now it seems he has hardened our hearts and desensitized us enough with violence, hate and degradation of the human body to the point that the population is ready to receive him without the horror and fear of evil we once had.
We celebrate Halloween, satanists’ fall climax holiday, in which ordinary people can find the dark within and alter their identity. (I did not make that up, it’s on their creepy website.) We have no problem watching horror movies with pornography and graphic deaths as our entertainment. We have celebrities left and right wearing goat horns representing the enemy’s symbol with a goat, the blasphemous baphomet, and touting upside-down crosses. We have people propping up Satan as their symbol of opposition to the Christian church even though they say they don’t believe in him! And there are those more and more who worship him openly with praise and witchcraft.
These things are not benign, not done in a vacuum or bubble. They echo out from our hearts through actions into the world. Our consumption promotes the evil on our earth for which we turn around and blame God. It should put a pit in our stomachs, not entertain us.
Ask yourself, is this something we will do, hear or watch in Heaven? If not, let’s not do it here! Instead let’s pray like Jesus that God’s will is done on earth as it is in Heaven!
You don’t have to live in bondage.
Remember that your sin will always lead to death. It might not be immediate, but you are headed away from the light toward darkness. Walking in the light means walking toward God, and if he told you not to do it, it will never benefit you or fulfill you. It can’t.
Start looking at that addiction as a slow death with a side of depression and shame. Don’t give in to the evil. The darker, the world, the brighter the light shines. If you fall, get back up and try again. God’s mercies are new every morning. (Lam 3:22-23)
If you struggle with dreams, consistently do things you don’t want to do, hear voices with intrusive thoughts or more call on the name of Jesus! It is only through Jesus we have authority over demons. I’m not saying everything is demonic, but we do need to be on guard, for they are still hard at work. They cannot possess or own people, but if we give them permission, or if our family has given them permission — a legal right to be there — they can oppress us.
- Break that legal right in the courts of Heaven with sincere repentance and submission to God.
- Forgive those who have sinned against you so that your Father may forgive you. (Matt 6:14) This is key.
- Call out the name of Jesus! Invite the Savior in. There is power in his holy name and all spirits must obey him.
- Renounce all unclean spirits and command they leave in Jesus’ name. If a name comes to mind (pride, anger, fear, rebellion, rejection, witchcraft) rebuke the spirit by name. You have to hate this sin and truly want delivered from it.
You don’t have to live in bondage. You can experience freedom and peace through Jesus. But to do that, you can’t stay where you are. Jesus pulls us to personal transformation away from evil works and toward his perfect love. Forgiveness and freedom are there if we will humble ourselves and ask. We are to be children of the day and not the night! (1 Thes 5:5)
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”— John 8:36
Why does it seem like evil is winning?
In his mercy Jesus has warned us that the last days will be the darkest before he comes back. He has told us how it ends so that we may be awake and prepare, so that we might stand firm in the armor of God during the evil days.
What will the last days will look like?
Godlessness in the Last Days, 2 Timothy 3
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.
He told his followers there will be wars and rumors of wars. Nations will rise against each other and there will be famines and earthquakes.
The Beginning of the Birth Pangs, Matthew 24
4 ‘Watch out,’ replied Jesus. ‘Don’t let anyone deceive you. 5 You see, there will be several who will come along, using my name, telling you “I’m the Messiah!” They will fool lots of people. 6 You’re going to hear about wars, actual wars and rumoured ones; make sure you don’t get alarmed. This has got to happen, but it doesn’t mean the end is coming yet. 7 Nations will rise against one another, and kingdoms against each other. There will be famines and earthquakes here and there. 8 All this is just the start of the birth pangs.
9 ‘Then they will hand you over to be tortured, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of my name. 10 Then several will find the going too hard, and they will betray each other and hate each other. 11 Many false prophets will arise, and they will deceive plenty of people. 12 And because lawlessness will be on the increase, many will find their love growing cold. 13 But the one who lasts out to the end will be delivered. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom must be announced to the whole world, as a witness to all the nations. Then the end will come.’
All this sounds terrifying as we move closer and closer to the end, but God is still in control. Jesus told his followers over and over not to fear. Your Savior is saying this to you: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)
You see, evil can harm your physical body, but it can never kill your spirit. If you follow Jesus your spirit belongs to God and no one, nothing, can pluck you from his hand. You will be with him for eternity.
How does Jesus defeat Satan?
Satan must have thought he had finally won, finally pulled one over on God when Jesus died on the cross. The very world that Jesus came to save rejected and killed him. But the loving Savior rose from the dead, covering our sins and paying our debts that would have sent us to hell with the devil.
Now Jesus sits at the right hand of God ruling and reigning, but one day soon he will come back on the clouds (Rev 1:7) for all to see with an army of angels to claim his bride, the church. That day “at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” (Phil 2:10)
“And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth” (2 Thes 2:8). There’s no battle scene. King Jesus just takes him out with his breath!
Satan, along with his demons and unbelievers, will be cast into the lake of fire to be “tormented day and night forever and ever.” (Rev 20:10)
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”John 1:5
Keep a heavenly perspective.
And finally, we can delight in what awaits us in Heaven. By God’s mercy we know how it ends. This suffering will not continue forever. This life is but a vapor, a drop in eternity, but you have a great hope!
Heaven is not little cherubs and playing harps and floating on clouds. Heaven is technicolor, learning with full capacity, adventure with no risk, work with absolute fulfillment of talent, endless peace and love in God though his son Jesus. It’s that feeling of your most treasured, loving moments of your life every minute. A satisfied soul with boundless energy and exploding with love. This is what waits for you on the other side.
Heaven will be a different experience after we’ve been through the casualties of this earth. We will be there because we chose Him. We will rejoice wholeheartedly to live in his love, no longer suffering from hate, sin and illness. He will wipe it all away, every heartache and every tear! (Rev 21:4) It reminds me of lyrics to a Messengers song:
If I didn’t know what it looked like to be dirty
Then I wouldn’t know what it feels like to be clean
And if all of my shame hadn’t drove me to hide in the shadows
Then I wouldn’t know the beauty of being free
In the meantime Charles Spurgeon urges us: “… Every time any one of us is made useful in saving souls we do as it were repeat the bruising of the serpent’s head. When you go, dear sister, among those poor children, and pick them up from the gutters, where they are Satan’s prey, where he finds the raw material for thieves and criminals, and when through your means, by the grace of God, the little wonderers become children of the living God, then you in your measure bruise the old serpent’s head, I pray you do not spare him.”1
Are you a believer?
If you have not called on Jesus to be your redeemer, this is your perfect opportunity, for tomorrow is not guaranteed. Please listen. You do not have to clean up your life before you come to God. He knows your battles and your past and longs to transform you and put you on the path he has planned for you all along. Yes, his love runs deeper than the deepest ocean for you, his dear, beloved child. How he longs for you to come to him right now, just as you are. Put that list down of all the things don’t know how to change — or even want to change. Those things will come in time. You see he has to get to the root of them to heal you. If you make him your focus those things will become blurry and things will begin to come into place. Are you read to come to him?
Pray with me. Or by all means pray in your own words. He longs to hear your heart and grow in relationship with you. No fancy words or formula are necessary. Maybe something like this:
God please forgive me for my sins. I believe your son Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead to cover those sins. I accept him as my Lord and Savior. Come into my life, transform me and make your will my will. I love you! In Jesus name, Amen
If you just prayed that prayer, hallelujah! The next step is to find a bible-based local church where you can plug in and start growing in your faith. Head HERE for resources and help.
It’s real. If you prayed and believe that Jesus died for you and want to walk in covenant with him, he accepted you. Welcome home!!!
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”— Jesus, John 16:33
Illustrations by Kevin Carden via Lightstock