Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Ephesians 6:13 (NASB)
The world is surely a place of conflict these days, isn’t it? It seems that every day the news bring some new assault against our faith and our Lord. What is evil is being promoted as good, and what is good is being spoken of as being evil. The voices that speak these things are loud and far reaching, even to the ends of the civilized world.
It is so easy to be pushed back by these forces for “change” and “progress” that we are faced with every day, and hard to stand firm against the tide. It is not always easy to pray for those folks and not to be hateful and retaliatory against them and their rhetoric. Hopefully, our desires are born out of righteousness and a zeal for truth but I suspect that too often we simply get angry and sin in that anger.
The sad reality is people without Christ will one day have to face God and account for what they have said and done in the flesh and in their thoughts. They will be held accountable for every wicked deed.
While the Christian will not face such a bar of judgment, that does not give us the right to hate or to store up that hate in our hearts toward them. We are to let no bitter root spring up (Heb. 12:15) so we do not defile and pollute those around us. Bitterness and sinful anger do not glorify God.
Our true enemy the devil wants us to hate and lie and partake of every wicked thing. Jesus’ desire for His children is to love and overcome evil with good.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21 (NASB)
Prayer is the most effective weapon of this warfare, yet it is the least used and most abused. Many truly don’t want to pray for unbelievers and when they do pray for them the prayers are often focused on how the unbelievers can be affected to make our lives better.
We fail to realize that a majority of unbelievers have not thought about Jesus or salvation through Him once in their entire lives. We forget that we were once just like them.
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. Ephesians 2:1-3 (NASB)
When we were regenerated by the grace of God we became His slaves (1 Cor.7:23) and we are now to do His bidding, not our own. The Lord God has asked us to stand firm against the tides of evil and to pray for those who perpetrate that evil.