Current Events and the Spiritual Battle

There’s no doubt that our world has been sent into what appears to be a tailspin in recent months. Politicians and countries at odds combined with a viral pandemic have created fear and distress. If that weren’t enough, we have been a witness to the unnecessary and terrible death of George Floyd, a man whose life was taken by one sworn to “serve and protect.” That unconscionable act became the trigger that brought longstanding anger and bitterness to the surface, allowing the devil a gaping hole through which he gladly stepped to foster chaos, destruction, and death. But God is doing what only He can do in tragic times. He is taking evil and using it for good. We are also seeing people of all ethnicities and cultures around the world come together and stand against these injustices.

As an organization that recognizes there is a Spiritual Battle raging, we believe it’s important to understand that these events are in no way separate from this battle but rather play a large role in it. When individuals or groups of any kind (nations, churches, races, cultures, families, marriages, etc.) are in conflict, the enemy is greatly pleased. He loves divisiveness and distress. 1 Peter 5:8 reminds us to “be well balanced and always alert, because your enemy, the devil, roams about incessantly, like a roaring lion looking for its prey to devour.” And Galatians 5:14-15 instructs that “the whole law comes down to this one instruction: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ so why all this vicious gnawing on each other? If you are not careful, you will find you’ve eaten each other alive!”

At its core, racism in our country and our world is a sin issue. Sin causes us to be blind to injustice toward others—those who are different than us because of their race or color, socioeconomic status, upbringing, etc. Sin causes us to dig in our heels instead of listening to those who have a different experience with the intent of truly hearing them. It causes us to believe we are good and others are bad, that a particular leader or a law will bring the “heart change” required to make the real difference. Most importantly, it causes us to take our focus off the One who came to deliver us all from the strife we experience.

So what are we to do?  When David was building an army for battle, 1 Chronicles 12 lists all the groups that signed on, but it singles out the tribe of Issachar because they “understood the times” and knew what to do. This seems like a particularly important moment to “understand the times.”

Here are a few fundamental things we must do:

First, we must pray. James 5:16 says “Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps and your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God–it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].”

Second, we must engage Scripture. The Scriptures were given to us as a manual for life and we must know what’s in them in order to live by their wisdom and guidance. In 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, the Lord gave explicit instructions on how to heal a hurting land: “If I close up the heavens and their rain and send any of the disasters you described–drought, locusts, pestilence–to ravish the land and people; and My people (who are known by My name) humbly pray, follow My commandments, abandon any actions or thoughts that might lead to further sinning, then I shall hear their prayers from My house in heaven, I shall forgive their sins, and I shall save their land from the disasters.”

Third, we must love. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., taught that “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  To really love, we need to follow Jesus’ Great Commandment: “Love the Eternal One your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is nearly as important, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  The rest of the law, and all the teachings of the prophets, are but variations on these themes.” Matthew 22:37-40

Loving God teaches us to love our neighbors. How do we do that, as a practical matter? As this letter began, we must listen to others with the intent of truly hearing. Hear the concerns, hurt and pain of our brothers and sisters, and then comfort and help them. I Corinthians is clear that there should be “no division” in the body of Christ, “that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” 

We at Engage Art are brokenhearted for and pray with our brothers and sisters who have been injured, physically and emotionally, in the past and are currently hurting and perhaps feeling helpless or hopeless. God is the hope for all of us. Let us come together under His merciful and loving umbrella in this time of suffering. We want you to know we at Engage Art love you regardless of race or color and we are committed to listening and learning and trying to do our part to heal our land and bring reconciliation. Take a listen HERE to our Technical Manager, Brandon Stubbs. He encapsulates beautifully what’s happening and points us back to the only One who can ultimately bring the healing and reconciliation we all so greatly desire.

Humbly,

The Engage Art Team