As I thought about the wretched deeds that the terrorists were perpetuating against innocent people, the Lord prompted me to pray. I prayed for the innocent victims. I prayed for the evildoers, that their hearts would be changed. I prayed for me, that I would know how to fight against this evil. I wanted to make a difference.
In the weeks I have been praying about this, the Lord has shown me a disturbing fact. I am a mini-terrorist. As I prayed that the enemy would quit burning churches, the Lord reminded I sometimes burn Christians.
“So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.” James 3:5–9 (ESV)
I also remembered a time when my words and hateful attitudes elicited a startling response. I was angry and rude to someone and they said, “Wow, you don’t have to take my head off.” Ouch! I remembered the grudges I have held. Holding people prisoner in my mind for injustices, maybe real, maybe perceived. Yes, I am a terrorist by nature.
Making a Difference
Thanks to God, I have a new identity. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:4–9 (ESV). I am now on the team of righteousness and antiterrorism.
So, what is the best way I can make a difference? I can battle evil in this world by standing firmly on the side of righteousness. I can stand against the terrorists right here in my own home. It won’t be easy, but I must “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might…”
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:10–13 (ESV)
Today I choose to battle against terrorism. I will fight it in the heavenly realms by standing firmly for righteousness in my own heart and life.