Pushing Back Evil

Dec 1, 2021.

Most leaders entered the ministry imagining they’d be preaching on Sundays and shepherding their flock throughout the week. But staring down evil until it backs up?…that wasn’t in the original dream.

#JesusStories: Mark 3 reveals some interesting things about the selection of Jesus’ disciples. First of all, they were twelve incredibly common men. That should give all of us hope. But I’m intrigued about why Jesus wanted these men. Jesus states three reasons in vs. 14-15: 1)to be with him, 2)to be sent out to preach, and 3)to force out demons. The first two descriptors are easy to embrace, but that last one is not. Dealing with evil was obviously on Jesus’ mind when he selected those first disciples. And this means something for every disciple to follow…even us 2000 years later. Jesus was so sure that dealing with evil would be commonplace for us that he included it in the Lords Prayer, “…and deliver us from…” (you know the rest).

We live in a pragmatic world – one that dismisses the presence of the spirit world out-of-hand. Somehow, the ministry has been affected by that cultural assumption. Even though we delve into the spiritual world when we practice and teach about prayer, we rather ignore the spirit of darkness. This is not wise; this is now what Jesus had in mind when he selected us for Christian leadership. We live and serve in a war zone between the inbreaking kingdom of Heaven and the uprising kingdom of darkness. And Jesus expects each of us to win victories for him in that war. When we see evil destroying peoples lives around us, it is within our calling to resist that evil until it flees (James 4:7). This is both a spiritual attitude and an activity of prayer. Sometimes it spills into the visible world in the form of a divine work on behalf of someone. But that is our calling. We are to spend time with Jesus, preach the stories about Jesus, and stare down evil until it backs away from the people we are called to reach. That is why disciples have been called…it’s what we do. Lord, give us the ability to discern evil when it shows up, and the boldness to push it back until it runs.

#DinnerChurchQuotes: Mission will always imply struggle – the struggle between the forces of evil to divide, and the forces of love to unify. (Jean Vanier)

#PracticalStuff: Consider sitting down with your core team, and discussing how the uprising kingdom of darkness might be pressing against the people in your neighborhood? Once you have some answers in hand, maybe it is time to take a stand against that evil. It might even be time for you and your team to do a prayer walk around your neighborhood. In so doing you are ushering the inbreaking of kingdom of Heaven IN, and pushing the uprising kingdom of evil OUT! What do you think?

Blessings & Boldness,

Verlon

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