Can’t believe today’s news?
Today’s news is both heartwrenching and unimaginable. Innocent victims are being butchered in record numbers. Body parts, blood, and corpses are strewn all over our television, computer, and phone screens. What’s a person to do about it?
Whether you’ve followed the latest mass shooting in the United States or the wars in Ukraine and Israel, it’s hard to conceive of the degree of hatred or the lust for power that leads to such heinous acts of violence and disregard for human life. As a Maine native and a resident of the Nashville area, cold-blooded massacres have hit close to home.
Today’s killers could only commit such atrocities under the direction of demons. How else can you explain them? Evil spirits reside in the minds of wounded souls who are vulnerable and have left the door wide open to influence. The wicked puppetmaster is having his day.
Society attributes these phenomena to mental illness or radicalization. We look to politicians to solve these problems. But who are we kidding?
Who’s to blame?
You might wonder, as do many people I chat with online, why a loving God would allow such atrocities. After all, doesn’t He have the power to make them disappear? Indeed He does.
It’s easy to blame God, but the carnage isn’t His fault. It’s ours.
I know, I know. Most of us aren’t running around with AK-47s. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t culpable.
We humans have a BIG problem. It’s easy to detect in the extreme cases on today’s news but not so much in ourselves. Our fickle, self-centered hearts are mouthwatering bait for that which seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces of darkness in the heavenly realms.
Left to our own devices, we can’t destroy evil. We don’t possess that kind of power, not even with nuclear weapons. Sure, we can lock up lone wolves and root out terrorist movements such as ISIS and Hamas, but they’ll only be replaced by others. Something tells me the next wave of terrorism is destined to become viler than the one we see now.
In futile attempts to quash evil from this beautiful Earth, we’ve merely concocted more efficient ways to destroy one another. We fail because we’re fallible, just like the people whom the devil has commandeered to carry out his dastardly deeds seen on today’s news. Each of us entertains sin no matter how seldom.
Believe it or not, evil has already been defeated. God did it when He arrived on the scene as Jesus Christ. He allowed His holy blood to be shed so that humans, who tend to do wrong, could be reconciled to a God who can do no wrong. In an ironic act of mercy, God chose not to eliminate evildoing here on Earth . . . yet. But don’t despair. Justice will be served.
If God answered our pleas to annihilate any embodiment of wickedness, it would seal the fate of those who still have time to reverse course—and would put an end to everyone’s time here.
I’m not suggesting we tolerate barbarism and let crimes go unpunished. No way. But to request the Almighty to purge our planet of evildoers is to ask Him to cast all of us whose sin is not covered by the blood of Jesus into the lake of fire. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
Overcoming evil with good
God left us here on Earth with the gift of choice. And bad decisions have proven deadly.
If we choose Him, His Spirit will live inside us and help us erase the evil in our lives. The Bible calls this sanctification. One day, when we reach The Other Side, the work Jesus finished on the cross at Calvary will be completed in us. As we conform to His Spirit here and now, an overflow of sweet aroma will touch those around us.
Changing the world begins one person at a time, with you and me and the condition of our hearts before Almighty God.
Let’s not be overcome by evil. Instead, let’s overcome evil with good. Despite what we see in so many leaders today, let’s do as Jesus said by putting others first, treating them as we would want to be treated, and loving them.
We’ll always be a part of the problem, however small, but let’s take steps to become an effective part of the solution. Invite the Spirit of God to fill you to overflowing. His light shines in dark places and fertilizes those it reaches.
A would-be mass shooter may be shopping where you shop, working where you work, or living where you live – and is next to someone right now who is unaware of this troubled soul’s destiny. A generous brushstroke of the love of Jesus could prevent the unthinkable. It will make a difference in his life – and in ours.
In the meantime, the winnowing continues. Let’s pray for a bumper crop of wheat rather than an overstuffed wastebin of chaff.