Ten years ago today, life in these United States changed forever. I think it’s safe to say that life in the entire world changed that day. No one thought that terrorists would ever be so brazen as to attack the US on it’s own soil. We underestimate Evil. That’s a dangerous and unfortunate circumstance.
I have never feared “Evil”, but neither did I properly judge it for its, well, evil capabilities. Not until a few years ago, that is. I learned a few years ago that Evil does not respect proper boundaries. I thought that Evil would stop at the door of the church, but no.
I mean, I’ve seen people behave in shameful, ungodly ways inside a body of believers, but I had never seen Evil come in and completely take over an unsuspecting group of Christ followers and spin its web of obscenity; all in Jesus’ name. You might get a picture in your mind of Jonestown back in the seventies. That would be an example of Evil at work in the Body. But I didn’t live through that. It didn’t touch me personally.
I have rubbed elbows with Evil and it is nasty. Nasty is really too nice a word for what I am trying to describe. I spent six weeks with my family in a place I would just as soon forget forever, but what I learned there about Evil has changed my perspective on the whole subject. Evil is, well, hell-bent on destroying any and everything that brings glory to God.
I saw things happening that I had never even come close to witnessing in all my life. My family experienced things personally that confounded us all… they still do. Things that were done in Jesus’ name. Things that turned freedom in Christ into slavery and bondage. Things that brought attacks on our family, both spiritual and experiential. How does that happen? Evil can do that. It quite nearly destroyed my family. Only by the grace of God, and our willingness to grasp hold of it and hang on, did we survive.
So as we watch again the planes crashing into the Twin Towers of New York, as we see again the damage done to the Pentagon and think of those who intended to fly another plane into the White House ten years ago, we should not wonder how such wickedness can happen. We tend to think that Evil would behave in socially acceptable ways. That it would resist hits below the belt. We are naïve.
These atrocities, and others happening all across our globe, are carried out by men, but the Bible tells us that our real battle is not against these men. It tells us that we fight a battle against Evil itself. It tells us that there is, right now, a battle going on that we cannot see with our eyes. (Ephesians 6:2) Yet we cannot ignore that it is happening when we see the results all around us. The earth itself is groaning… earthquakes, fires, storms, and droughts. The earth is feeling the effects of the battles that rage. (Romans 8:22)
Does this mean that we should just board up our windows and hide under our beds? Maybe. But the reality is, while we should never underestimate the schemes of the Evil One, neither should we ever underestimate the power of a Holy God. Even as the battle rages on and we continue to see brutalities and abuses around us, the real truth that we have to hold to is,
We have already won.
It’s like knowing the score of a football game before the kickoff. Even if your team were down two touchdowns going into the fourth quarter, if you knew that your team was going to be victorious, you’d face that fourth quarter with anticipation of the victory that was sure to come. (Yes, I just used a sports analogy…)
Because of Jesus, we have already won. There is power in his name to save us. We speak his name and Evil has to flee. For sure, we will suffer the effects of the Evil One until Jesus comes again, but the truth is, we have already won.
So until that day, we must continue in the faith, never doubting what we know to be true. Our lives changed forever on September 11, 2001. Our eyes were opened a bit to the battle that continues even now. Knowledge is power, though, and while we might want to let fear envelope us, we can stand firm in the name of Jesus to be victorious. While I never care to be snuggled up to Evil that closely again, I know that it cannot win. It will not win.