How do we resist or oppose evil? Paul encourages us to put on the whole armor of God. In light of recent events, this response may seem inadequate. Perhaps a more Old Testament response (an eye for an eye) is more suitable. But as Martin Luther King, Jr. so eloquently put it: That just leaves everyone blind.
So how exactly do I oppose evil? How does this abstract armor Paul speaks of not only resist evil but advance goodness?
1. We teach truth. Truth is not always popular but it is always true. Recent events are happening because we, as a country, have not only believed but have propagated lies. We have taught a message of fear and fear is always the opposite of God’s truth. What you witnessed Saturday, was fear in action. But the truth is: God has not given us a spirit of fear but He has given us a Spirit of love, power and a sound mind.
2. We walk in peace. Worry and anxiety (again fear causes this) make us do stupid things. So we teach and we walk in the truth that “All things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” We stand our ground when evil comes knowing what the enemy meant for bad, God will turn around for our good.
3. We protect our hearts with righteousness. Hatred will try to creep into our hearts but we remember we are the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. As such, we love those who would hurt or belittle us. We love and forgive as we are loved and forgiven by God.
4. We shield ourselves with faith. When evil raises its ugly head, we never give up hope. We know love and mercy will always triumph over hate and injustice. We have faith we will see God’s goodness on this side of heaven. We persevere until love wins.
5. We protect our minds, knowing we are saved. Salvation means more than just going to heaven. We are healed, whole, rescued, restored. We enter into this battle from a place of victory. Whatever the enemy throws at us, we stand knowing the victory had been won. We stand as bold as lions, preaching the gospel, and setting the oppressed free.
6. We go on the offensive. We declare truth over evil. We called those things that be not as though they are. We pray in the Spirit. We recognize we are seated in heavenly places, conjoined with Christ, and we have been given authority over every evil act. But let me just say, you can’t have authority over what you are partnering with. So we need to repent of any lies we are believing. (We can’t have authority over racism if we believe the lie that one religious group is evil.)
This is how we oppose evil and advance the Kingdom. This is how we fight. This is how we win.
“For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand.”
Ephesians 6:13 NET