It’s Bad Out There
As we watch the world disintegrate before our very eyes, it becomes apparent that God had used the United States of America as a Christian nation to restrain evil in the world through its influence.
Beginning in the 1960s our Christian culture gave way to the hippie culture, which was mainstreamed as the culture of the baby boomer generation, consequently becoming the dominant philosophy of contemporary America. Its full impact has been held back by residual Christian influence, but the Obama administration, hostile toward righteousness and using every means to promote evil, is suppressing remaining Christian influence, thus giving free rein to the wickedness of the hippie culture.
Because America is no longer a Christian nation, it no longer exercises its previous restraint of global evil. Consequently, we are living in a nation and a world in which the forces of evil, both human and satanic, have been set loose to impose their nastiness and ugliness and hatefulness. I can virtually feel the evil that is now so prevalent and dominant that permeates the entire global environment. The forces of evil previously felt in places like Haiti have now taken up residence here.
As children of God we are not citizens of this cosmos of wickedness, but rather our affiliation is in the Kingdom of God. In Colossians 1:13 Paul tells us that God “has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.” In His prayer in John 17:16 Jesus states. “”They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”
Nonetheless, we are sent into this world just as soldiers are sent into enemy territory to do combat.
This makes our condition challenging because the world sees us as enemies, especially as we identify with Christ by our words and lifestyle. Whether we mean to or not, our presence and message convict the world, and for that reason it hates us. In the same prayer in John 17:14 Jesus says, “the world hates them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”
A Clear and Present Danger
Our situation encompasses a serious threat. Physically we look just like those of the cosmos. This means that if we do not identify with Christ by our words or actions we can blend in, thus avoiding the hatred of the world. That can be a temptation even for ministers who can circumvent the parts of Scripture that antagonize the world, focusing solely on love, heaven, and other happy themes.
Not only are we confronted by the temptation to avoid the hate of the world, we are also allured to participate in what the writer of Hebrews refers to as “the pleasures of sin.” Like a paperclip to a magnet, our old nature still is alive and well and drawn to the enticements the cosmos offers.
These two temptations wield great power. How do we escape falling prey to them?
The Lord has provided a similar armament for us, only ours is safe from all ammunition of the enemy. Jesus describes this tank -like armament in John 17:17 when He prays to the Father, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” The word “sanctify” means “to set apart.”
Even though we are in enemy territory we can be surrounded by supernatural armament, setting us apart in an environment free from the influences and assaults of the cosmos. In essence this armament places us in our own little piece of the Kingdom of God right where we are. Please don’t misunderstand. This armor does not protect us physically. Some of God’s children are being harmed as we write this and perhaps even being put to death. However, it protects our souls, shielding us from anything that would shake our faith or rob our peace.
The Material Our Armor is Made of
This verse informs us that the material of which this armor is constructed is the truth. A better translation would be, “Sanctify them in your truth.” Truth constitutes an environment we crawl into for protection from the cosmos.
The cosmos is constructed of lies. I could fill the page with prevarications perpetuated by the secular world from the gay gene to abortion only being about “my body” used to prop up their make-believe world. From the vantage point of our tank of truth we are protected from their projectiles of lies. And that tank of truth can also fire the ammo of truth that destroys the lies of the cosmos.
Jesus informs us that we find this truth in the Word. Therefore, as the cosmos is constantly firing its lies at us, we need to keep reinforcing our armor through reading Scripture. We do not read Scripture just to learn about the spiritual world but also to encapsulate ourselves in its armament of truth. Even if we knew everything the Word had to say, we would still need to read, memorize, and meditate on it so as to live in its protective environment.
As the evil forces of the cosmos roam the earth seeking to stomp out any remaining combatants from the Kingdom of God, now more than ever we must remain encased in the tank of truth—and while we are at it lets stock up on some ammunition of truth so that we can demolish their lies.