What a time to be alive right now, isn’t it? As I go out into the world, I’m perplexed with all that’s going on and how the fear has captured the hearts of the majority of the world right now – and for a legitimate reason. When this coronavirus (COVID-19) arose to worldwide pandemic status about 6 weeks ago, it took many by surprise- including me. It seemed like it escalated so quickly and all of a sudden, schools were shut down across America, Shelter in Place orders were mandated in states all around the country, National Guard was deployed, and here I am wiping down all my groceries with disinfectant as we start wearing masks out in public and stockpiling toilet paper. It’s an eerie, unsettling experience to go out these days. There is so much unknown about COVID-19, and what is known, seems to be changing and morphing DAILY. Going out and about, I look around everywhere and wonder, is COVID here? Is it there? Are THEY contaminated? Am I CONTAMINATED? And then the paranoia that this invisible enemy can creep into our homes in a variety of ways, starts to settle in: is it on our groceries, our clothes, our personal belongings, cellphone, purse, ATM card, wallet, a sneeze, our face masks that we don’t wash or dispose of properly, and on and on and on. And so we “protect” ourselves as best as we know how (I even bring Q-Tips with me to the grocery store to use on the ATM keypads, I feel ridiculous doing it, but HEY – COVID could be THERE and since it’s a potentially deadly invisible enemy, I need to be cautious and diligent, right? isn’t that what’s happening now?). As a human, on this planet, during this time, an incredible awareness has infiltrated our everyday lives – which has me thinking about the bigger, more deadly invisible enemy, that most don’t even think about, and many don’t talk about: the Devil. Satan. The deceiver of the world.
I imagine this is a “sensitive topic”, it can be frightening. Maybe you don’t “believe” in Satan. Maybe you think it’s a “fairytale story” like Santa Clause – but just because you don’t believe in it, doesn’t make it so. Just as COVID-19 is invisible – it is very real, and deadly, whether you believe it or not. There is not a more perfect time, considering the pervasive invisible enemy we’re all dealing with worldwide these days, then to talk about the other “invisible enemy”.
Scripture says a lot about the “invisible enemy” that infiltrates this world. 1 Peter 5:8-9 says:
“Be alert and sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings”
WOW, did you get that? …the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of suffering, correlates to COVID a little too, huh?
To protect ourselves from coronavirus, we collectively throughout the world, have taken some pretty unimaginable, extraordinary measures protecting ourselves and others by staying at home /isolating ourselves for almost 6 weeks now, many countries have even essentially “shut down” – how incredible is that?! We buy all the masks, and hand sanitizer and disinfectant cleaner we can find, and use it all incessantly. We “social distance” at least 6ft away from everyone. We stop partaking in all those extra things, the luxuries in life, to stay safe (beauty appointments, extra-curricular activities, leisurely things, even elective surgeries and medical appointments, social gatherings, weddings, parties, graduations, etc.). We stick with just the “essentials” of life (well, at least that’s what we’re supposed to be doing).
So here’s the question: do we do any of that for our salvation? Do we take any of that care and caution for the biggest enemy in our lives – who tests and tempts us everyday, throughout our lives? Do we take extraordinary measures to “protect ourselves” daily from the biggest invisible enemy there ever will be? Do we even think about it? He is lurking and prowling and preying in our lives, the lives of our children – all throughout the world… what do we do to protect ourselves from the most pervasive invisible enemy? Well, if you know anything about the Bible – it is the ultimate authority on how to protect our souls from this enemy, with very specific and detailed instructions on how to safeguard our hearts, our minds, and our lives from the enemy “…Satan, who leads the whole world astray…” (Rev 12:9).
Facts are facts. Whether we want to face it or not, the invisible enemy is STILL there and our salvation / our eternity depends on us opening our eyes and arming our life with the proverbial spiritual disinfectant and sanitizer – every day!
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then,
with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Ephesians 6:10 (emphesis added)
WOW – there it is friends. Spelled out – so blatantly, so beautifully, so specifically. And each “tactic” or armor is filled with depth, rich instruction, and examples all throughout Scripture.
I want to end with this: COVID-19 can seem scary and overwhelming as this invisible enemy runs rampant worldwide with all the unknowns and uncertainties this pandemic is bringing into our society. The idea and realization of the devil, can be scarier and even more overwhelming but Scripture has a lot to say about NOT FEARING, here are just a couple examples:
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me… Psalm 23:4
If we know God, if we have surrendered our hearts and lives to him and are walking with Him – there is NOTHING to fear! If we are NOT doing all that – there is something absolutely to fear, and thank GOD we have TODAY to choose life through Jesus Christ, don’t let another day go by if you haven’t accepted Jesus in your heart and God in your life! Every day is a gift, another opportunity for salvation and your chance to receive God’s lavish gift of mercy, forgiveness, peace, and protection.