As I write this devotional, France is still reeling from the recent horrendous terrorist attacks in Paris. How can individuals behave in such barbaric ways, slaughtering innocent people in cold blood and destroying themselves in the process? Surely Paul’s words in the book of Ephesians give much of the answer. The president of France announced immediately after the devastating events of Friday 13th November that his country was at war. But what should be the target of that war?
As followers of Jesus we have a measure of understanding of the spiritual hostility of the ruler of the world and all his cohorts. It is humankind that has given the world forces of darkness licence to bring destruction, through our choosing to rebel against the laws and commands of God. False religion, revenge, rejection, idolatry, pride, judgment and much more, have given authority to the one who’s truly the enemy in this world, to distort and empower the hearts of men and women to carry out unspeakable acts of aggression.
This demonic pressure doesn’t excuse the grotesque behaviour of the terrorist, who remains entirely responsible for the choices that he or she is making. However the Word of God gives us an answer, both to the reason for such atrocities, and to how the war can be fought and eventually won. Jesus came (1 John 3:8) to destroy the works of the devil, through bringing the truth and intent of God’s laws, paying the cost of man’s sin and completely disarming Satan’s authority. The more this world acknowledges the claims of Jesus, the more will be the victory over the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places and the vicious effect that these have on human behaviour.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we believe that Jesus Christ is the only permanent answer to terrorism. To truly know Him is to know that there’s opportunity for life-changing forgiveness and restoration for humankind, at the same time as the certainty of utter defeat of the evil spiritual ruler of this world. Show me, Lord, the particular place where I’m to stand in this battle. Amen.
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