In the wake of the recent surge in terrorist groups, does it make you uncomfortable knowing that known terrorists are able to enter our country? Suppose your next door neighbor was a terrorist, and that tomorrow morning, you observe massive amounts of activity and wake up to a large missile carrier outside your window and see his shed emblazoned with the words, “Death to America!” How would you respond?
I would like to submit to my readers that this exact scenario not only will happen, but has already happened in towns and cities all across America, and you must be ready to decide how much terrorist activity you will allow in your backyard. The greatest terrorist network has already started moving missile launchers and weapons into position. They are much older than Al-Qaida, more ruthless than ISIS, connected, and well funded, and they already have established base camps throughout our world.
Even though they have collectively declared war, they are hard to spot. Their espionage works not only because they are masters at integration, but because common citizens are willing to defend, protect, and even offer assistance in their unholy war. The worst threat facing America and the world is the embracing of the demonic realm and agenda by Christians.
When the Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians, one of his goals was to warn them of the cosmic battle that is taking place on a daily basis (Eph 6:11-19). The war has been raging since the dawn of time, the spoils of war have been servitude and allegiance, and the battle ground has always been our hearts. The thought of giving over the control of our hearts terrifies us, so mankind desperately clings to following his own way. God wants the submission of our entire being, yet we resist Him. The longer this battle rages, the more pain is inflicted upon ourselves and others.
The Great King calls to each heart to end the bloody coup. When we lay down our arms of insurgency and bow to His Kingship, God takes our failing emotional economy and builds factories of peace and joy, God removes our sewers of despair and gives us hope, He breaks down our walls of pride and the cities that once could only take and maim become centers of love.
This process is started at the moment of surrender to God (salvation) where we in faith repent of our sins and rebellion against the Great King and claim peace with God through the death of the Prince of Heaven.
After our surrender, God begins to build in our lives a great country. But the problem is, our new country although under a new government, is still open to terrorists, because we invite them in.
Paul warns of making room for terrorists in Ephesians 4:27, “Neither give place to the devil.” Paul is saying, “Don’t give the Devil a plot of land to fire missiles from!” As believers we expect threats and missiles hurled from the outside (Thankfully God’s anti-missile program is top-notch. Isaiah 26:3 Phil 4:6-7). Yet God does not protect us from the terrorists (or the missiles they send) when we invite them into our lives.
In context Paul is specifically talking about dealing with anger. “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.” Even though the principle of not inviting sin applies to every sin, improper handling of anger specifically will lead to the destruction of our cities.
Paul does not give Christians an option. He is saying that anger must be dealt with in a godly manner. Notice he does not say all anger is wrong, but simply deal with it according to God’s rules in less than 12 hours (slightly more or less depending on what hemisphere you reside in.)
Satan is building a launching pad for evil, and that should bother all serious Christians.
Suppose your terrorist neighbor while building his arsenal, knocked on your door and asked you for some extra cash to purchase some Uranium or rocket fuel? The obviousness of your response would not even merit speculation, yet how often do we fork out our financial or mental resources to help Satan send nukes from his home base in our heart?
This constant scenario reminds me of the woe against the ancient Kings of Judah, “Nevertheless he removed not the high places of idol worship.” It does not take long for our cities with our well fed and supplied terrorist to resemble the cities of the unbelievers who are still at war. In war time people get tense, edgy, untrusting, selfish….
After the long siege of Satan, our hearts begin to starve for the way things were, and we then go on the offensive and maim and attack other believers, James 4:1 makes this perfectly clear. “Where do the conflicts and where do the quarrels among you come from? Is it not from this, from your passions that battle inside you?” We besiege other people (friends, family, co-workers, random people at Wal-Mart), and allow Satan to bombard them from the missile hubs of our heart. We launch these missiles, and they flow from our heart to our mouth wreaking havoc (James 3:9).
The defilement of bitterness has allowed Satan a no fly zone of safety from which to launch his missiles.
Satan knows that even though he cannot keep a believer’s heart for eternity, he can bring as much hell into our life after the initial invitation. It may seem like an innocent grudge for a wrong yet from that harboring of anger and resentment, a whole assault of your life will take place. Nothing is sacred for Satan, and once we open the door and give him his “Green Card,” he has no reason to go back.
Satan will sit happily in his fortified bunker, hurling missiles that will destroy your closest relationships.
How do I know if I have been aiding terrorists? What are some tell-tale signs of the destruction and fall-out of Satan’s bombs?
- Am I consistently thinking about how others wronged me?
- Am I wanting to give them a piece of my mind? (instead of a piece of the cross)
- Am I consistently standing up for my “rights?”
- Am I afraid to ask spiritual people for help?
- Am I enjoying the company of wicked people?
- Am I talking about other’s wrongs to other people?
- Am I always thinking about going to war?
- Am I always giving excuses?
- Do I feel apart from God?
- Do I hate going to church?
- Do I lie awake thinking?
- Do I wait till the other person repents before admittance of wrong?
- Do I envision this entire list as applying to others?
So what is the cure? If I have allowed Satan to build a network of terrorism in my heart, what do I do? Thankfully, God doesn’t give us commands without the resources to carry them out. Paul gives the answer, look to Christ. Ephesians 4:32 “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
You may have been hurt in ways that are so grievous that it seems impossible to let go of the comforting inner fire of rage. Forgiveness is not easy, nor is it natural, and that is why God has given us supernatural weapons and perspective. I cannot forgive, until I look at the cross of Christ. When I realize the depths of my grievous sins against God and submit to His example, God’s Spirit enables me to let God handle the consequences (Eph 5:18, Gal 5:16, Rom 12:19).
As much as I long to crucify someone, the cross reminds me, I deserve what Christ received.
The hurt and rage we feel against people for wronging us intentionally or unintentionally, cannot exist when we look through the lenses of the cross. It is impossible to see men and women with rage and malice when we are looking at the gift of our Savior. We must take our eyes off of the bleeding Savior, in order to stay angry and continue to let Satan wage war on our lives.