A Christian’s Response to Terrorism
“But these oppressors know nothing; they are so ignorant! They wander about in darkness, while the whole world is shaken to the core.” Psalm 82:5
Once again, Americans have been shaken by the tragedies that have happened this past weekend, particularly the mass shooting in Orlando. My heart goes out to all who have been affected by this act of terror; may God surround you as you walk through this difficult time.
To those who are mystified and even scared about how to proceed as these random acts of terror seem to go by unhindered, I want to take a few moments to remind you of a few things.
First, please know that our enemy is not guns. Although the default conversation for many revolves around gun control, the conversation should be much more than that. Legislation will never be able to change or penetrate what needs to be changed: people’s hearts.
Secondly, we need to remember that our enemy is not the people who have an opposing view on how these acts of violence should be handled. It’s also not the people who chose to perpetuate evil through terror; we need to stand strong against them, but they are not our main enemy. A deeper darkness is at work.
Our enemy is Satan. He is the evil behind all evil, the thought behind all deception, and the head of the kingdom of darkness. We must stand strong against him through prayer, righteous living, and kingdom expansion. We do this by shining our light.
Light is a force that overpowers darkness every time. When you walk into a room and flip on a light switch, darkness has to leave. It has no option. John writes in John 1:5, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” The only way darkness wins is when light is dimmed in some way.
Jesus tells us that we are the light of this world. We are to shine a light showing people the way back to Him.
Satan will do everything he can to stop us. He knows he can’t win in the light! Terror is one of his weapons of choice to perpetuate fear in many. The more he can both blind and bind people with fear, the less light will be available to expose his evil ways.
Our job right now is to pray and walk in the light that God’s Word provides. If fear tries to overtake our thoughts, remember our God-given antidote to fear: love. Love eliminates fear.
Saturate your thinking with how much God loves you. When you know how special you are to God, you know that you are safe following Him. Fear leaves as you recognize His love is the rock that stays true through every storm that darkness brings.
Now, sometimes the light of God’s Word does shine forcefully. When people choose to align their actions with the kingdom of darkness, we have a job as children of light to step in and command darkness to stand down. Right now, one way we can do that is in prayer. Your prayers may feel small, but they are not. James tells us that the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Just one person can make a difference through his or her prayers! Imagine the power available when all Bible-believing Christians step up their prayer lives!
How do we pray? We take authority over our realms of responsibility. We pray Isaiah 54:17: “No weapon that is formed against you will succeed; and every tongue that rises against you in judgment you will condemn. This [peace, righteousness, security, and triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from Me,” says the Lord.”
We pray Psalm 91: “Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways” (vv. 9–11)
We are part of the kingdom of light; when we command darkness to leave, it has to leave! So stand strong against darkness over your areas of authority—your family, your workplace, your city, etc. Command darkness to leave knowing that the light of God living in you has given you every right to demand darkness to depart.
As each one of us does this in the areas God has given to us, the kingdom of light will shine brighter and brighter—and expose and eliminate the evil of the kingdom of darkness.