Paris Attack: Who is the Real Enemy?
Bill and I were just pulling into a parking spot to see the movie, “The Martian,” when our daughter called with the news that Paris had just been attacked in several different locations. After we watched the engaging movie, we hurried home to turn on the news and find out the distressing information that Parisians had been violated through attacks on restaurants, a concert hall, soccer stadium, and nightclub.
In other words, Parisians were attacked where they “do life together" as they gather to relax and to have fun..
Sunday, after guest preaching at a church, Bill and I arrived home to the news that French President, Francois Hollande, had declared war on ISIS and to make it clear -- dropped 20 bombs in Syria.
I have a few of the questions with which I’ve been wrestling. I’d love to hear your ideas as we process as across the miles.
Why has the Paris attack shaken us up so much more than the near daily bombings and attacks happening across the Middle East?
Is it because France is an ally?
Is it because France is considered part of the Western world?
Is it because the French have a lifestyle much closer to Americans than those in the Middle East?
As much as we mourn for France and feel angered by their violation, I think it is important to acknowledge thatmuch of our world goes about their daily life under the constant reality that a suicide bomb could go off at any moment as they shop the market, attend a wedding, or gather to worship in church.
Safety shouldn’t be a luxury,
but it seems that in much of the world, it is becoming one.
I have another question.
Do we actually know know who our true enemy is?
One day it is the Taliban, then al-Qaida, and the next it is ISIS. Syria has made the answer to that question really complicated. I just listened to a news program as they sought to give clarity about who was joining together and who they were fighting. It didn’t even seem like the newscaster really knew the answer.
We are at a point in history where kingdom people don’t have the luxury to forget who our true enemy is…..Scripture tells us that it isn’t anyone who is flesh and blood.
- It isn’t terrorists who are recruiting impressionable young men to join them so they can later convince them to blow themselves up with a suicide vest.
- It isn’t Bashar al-Assad, leader of Syria, who has currently annihilated and displaced a great number of his country’s population.
- It isn’t Vladimir Putin who is suddenly making the cold war with Russia feel warm.
- It isn’t Donald Trump who these days seems to want to make an enemy of anyone who crosses his path!
Our true enemy is the same one that stole safety from Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Our true enemy is the same one who convinced Haman in the book of Esther to write a decree to annihilate the whole Jewish population in Persia.
Our true enemy is the same one who convinces people to use children as sexual objects, and who kidnaps children to become child soldiers, who sells drugs to innocent teens creating addiction, convinces husbands to leave their wives and abandon their families.
Our true enemy is the devil.
When we forget this, we put ourselves in peril.
And, here is the first good news of this entire blog. We are NOT at HIS MERCY.
**He is at OUR mercy.**
Jesus not only came to save us for eternal salvation. He came to train us how to partner with him to defeat darkness, the devil and death.
He came to show us how to defeat the Goliath Giants in our personal lives as well as our community.
I love the story of David facing the Giant Goliath.
David was young, just a teen, when he boldly went to face the man that made the rest of the army quake in fear. He didn’t let the scepticism of his brothers, the doubts of King Saul, or the taunts of the giant shut him down in fear.
He took his simple tools: the slingshot and five smooth stones, carefully picked to hit Goliath in his only vulnerable area: his forehead.
He came out as Goliath taunted: “Am I a dog that you come to me with a stick? Come over here and I will give your flesh to the birds and wild animals.”
David was undeterred. He stood up and called out, “You come to me with sword, spear and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s armies--the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. Then everyone will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle and he will give you to us!”
David’s example is here to teach us how to specifically respond in times just like we are in today, after the Paris terrorist attacks.
David had simple toolsbut they were just what he needed to hit his enemy in his vulnerable spot:
We have heavenly tools that are simple to implement but have the capacity to cut off our enemies’ head.
David made a faith statement.
We have a choice to speak out in FEAR or in FAITH.
Fear opens the door of HELL to our mutual enemy, but FAITH opens the door of HEAVEN to our victorious King.
David knew he wasn’t alone on the battlefield.
He was just the only one present on earth. He knew that his God had battalion after battalion of angels who were fighting in heaven. David knew that God never loses the battle when he brings his faith to partner with God’s power.
Here’s my encouragement:
Let’s be people of Issachar who know the times and understand what to do.
Let’s get really clear about the source of our true enemy.
Let’s decide together not to allow fear statements to come out of our mouth.
Let’s speak out words of faith in God’s ability to cut the head off our true enemy.
I invite you to pray this prayer with me out loud as you make a faith proclamation that puts the giants in the world on notice:
KIng Jesus, I thank you that on the day our enemy thought he had defeated you, you surprised him by resurrecting from the dead and releasing your Holy Spirit to all who follow you.
I acknowledge that you have authority over every ruler, power, government, and dominion in this age and in the age to come (Ephesians 1:19-23), and that includes every terrorist on earth, as well as our mutual enemy in hell.
I thank you that you have given me the authority of your name and the power of Holy Spirit to partner with you to defeat the giants in my own life, family, community, and in the world.
Give me the supernatural ability to defeat fear by staying close to you and committed to speaking out words of faith that are smooth stones to hit our enemy on the head, leading to his full defeat. Amen!
I would love to hear about your journey as together we spur one another on to walk in faith and to be the light and witness that Jesus created in us!