In the previous two posts, I have explored the power of the life of Christ in us to reduce and eliminate sin in our lives, and the difficulty we face living in a world completely controlled by Satan, the enemy of our God and ourselves. 1 John 5:19 tells us, “We know that we are God’s children, and that the whole world lies under the power of the evil one.” Satan’s influence is pervasive, continuous, and ubiquitous. It is present everywhere, sometimes even in areas that we may see as neutral or even as good.
The term, “evil one,” here refers to Satan’s perniciousness and evil intent. Through this world system, Satan intends only three purposes – to kill, to steal, and to destroy, as Jesus described them in John 10:10. He pursues his intention sometimes out in the open, but more often behind the curtain. And like in the movie, “The Wizard of Oz,” he is constantly reminding us to “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”
Satan often uses what seems to be good to aid in the overall deception of the world and even the followers of God. Take for example the world system of medicine. Af few years ago, I was “test-driving” a dog for a possible adoption from the local shelter. “Shadow,” a mix of Husky and who-knows-what, was filled with all of the nervous energy common to Huskies. At one point in our walk he apparently did not think I was going fast enough, so he jumped up and bit my upper arm, tearing my shirt and leaving four bleeding punctures, deep scratches, and a nasty bruise. I did not adopt that dog.
I can tell you I had little hesitation in going to the emergency department for the shots I needed. Yet even as I did so, I was mindful that when I touch this medical “system,” I am touching a system that is under Satanic control. One need only remember that this “system” also provides late-term abortion and infant euthanasia to understand how it can hide evil behind good.
This should not surprise us, for Satan is called an “angel of light.” The context in which he is called this by the apostle Paul is the work of Satan in deceiving people by means of religion. Paul said this in 2 Corinthians 11, when warning of people who were coming into the home fellowship meetings to try to induce people to trust in religious practices and not completely in Christ and the Holy Spirit. Their work, while seemingly in the name of God, was the devil’s work. “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”
Several considerations are vitally important for us to remember as we come to grasp the facts about the world and its evil underpinnings. First, the salvation offered to us by our God is not simply salvation from death and the promise of eternal life with Him. It is also salvation from sin and just as importantly, salvation from the world. This is a major theme in the writings of John and Paul in the New Testament, and vital for us to understand as disciples of Christ.
Second, John warns us to love not the world or the things of the world. He warns that to love the world is incompatible with a love for the Father in heaven. Loving our God is our first and foremost priority as disciples. The world is an evil system designed to destroy our faith and distract us from our God. We cannot “split the difference” in our love. We cannot love our God and the world.
Third, as we awaken to these truths, it is imperative that we seek to fully surrender to our God and to the truth. We live in a world that is designed to deceive us, and we have all fallen victim to the deceptions. I am continually amazed at the new revelations of both truth and deception our God is bringing to light in these days. Our God is on the move. He intends to set us free from deception so that we might walk in the light and in a deep love for Himself.
Does this mean we are to check out of the world completely? No. As we will see in future posts, Christ Jesus came to invade the evil world with righteousness, and that righteousness is lived in each of us and all of us who are true followers of Christ. Are we powerless against the schemes of our enemy as he attacks us through the world systems? Again, the answer is no. we will also explore who we have been brought for powerlessness to the power of God in our fight against the influence of the world.
We need to carefully consider our relationship with the world and the things of the world in an attitude of full surrender to the will of our God. We must be humble seeking of the Holy Spirit to teach us. If we do so, He will meet us in our searching with truth and enlightenment.
Next post: Power in Us
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