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The Invisible Enemy

Sometime around December when we were all stringing lights in our shrubberies, choosing just the right gifts for our loved ones, wrapping those gifts, baking cookies and happily singing Christmas carols; a silent enemy was slowly creeping into our lives.  Unseen amid the twinkling lights, unheard below the Christmas caroling; silently, quietly an evil moved in among us.  We were having fun.  We were enjoying our lives.  We were joyful.  And we were completely unaware.

Sometime many years ago another evil entered this world.  Destructive and cruel.  No respecter of life or persons.  Bent only on harm, sorrow, pain and death.  Another enemy of happiness.  Scowling at families gathered safely in their homes, singing and laughing together, happy and well.   Only, we were warned that this evil existed and that it could come right into our happy, safe homes.

When we realized the Coronavirus had reached our communities we all sheltered-in-place.  We stayed away from everyone.  We covered our faces and washed our hands and kept our children close to us as if all around were contagious lepers.   We were smart to behave in this way because we were threatened by a force so evil it could literally take our lives and the lives of our loved ones.  We ran in fear from this agent of destruction, as we should, because the ability of this evil to harm us was very real.

And yet…

I Peter 5:8 – “Our adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

Matthew 10:28 – “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

A virus can destroy our bodies but Satan can destroy our souls.  (I do not like to capitalize his name, or pronouns assigned to him.  I don’t believe he deserves it.  But because it is recorded this way in the Bible, I will concede.  Maybe in doing such God, Himself, was trying to emphasize the importance of recognizing just who Satan is.)

Right now, in the midst of this Coronavirus trial, we are all afraid, aren’t we?  We are afraid that our loved ones or we, ourselves, might contract this awful disease, so we do everything possible to guard against it.   We wash, we shelter–in-place, we stay away from one other, we sanitize, we wash some more.  And even then, it can feel a bit helpless and that is never a good feeling.

But more importantly, so much more importantly, are we also doing everything possible to protect ourselves from Satan?   Those evil darts are every bit as real as an invisible, deadly virus lurking about.  Do we flee from him with the same intensity? Are we just as afraid of his destructive power in our lives?

How many times have you washed your hands today?  How many surfaces have you disinfected today?  How many more times will you repeat both of those actions today?   Are you wearing gloves and a mask?  Who are you avoiding?   How are you keeping yourself safe?

Likewise, how are we proactively safeguarding our souls?  What precautions have we taken today to protect ourselves from the deadly influence of Satan?  How are we protecting ourselves from the evil that lurks about, seeking to harm us?

The Bible encourages us to put on the full armor of God.  A stronger defender than any facemask, more powerful than hand sanitizer, more helpful than hand washing.

Ephesians 6:10 – 20

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.   Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.   For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.   Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.   Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.   And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;  praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints –   and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”

What or who does the Word of God tell us we wrestle?  Principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness, spiritual hosts of wickedness, fiery darts of the wicked one.  Sound scary?  I don’t know about you, but that gives me a shiver.

One more time –

Matthew 10:28 – “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Take up your weapons, church!  Gird your waist with Truth – the Word of God.  Bury His Word deep into your hearts.  Spend much time reading His Word, meditating and memorizing.  Wear righteousness.  We represent Christ!   Be prepared.  Fill your heart with the gospel of peace.   And pick up that shield of faith.  Put it out in front of you.  The Word tells us to use this shield, our faith, to protect ourselves from the fiery darts of Satan.  Remember this warfare is real.  Put on the helmet of salvation and draw your Sword – the Word of our one and only, True and Living God!  Be ready!  Protect yourselves!  Pray always and be watchful with all perseverance.

We have all the personal protection we need.

When you cover your mouths… think about the power of your tongue, for good or for evil.

When you wash your hands… think about the blood of Jesus continually cleansing us from all sin.  (Have you allowed the blood of Jesus to wash you clean of all unrighteousness?)

When you stay away from people… think about fleeing from potentially harmful influences.

Matthew 16:26 – “ For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Brothers and sisters, we should be far more afraid of the threat of Satan in our lives than the threat of this recent virus.   May our actions reflect our true and deep concern for our eternal souls.

God bless you all.  I love you and miss being with you.

Love,

Kerri Grinder

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