1 The fool says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
not one of them does good!
2 The Lord looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
3 All have turned away,
all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.
It’s pretty easy to get frustrated and start to think that the entire world is completely lost. I recently voiced the thought after a frustrating incident. The world is full of sin, depravity and evil. It is everywhere. Worse, it is highlighted, adored and repeated all day and all night by electronic and social media. It’s a true blood-lust. I find myself wishing that Jesus would return immediately to clean this place up.
And I am not giving myself a pass on this either. I fully participate in this world to one level or another. I like to think that I participate less than I have at other times in my life, but I am part of the problem. I am guessing you might have similar feelings about yourself. Sometimes I feel like we are just kidding ourselves about the amount of time we are away from the Lord.
But here is the simple truth – It’s Not True!
Oh, the world is everything that we believe it to be, and we all choose to be some part of it on a daily basis. What is not true is that the faithful can’t fight against it and that we have lost. Those thoughts are a negativity spiral whispered from the devil and – they are not true.
Have you ever heard of the term “Fog of War”? The definition in Wikipedia is pretty good:
“[Fog of War] is the uncertainty in situational awareness experienced by participants in military operations.
The term describes, with a word picture, the uncertainty regarding our own capability and situation and our adversary’s intent and capability during combat. I think this is a perfect description of what Christians around the world are having to deal with on a daily basis. We are at war with evil and one big tactic of the enemy is to surround us with a fog of confusion. Satan’s lies spread quickly, far and wide, creating a fog that causes us to feel like we are alone and that there is no hope. I see the social media posts and read other people writing about it all the time. Let’s pull the tactic apart and inject truth into the situation.
Our adversary’s capability and intent
Satan’s intent is very succinctly stated by Jesus in John 10:10 – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy“.
The enemy’s capabilities are listed in quite a few places in the Bible. To summerize them; Satan’s capabilities are that he can disguise himself as something that seems good and then convincingly lie to us. These lies tempt us and push us to forsake God in exchange for the thing that Satan said was going to be so good.
14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
44 He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. – John 8:44b
1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. – Matthew 4:1
The tempting of Adam and Eve is a perfect example of how he works.
3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘Younshall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
Sounds pretty familiar, huh? It does to me. Has that happened to you this week? Well, maybe we haven’t doomed the rest of humanity with our actions, but we haven’t said no to sin all week either.
Our situation and capability in Christ
Because of this “Fog of War”, we Christians have an uncertainty in our capabilities and our situation. I will be the first to admit that I have moments of uncertainty. When these moments occur, it is time to pull out the Bible and remind ourselves of God’s capabilities and our situation.
First, What is our situation? Well, WE HAVE WON! Did you forget? I do sometimes. It’s not hard to forget this with all that evil fog swirling around. Romans is always a great place to remind ourselves of our real situation. I like Romans 8 because it is one of the most power-packed chapters ever written, in the Bible or elsewhere and it reminds us about who we are and what that means.
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
And Romans 16:20 says very directly that we will not lose when it says, “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.”
Second, let’s look at our capabilities – There are multiple places where Paul talks about how to live life in the Spirit, but Chapter 4 of Philippians provides a very concise description. Paul mentions that we should always be rejoicing and showing gentleness and that we should not worry, but instead pray with thanksgiving. He says that this will result in “the Peace of God which transcends all understanding” and that this will “guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”. Paul goes on to say that this contentment and closeness is only possibly “through Him who gives me strength”. These are our capabilities, given to us from God, because of Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit.
“But,” you say, “come on, I am not completely helpless without God, I can resist some temptation on my own!” Paul addresses this false confidence directly in Ephesians.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 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. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
So there you have it. Whatever lies you are hearing from the enemy are not true. Don’t let the “Fog of War” cause you to doubt your situation or your capabilities in Christ. It is a war, and Satan’s lies will create a thick fog. But, if we remember that we have already won and that we are more than capable because of Christ, and we equip ourselves with the whole armor of God, the fog will dissipate and the truth will shine.