Our media is flooded with stories and images of great unrest and deep anger from many different variables. We can’t do anything without hearing or seeing great upheaval happening across our country. This has been building for some time as we know. Our nation has become surely divided and that division only continues to grow wider. Far too many Americans are quick to lash out against one another in less than honorable ways and point fingers as to who is to blame for the state we find ourselves in. We are quick to choose sides and forget we are one people, one nation, and most importantly brothers and sisters in Christ.
As Christians, we must pause and look around with fresh eyes to see what is truly happening and know who our real enemy is. Have we forgotten our enemy is prowling around like a lion looking for people to devour? Have we forgotten the enemy’s sole purpose and joy comes from dividing God’s people and destroying His Church?
Are we playing right into his hands by participating in this division and strife?
1 Peter 5:8 NIV Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Are we as people really the enemy? Is one political party truly the enemy over another? Is one race of people an enemy, simply because of skin color? Is government truly our enemy? Or who is at the source of all division and chaos being stirred up in our hearts? Who plants the seeds of hate and distrust? Let us not be deceived or forget. There is only one true enemy, and his name is satan.
We all have differing views and opinions-which is the wonderful freedom we have in America to be able to express those differing views, and yet it is how we express those views that define us and shows the world who we as Christians truly serve. Is our system perfect? No, and it never will be. Are there great injustices happening in our nation and around the world? Yes there are, and there were in Jesus’ day as well. His treatment and death was a great injustice. This world is broken and imperfect and that is exactly why we need our Lord and Savior to pour out His grace and mercy, to give us wise counsel and to give us His heart that shows compassion and understanding for one another rather than judgment and condemnation. We don’t turn a blind eye to those injustices-no, but we do turn to Jesus to guide us in how we respond to those injustices and believe by faith He will act on behalf of those who have been treated unjustly. We believe by faith, He sees and He will one day make right for every wrong committed against His people. His Word assures us of this truth.
We are not meant to be pitted against one another; but to be bound together through the Spirit of peace. God’ Church is the most powerful force in all the earth as we are united because of the power of Christ in us. But, we have to remain united. We lose that power as we allow division to enter into the Body. We have to choose to see one another as brothers and sisters in Christ; not as enemies on one side or another. We have to act in accordance to God’s ways to stand in that power, not as the world does which only creates greater division.
Job 5: 8-16 NIV reminds us what we are to do when we are in great distress and see great injustice around us:
8 “But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him.
9 He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. 10 He provides rain for the earth; he sends water on the countryside. 11 The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety. 12 He thwarts the plans of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success.
13 He catches the wise in their craftiness, and the schemes of the wily are swept away. 14 Darkness comes upon them in the daytime; at noon they grope as in the night. 15 He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth; he saves them from the clutches of the powerful. 16 So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth.
We pray to God, and we keep praying, trusting He is sovereign. This means we believe He is all-powerful, all-wise and all capable to handle every issue we encounter as a people. We believe in Him and truly see Him as God. We seek His counsel in how He would have us act in times of looming fear and injustice.
Do we truly see Him as God Almighty? Do we truly see ourselves as His children, as the Body of Christ joined together as one Spirit? Have we truly yielded to make Jesus Lord of our lives, believing He will handle our every worry and fear?
This is where it begins. If we can’t honestly say yes to the questions above, we need to search our hearts and find out what is keeping us from believing God is Lord of All. Whose voice are we listening to? The Prince of Peace, or the deceiver and liar-satan? Are we listening to the voice that promotes unity and peace, or the one who rejoices in division and destruction?
We say we want change from all this chaos; we want all the violence and hate to stop. That change begins when we truly remember who our real enemy is and act accordingly. It’s not one another. It’s not humanity for we are all God’s creation. And it’s certainly not our God who is full of grace and rich in mercy as we truly come to know His heart and character. It is the one who is prowling around like a lion looking for someone to devour.
Let us make sure we are not a mouthpiece for satan or that we are caught up doing his bidding. Let us never give him any glory or joy. Let us only be a mouthpiece for Jesus.
We need change. We need healing. We need unity. That will only come as we choose to join together as One in Jesus Christ. We must stand together in our faith and follow the ways of Jesus Christ, our Prince of Peace. Let us pray for God to unite His people and bring healing to this land, and let us serve one another in genuine love. Let us remember who our enemy truly is and let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.
Ephesians 4:3 NIV Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Let’s pray: Father God, Jesus, Prince of Peace, Immanuel-God With Us, Holy Spirit we desperately need You. We are in great distress and we are deeply hurting as a nation. We are greatly divided O God and we know You see all of this. We know Your heart is breaking as You watch Your people bite and devour one another. Lord give us a new heart and refresh our Spirit that we may choose to love one another as You first loved us. Help us to look beyond our differences and see each other as Your precious creation, all whom You love. If You love all, we also must choose to love all. Holy Spirit be our guide in our hearts and let it be Your words that come from our lips to bring about unity and peace. Lord if we have not acknowledged You fully as God Almighty in all areas of our lives, across all needs in our nation, forgive us Father. You are the One, True Living God who is sovereign and we worship You. We cry out to You Father, to bring Your people back together as One; strengthen Your Church; and guide us in how we advance Your kingdom that is built on love and peace. Cut out any hate and division in our hearts Lord-cut it to the root. Fill us instead with Your love for one another. Bring change Lord and let that change begin with each of us as we need to be made right with You. Thank You Father for Your mercy, Your grace and Your redemption through Your Son Jesus. Help us as a people strive for unity through the bond of peace. Thank You for the wonders You do and the healing You always bring as we turn back to You. Thank You for choosing to reveal Yourself through us, Your children. May the world see You when they see us. May this nation see Your Church rise in these ashes, stronger and more united than ever. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.