I’m not going to get political in this piece. I’m going to get personal. And spiritual. Because the spiritual should affect the personal and the personal should affect the political.
What I’ve witnessed these past few days is the reverse order of God’s order and all hell has broken loose.
Now, the creeping darkness has descended on Milwaukee. Over the weekend, riots left a 23 year-old African-American man dead, buildings burned, businesses looted and police in hospitals from being pelted with rocks, bricks and concrete. Humankind has gone mad in Milwaukee, just a couple blocks from the Christian youth center where our family has served for 15 years.
Not more than a month ago, nearly forty kids from the center were here on our farm. We just wanted to share the gospel—the “good news”—the transforming LOVE and TRUTH of Jesus Christ, seen even in His creation, even in a monarch butterfly and a pile of composted manure. God can bring life out of death. And God does, every single time we let him.
We want this. Our family and our volunteers are people who dare to care by stepping out of comfort zones to take a step toward ending war zones, not just in cities but in hearts and minds where war zones form.
I’m not so naïve as to believe one week of Nature Camp riding horses and enjoying hayrides and playing and talking and hugging people of different skin color cure all social ills.
I’m not saying that going into the ghetto and serving will save everyone. But what if it’s for one? What if just a little love saves a life? Empowers a person? Improves a family?
And what if this one life is mine—expanded for stepping out of my comfort zone into war zones within me and outside of me? What if my fear and ignorance shrinks? What if love and knowledge grows? What if my preconceived notions about what helps and what hurts are turned upside-down by listening to hearts living their lives instead of “experts” who never step foot in our “lands” and cannot know our minds?
So what’s one to DO?
I don’t know all the answers.
Because here’s the truth that needs telling right now in Milwaukee and in all the going-to-hell places and broken heart spaces across this country and around this world—the first and most important thing we all need to get straight before we try to FIX anything.
This . . .
KNOW your enemy.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
Stop looking and pointing at one another. Pull the curtain back and see . . .
The Enemy is the DESTROYER (Hebrew and Greek translations). Revelation 9:11
The Enemy is the ACCUSER. Revelation 12:10
The Enemy is the ADVERSARY. 1 Peter 5:8
The Enemy is the ANTICHRIST. 1 John 4:3
The Enemy is the BEAST. Revelation 14:9,10
The Enemy is the RULER OF DEMONS. Matthew 12:24
The Enemy is the DECEIVER. Revelation 12:9
The Enemy is the DEVIL. 1 John 3:8
The Enemy is the FATHER OF LIES. John 8:44
The Enemy is the GOD OF THIS AGE. 2 Corinthians 4:4
The Enemy is the KING OF THE BOTTOMLESS PIT. Revelation 9:11
The Enemy is the LAWLESS ONE. 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10
The Enemy is the LIAR. John 8:44
The Enemy is the MURDERER. John 8:44
The Enemy is the POWER OF DARKNESS. Colossians 1:13,14
The Enemy is the THIEF. John 10:10
The Enemy is the WICKED ONE. Ephesians 6:16
Without Christ, corruption.
Without Christ, chaos.
Without Christ, destruction.
Do we want more days and nights without Christ?
In our cities? Our states? Our country?
In our homes? Our schools? Our hearts?
Do we really want to live Christ-free?
Then STAND FIRM. Put on the FULL ARMOR OF GOD . . .
The belt of TRUTH.
The breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS.
The gospel of PEACE.
The shield of FAITH.
The helmet of SALVATION.
The sword of the SPIRIT which is THE WORD OF GOD.
KEEP ON PRAYING.
I, for one, refuse to throw up my hands in despair. I, for one, will keep throwing my hands up in prayer.This is how we fight.This is how we love. This is how we WIN the battle against evil in our age.
Stand firm, now!
Pray and do the next right thing, no matter how small. Take the next simple step. And then another. Small steps make the journey.
With Christ, we can do all things. Philippians 4:13