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What is the Battle? (Intermission – Issue 36)

The current issue of our Intermission magazine is about the ‘battle’ humanity finds itself in. The battle against spiritual evil. The battle against injustice. The battle against ourselves. There’s some pretty deep stuff in here.

You may be thinking to yourself, “Jairus, I don’t actually think I’m in a battle.” Well, whether you believe you’re in one or not, you’re bound to recognise that there’s something not quite ‘right’ with the world you live in. And there’s something not quite right with humanity either. With me. With you.

Paul wrote in Romans 7:15-16, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” How perfectly does this describe the battle raging within us and the world? The division of right and wrong, good and evil, truth and lies. Something is broken. And I believe it’s time we start recognising that God does not intend for it to stay that way. And, perhaps more importantly, he doesn’t mean for us to passively watch on either!

The kingdom of evil and the Kingdom of Heaven

This realm, this kingdom of brokenness and lies, is visible every day. It rules in the news, where we see what subjective, biased producers want us to see.

We see it in romance movies, where teenagers are taught that the most important things about a relationship are how physically attracted you are to the other and how they make you feel.

We see it in politics and bills that are passed, where men and women push forward policies, not based on the common good and the public majority, but upon their own personal agendas and vendettas.

This is not what God intends for our world to look like. This is not how God intends for us to act. So what do I think of when I imagine the Kingdom of God? And what could God be calling us to? What does this “Kingdom of Heaven” that his Son talked about so often look like?

Does it look like a marriage, in which the foundation of the relationship is not about how the couple makes each other feel, but about serving and strengthening each other so that they can better follow God?

Does it look like a news reporter who pursues truth and the authentic presentation of facts to the public, so that the leaders of our country are held accountable for their actions?

Does it look like a God-follower throwing himself or herself into the political realms so they can walk into the public spheres of our communities and, instead of yelling, "I have all the answers!" humbly ask, "What are the questions I should be asking?"

I’m sure you can agree that, when you imagine the Kingdom of Heaven, it looks entirely different to what we often experience. Or even how we ourselves tend to act.

So what now?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, I’m not writing this article just for the sake of it. I’m not trying to sound enthusiastic and passionate for fun. I am genuinely pleading with you to begin considering this question: “Am I happy about the current condition of the world?”

I, for one, feel my heart starting to beat a little bit faster when I ask myself that question. My imagination takes over, and I feel my faith beginning to grow and anger – yes anger - bubbling up as I come to realise how subtly and how effectively Satan has twisted things. Or how we've twisted them ourselves.

This article isn’t your typical Intermission piece in which I write a thousand words and ask you some questions to reflect on at the end. This article is meant to create a hunger within you for change. It’s supposed to remind you that God intends for us to do something about the brokenness and evil we see in this world. And it’s supposed to help you realise that first: we need to become aware of the enemy we are facing. And second: we need to devise some strategies so we can fight back. I'm sure that, without both of these working together, we will lack the power that God intends to give us.

In Matthew 10:16, Jesus says this:

"Look, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."

So how about it, fellow Christians? Will you be someone who walks through the evil and broken places of this world and overcomes and restores it into the image of the Kingdom of Heaven? Will you move as Jesus did through the shadows and call on God to fill them with light? Will you be a soldier in the battle for the Kingdom of Heaven? Because the enemy is out there. And God is continuously looking for someone who is willing to put up a fight.

10 thoughts on “What is the Battle? (Intermission – Issue 36)

  1. Great article. Great challenge. God’s kingdom is not going to come without Christians taking up the challenge to make a difference for good in the world. There is a battle to be fought because Satan isn’t going to give in gracefully, and it’s up to each one of us to ask God for the place he wants us to take in the battle. It excites me to see so many young people who are passionate about Jesus and His transforming power. Jesus is coming back for a pure and spotless bride, not a withering one.

    1. Wow, very powerful response Jo. You’re so right! And yes, I totally agree that it is SO important to instill the passion and mission that you’ve expressed into our younger generation. I worked within youth ministry for quite a while and actually saw the young people rise the challenge more than anything when I spoke to them about the need to fight for God’s Kingdom! They want and need purpose and challenge! Thanks so much for engaging with this article. 🙂

  2. I believe we need to think, and pray, globally, but act locally. Where do I start? With my neighbour? My family and friends?

    1. Hey there Gillian! Thank you so much for your comment! Yes, I certainly agree! For those who believe they are called to stay in their local context, I think their immediate community is certainly the most important! I have recently been praying and thinking about how I can do this. Perhaps I could join my local soccer club and be salt and light in that situation!? 🙂

  3. I have lived three-quarters of my life in the shadow of Paul in Romans 7: 15,16 and have tried to keep out of trouble by not sticking my neck out.
    I cannot see my self, changing myself let alone change the world or make it a better place.
    I just do the job the Lord gave me as secretary and leave the life-changers to someone else
    Thank you very much.

    1. Thank you so much for you comment Matthew! So awesome to have you! I don’t actually think of myself as a world changer either! So I’m right there with you my friend! I have limited talent, limited experience and limited character! But usually, being confident within myself isn’t my biggest barrier to partnering with God’s mission. My biggest barrier is not trusting him to use me, despite my weaknesses and despite how I feel! Somehow, despite my frailties, God still uses me to change the world if I place my hopes in him. But he is the one that does the’world changing’!

      Don’t forget the verses directly after the ones you referenced!

      “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” – Verse 25.

  4. This is a good starter. I believer the answer begins in fervent prayer. According to James, ‘the heated prayer of a righteous person accomplishes much.’ Pentecost came after people were praying. The trouble is the church is looking for another programme, but it needs another Pentecost.
    After the Holy spirit fell the disciples could not help, but speak of the things they had seen (Acts 4.20). They were overflowing with God. The consequence was each disciple was a red hot evangelist.

    1. Thank so much for your comment grant! I totally agree! I think that the only way forward and do what God calls us to do is through the power of the Holy Spirit. 🙂 It is interesting as well isn’t it that it seems there were many times the disciples were baptized by the Holy Spirit and filled. It was a continual “transformational” relationship with him!

      1. This is probably my biggest problem. Instead of letting the Holly Spirit guiding me, my ego takes over. I am still figuring out the gifts God has given me at age 70 but I still persevere.
        This article has help confirm what I have known for so long. Satan is running this world BUT Jesus Christ has power of Satan. This gives me so much comfort and I don’t dwell on the bad but think of good things I can do.

        1. Thank you so much for your comment Jack! I totally understand what you mean about our ego. It’s often our biggest enemy isn’t it! But also carefully disguised as something else! How imaginative our brains can be sometimes!

          I agree. Jesus has the victory. And it blows me away that he has given us his Spirit, the very one that empowered him to work in his mission, to us! Wow.

          “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:25-27

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