Political Spiritual Warfare Is an Opportunity to See the Goodness of God’s Grace
Ephesians 6:12 reads, “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.” As Christians, it is vital to recognize our battle is not an earthly battle, but a spiritual one. The tools we use are spiritual — prayer, obedience, and praise all while striving to act in a Christ-like manner.
The spiritual battle we face is directly against the devil himself, who uses earthly tools in combat. His battles are fought with ferocious anger, often leading to violence and riots. When understanding the different tools each political side uses in this spiritual battle, it is not so shocking that one side is much more destructive than the other.
When George Floyd died, the city of Minneapolis became a center of massive riots resulting in physical violence and buildings being burned to the ground. The overturning of Roe v. Wade led to angry abortion supporters screaming and crying on the grounds of our nation’s capital. There are several other examples of how the worldview rooted in secular ideologies often leads to chaos.
Travis Weber, vice president for Policy and Government Affairs at Family Research Council, elaborated on this notion of how, when worldly tools are all we have, we find ways to operate with them. He stated, “If the natural is all there is, they’re gonna think, ‘I need to be louder and occupy the physical natural space.’ … [However,] God doesn’t operate that way.”
He continued, “The spiritual is not seen, and we’re working from the perspective of the kingdom that’s not yet arrived. [However,] a small voice in the eyes of the world still represents a kingdom which is more powerful than that of the world. Working from that recognition — that reality — we don’t have to yell and shout and overpower the tools of the world. We can operate with confidence that what God wants to be proclaimed and what He wants to come to pass will be proclaimed and will come to pass.”
In America, freedom of speech means there are many voices speaking simultaneously for their own depictions of what is right. For the believer, that is the truth proclaimed in Scripture. For the unregenerate, what is worth fighting for is ever-changing, yet almost always fought for in the same fashion. A recent example of this dichotomy is demonstrated as countries from Latin America gathered in Washington, D.C. this week to fight for their values.
Music blaring, people climbing on statues, signs littered in the plaza, loud yelling. This description paints a picture of the behavior demonstrated earlier this week at the leftist protest in front of the Organization of American States (OAS).
A group of Latin Americans gathered in front of the OAS championing the LGBT-favorable policies being voted on inside — but it was disorderly. Many onlookers were covering their ears due to the booming shouts coming from loudspeakers, while others had to step over the debris scattered on the sidewalk. They made a scene — and a mess.
A few yards away from the leftist protesters, the Congreso Iberoamericano, a Christian Latino political group, also gathered in regards to the decisions being made inside of the OAS. Their demeanor was calm, peaceful, and composed, yet still ardent and heart-felt.
The Congreso’s mission was to cover the OAS building in prayer. The Congreso marched around the block three times waving their respective country’s flags, stopping at each side of the building to stretch their hands out in prayer. They smiled at the onlookers, invited them in, and even spoke encouragement to the members of the opposite protest. This provides insight to the different ways of operating in the public square. Notably, the group motivated by worldly desires was far more unpleasant than the group conducted by believers.
“I think it's important that we represent the Lord in the public square. We’re not only representing what he would say but also representing how he would act,” Weber stated. He elaborated about how Christians are ambassadors for Christ in every aspect and in every moment — even amidst injustice and conflict. The Congreso took that call to action as they thoughtfully represented their King of Kings on that street corner in D.C. earlier this week.
2 Timothy 3:12 states, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” There is no simple solution to the manner in which the world conducts itself. However, it is important to understand why believers must act differently. Christians are fighting a battle that is already won, but we are still called to be good stewards of what the Lord has given us. In this case, boldly proclaiming the truth is an obligation of the believer, and it must be done in a way that reflects the love of Christ.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:44, “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Moreover, Paul wrote in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Ultimately, Christians are called to a behavior higher than those in the world. Though they may shout and act violently, we are called to grace and humility.
We are not merely commanded to tolerate our enemies, but to love them. We are not merely called to stand firm against those who persecute us, but to pray for them. We are not to be conformed to this world, but to live a life radically different — all for the glory of God. May these times of spiritual warfare be an opportunity not wasted to exemplify the goodness of God’s grace.