“…be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might……that you might be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against powers and against the rulers of darkness.”  Ephesians 6: 10,12

“He who abides in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5

One only has to turn on an electronic device that receives news reports or open a paper to read to see that this is a dangerous world.  There are natural dangers; which society uses the phrase acts of God, floods, storms, earthquakes and the like.  Then there are the man made dangers, there are wars, there are crimes, there are unspeakable acts of depravity, meanness and selfishness.

Yet with both natural and man-made dangers what I find particularly troubling, especially with man-made dangers is the almost total lack of the spiritual in any discussion.  Especially with incredibly dark acts of heinous brutality, whether it be the mass shooting of children, or the mass beheading or executing of innocent civilians, society for some reason is loathe to use the “e” word in describing the root of the problem.

No, it seems that society wants to explain terrible human behavior in terms of people living in a bad environment where they can’t assimilate.  Or that the real problem with a mass murderer is an undiagnosed mental defect that if caught in time would have completely eliminated the chance of the act occurring.  Now please understand, I have had to deal in a very personal way with mental issues so I definitely believe that they exist and can be helped.  However, here is the bottom line, if human society believes that all maladies are either mental or physical, that all solutions are within human capacity to solve, then humanity is in desperate, disastrous trouble.

For as much as we may try to heal and strengthen the body; no matter how much we try to treat and improve the mind, scripture makes it clear that the real power lies within the spirit.  Even within the spirit, the real power does not come from our spirit; the only way we win, the only way we can be victorious is by connecting to and relying upon His Spirit; the Holy Spirit, promised by Jesus Christ and sent to us by Our Heavenly Father.

It makes absolutely no difference whether we acknowledge evil and the prince of evil; Satan.  We might not see air and therefore deny its existence.  However, that does not change the fact that air exists and of course we need it for our very survival.  So it is with the spirit.  Satan would be very happy for us to deny his existence.  Satan would be very happy for us to delude ourselves in thinking that evil is a function of simple human issues and thus can be easily overcome.

Jesus Christ was also very clear.  We must completely abide in Christ.  The only hope that we have to defeat evil, is to do so spiritually.  It is through the power of the Spirit that we’re able to be generous to our enemies.  It is through the power of the Spirit that we’re able to forgive our enemies.  It is through the power of the Spirit that we can come up against the power of evil, and completely, totally be victorious over it.

Dear Sisters and Brothers, the reality is that Satan and evil exist.  However, we should not face that reality with fear or trembling.  For while they may be able to easily defeat us on our own; we are never left on our own.  Our Heavenly Father promises us, that those who believe in Jesus Christ will never be forsaken.  Those who call upon the name of Jesus Christ will have access to all the strength and armor of God Almighty; a strength that has never nor will ever know defeat.  So let it be that the first thing we look to is the spiritual.  Let our first reaction to adversity, to coming up against evil, be to fall on our knees and pray for the strength of Our Heavenly Father to be poured out upon us.  Then let us go forth in confidence and courage knowing that, as we abide in Christ and Christ abides in us; we will overcome evil in all its various appearances.  Knowing that with the Holy Spirit within us, He will insure that our mind is clear enough, our body sound enough, to overcome any and all evil.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we must surely acknowledge that evil and Satan exist.  And if we are to have any hope in victory we must acknowledge that we are no match for the Devil on our own.  We are so thankful to you Most Merciful Heavenly Father, that You have promised to never leave us on our own to fight against Satan.  Grant that we would not rely on our own power but call upon the Name of Your Son, Our Savior Jesus Christ when we are faced with evil; knowing that by abiding in him; no evil will overpower us; the devil will not defeat us.  This we pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

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