Recently, I was privy to a discussion among Believers in a Bible study setting and they were talking about the escalation of crime in the surrounding areas and of the precautions they were taking. For about 20-30 minutes they recounted the various shootings and deaths that had taken place recently and how they can't even feel safe when their children's friends visit their homes, etc.
Let me first say that I understand and that we must use wisdom. However, my response was a little different. I felt as though all the talk of what the enemy was doing was generating fear which puts us, as Believers, on the defensive and not on the offensive as I believe we should be as children of God. I don't know about you, but I'm sick of being put on the defensive.
As I shared with them, God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Furthermore, greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. Yes, we must use wisdom, but my fear is not the enemy, but that we as God's children, as the Church, as the Body of Christ, are cowering instead of attacking. We're succumbing to the schemes of Satan not destroying them. We've become too much of a social club. It bothers me that we can have churches on so many corners and little change in the communities around us. We're weak. We have a lot of programs but little power.
Doesn't your heart cry out? My prayer on January 1st this year was, "Lord, teach me to walk in the power of your Holy Spirit." I want to grow to the next level. When I think of the power houses of the Bible, they were ordinary men and women that God used to bring about change in the earth. They had to face the evils of their day and overcome them. Remember the Israelite army and how they cowered before Goliath and the Philistines in 1 Samuel 17? God used a boy, David, with no military experience, but he had personally experienced God's power in helping him to destroy a lion and a bear. He was full of faith in God to help him destroy this giant as well.
Remember Gideon? He was scared at first to do what the Lord was telling him to do, so he did it at night when his family and the men of the town were not watching. But God saw something in Gideon and used him mightily. Remember Jesus' disciples? They were bold and strong when Christ walked with them, but they all fled when Jesus was arrested and crucified. When the Holy Spirit came upon them, however, in Acts 2, they received power to change the world around them. Some did so boldly through the preaching of the good news. Some did so through giving, some through prayer, some through hospitality, but all that received the power of the Holy Spirit were moved by the Spirit to share the good news through whatever gift the Holy Spirit had given them and make a difference in the Kingdom of God.
We're in the last days. We are not a defeated church, we are a victorious church. Our minds must be renewed and we need the baptism of the Holy Spirit to fill us with the power we need to be able to stand and do His work in these last and evil days. Ephesians 6:10 (NIV) says,
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything, to stand."
Satan is seeking whom he may devour and he uses our loved ones, our co-workers, our friends, our neighbors, rush hour traffic, or circumstances that occur throughout the day. Remember, we are not fighting against flesh and blood. Don't be ignorant of the devil's schemes. But know this, you are more than a conqueror, for greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world! Walk by faith and not in fear.