This battle for control of the world began years ago and is raging everywhere you go. It manifests in your household and in countries around the globe. In many countries, our side is winning. And in places like the Sudan, the battle takes on vast, graphic proportions. As I go to train a new group of World Racers this morning, I’m looking at the shock troops on our side. They are ready to be trained to do what Jesus did and what he would have them do. Their friends may be numb on their couches, but these 40 have said, “here am I send me.” I pray that you’re such a one.
How the battle between good and evil started
Bible Reading: Genesis 3
Rescue the perishing! Rescue the perishing! Rescue the perishing!”
“Pray for those who are suffering as if you were suffering with them” (Hebrews 13:3).
Sudan school still in shock after fatal air strike
>> Kaouda, Sudan, Feb 11 (Reuters) –
>> Upper Kaouda Holy Cross School in southern Sudan was still in shock on Friday, three days after a government air attack killed 14 children in a hail of shrapnel.
>> The Antonov aircraft dropped four bombs that landed near the school on Tuesday while an outdoor lesson was going on. A 22-year-old teacher also died and 17 students sustained injuries ranging from fractured limbs to severe wounds.
>> From afar, the target looks like any other bush school in Africa – four thatch-covered brick buildings and a blackboard swaying gently from a tree.
>> “The whole community is in shock. They cannot understand what happened,” said Stephen Amin, a local journalist who witnessed the attack.
>> Amin told a small group of reporters who landed in the area on Thursday that the government plane dropped eight more bombs on two villages close to the school and the whole attack lasted no more than 15 minutes.
>> A one-meter wide crater marks the spot where one bomb fell near the classrooms. Most of the victims were first grade students sitting through an English lesson under a tree.
Genesis 3:4-5 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
1 Chronicles 10: 13-14 “Saul died because he was unfaithful to the LORD; he did not keep the word of the LORD and even consulted a medium for guidance, and did not inquire of the LORD. So the LORD put him to death and turned the Kingdom over to David son of Jesse.”
We are born into the middle of a story, one that began long ago. Adam fell, and the devil’s reign commenced. He immediately set up camp in the world and has been fighting tooth and nail to hang onto his territory ever since. Reflecting on how it all began can give us some insight into how the devil operates today.
Your Bible Reading today is Genesis 3. Read it again, and look at how Satan operates. He begins by lying to Eve about God: “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?'” (Gen. 3:1). God had never said anything of the sort! Rather, He’d told Adam and Eve that they could eat from any tree in the garden, except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Satan’s first sneering lie cast doubt on the goodness of God. Then he continues in Genesis 3:4-5 with a more blatant lie—denying that there will be any consequences for disobeying God. Reading this story helps us understand why Satan is called the father of lies! He uses them to deceive people into living in disobedience.
Saul wrote another sad chapter in this saga of lies and deception. The Israelites’ battle against the Philistines (their neighbors and sworn enemies) had taken a turn for the worse. In a panic, Saul chose to trust outside sources and his own strength to give him victory, instead of turning to the Lord. Like Adam and Eve, Saul tried to make his own way, believing lies instead of the truth and acting accordingly.
Satan continues to twist the truth today. According to a George Barna survey, 94% of Christian young people in America believe that truth is relative, not absolute. Only 6% of Christian teens believe in absolute truth. By failing to acknowledge the truth of God’s Word, they open themselves up to the same sort of moral bargaining and self-deception in which Saul engaged.
So the battle that began in Genesis and continues throughout the Bible is raging today in America and the world. The big lies our society believes are a particularly effective weapon in the enemy’s arsoual. Without truth’s protection, people are badly wounded from the shrapnel. Christians are the ones entrusted to release the POWs from their captivity, to bring their healing.
We may not feel comfortable in armor. We may be peace-lovers, doing everything in our power to avoid interpersonal conflict. But God loves people. He wants their freedom. He wants His territory back. He has drafted us and made us warriors to do it with Him.
1. When have you felt attacked by the enemy recently? Does it happen regularly? What is he doing to try and gain ground that you have given to God?
2. How do you respond to it? Are you actively defending yourself, or do you often get attacked without ever realizing it?
3. Where have you been weakest in your struggle? What lies may be behind this?
4. Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). What truths of God address the common lies and temptations of Satan in your life? How can you begin to live based on these truths?
5. Christians are being persecuted worldwide. The story in Sudan is one of many examples. Hebrews 13:3 says, “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” How can you get involved to help your brothers and sisters under fire?
Ask: “Lord, it’s scary to think of being in battle, but I trust you, and I want to be part of it with you. Please help me get ready.
Show me where in the past I’ve allowed the devil to attack me and beat me up.
Show me where I’ve given him any territory in my life.
Show me how I can help our family worldwide.
Show me what to do to start.”
Listen: Write down what you perceive Him to be saying.
Obey: What will you do?
Evaluate: What happens as a result?
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