2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Reading this really brought to mind the escalating political violence in the US today. Those who are becoming violent are indeed setting themselves up against the knowledge of God, because the thing they are most frantic to protect is the “right” to murder unborn infants. There is a real temptation to become violent in reaction, but that would be relying on the weapons of the world. I’m not saying anything against the right of self defense; if I lived in the US, I would get a concealed-carry license. However, those who have knowledge of God and seek to be obedient to Him aren’t to go looking for trouble. There’s plenty of it without that! Rather, we are to stand firm in the Lord and come against the spiritual forces that are behind what is going on. People in the flesh aren’t our enemies, even if they are beating us up physically. They are certainly to be pitied, because they are submitting themselves to the one who only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10) We are rather to submit to God and resist the devil. (James 4:7) If we aren’t submitted to God, His weapons aren’t at our disposal. The mention of “arguments and pretensions” here really rings true, because what we are seeing is a clash of ideas, of world views. Those who are centered on humanism are blind to the truth of God, when that is the very thing that can set them free, and freedom is what they crave. (John 8:32) We are to pray, in full submission to God, and we are to speak His truth in love, even when that love requires that we be forceful in our speaking. We’ve got to remember that Christ has already won the victory, and if we are in Him, we will see it too.
Some might say this is easy for me to say because I don’t live in the US. However, physical distance can help with objectivity. I have plenty of family and other loved ones in the US! I may not come into direct contact with masked thugs or screaming protesters, but I can pray, and distance is no barrier to the power of God. I was part of the army praying for Andrew Brunson, for example, and I pray for Asia Bibi in Pakistan. There are many strongholds of the enemy in the world, both in individual lives and in society, and I am to do my part in tearing them down. I am to thank God for the freedoms I have and be diligent on behalf of those who do not have those freedoms. One of our church members is going to be moving to one of the former Soviet republics next year. I am to pray for her to be Christ’s agent in every way, both toward her husband and toward everyone around her, so that she may be protected and be a channel of God’s salvation, for the glory of God.
Father, thank You that more and more of Your children are waking up to the conflict they had been ignoring. May we all stand up, as a mighty army, so that the works of the devil may be destroyed (1 John 3:8) and multitudes set free, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!