Friday, February 1, 2013

Resisting the evil among us

As a child, I remember waiting for Friday night where I would plop myself in front of our 25-inch black and white television to watch Batman.  Every week there would be another episode where the heroes, Batman and Robin, battled with the forces of evil in Gotham City.  They were given names like The Riddler, Joker, Penguin, Mr. Freeze, and what 14-year-old boy could forget Catwoman?  They all had their own way of trying to take control of Gotham City, defeating Batman, so they could rule its citizens.  It included phrases coming out of Robin’s mouth like, “Holy popsicles,” or “Holy cat litter,” and always ended with a classic fight scene filled with WHAM!, KAPOW!, SOCK!, and KAZAMM!  Of course, Batman and Robin always won, until the next week when the battle would be fought all over again.

Have you ever felt that way, on a continual cycle, battling one thing after another, thinking you’ve finally won, only to have it come back around again, like The Joker?  The truth be told, we are all in a constant struggle to resist the evil that is among us.  So how can we resist? 

I wish there was a simple formula, but the sheer fact is, and I usually shy away from images of warfare, that Scripture is clear that we are in a battle for our own soul.  It becomes more and more apparent to me the older I get that the enemy isn’t giving up on his chase for us.  Evil is persistent, seeking to devour us like a roaring lion; but the good news is that God continues to come as well. We need to acknowledge that there is both good and evil that is present.
So, as I reflect on revival, and the things that might have happened in your life this past week, my prayer is pretty simple — that God enable us to resist the evil that is among us. Never underestimate its attraction and lure. How, you ask? Again, like I’ve already said, it’s not easy. I want to offer three tangible ways:

1. Find a group of people who you know desire the things God desires, and seek them with you; don’t do this alone.  Get in a small group where you are being held accountable for what you are thinking and doing, declaring as a group your utter dependence on God.

2. Second, get connected to a church, an intergenerational gathering of people, and seek an adult mentor to come alongside you in your spiritual journey.  We all need people who are mature to speak into our lives.  The church gets kicked a lot these day, and it isn’t perfect because it’s made up of people like you and me, but the church is the most tangible expression of Jesus in our world.  If you’re serious, find a church.

3. Realize that ultimately our redemption is gift, a gift that we are to share in humility with others, enabling them see the hope that comes in a restored relationship to Jesus Christ.  

I’m praying for you today!

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