The enemy has set himself up in high places--and in the church. But we battle not against flesh and blood. Check out my latest radio broadcast in which we discuss spiritual warfare and whether it's right to discuss politics in church. Click on the headline to access the link to the show.
Bill Nye, best known among a generation of kids as "The Science Guy," came face-to-face with one of the most articulate creationists in our land and has concluded that even if it means going to hell, he will believe what he believes.
You may remember the three-hour evolution vs. creation debate in February. Nye and Ken Ham, founder and president of the renowned Creation Museum, faced off in a much-hyped showdown. Nye wholeheartedly defended evolution, while Ham used the Bible and creationist scientists to dispute his anti-creation theory.
The dust has long settled on the live debate, but Nye is still talking about his evolutionist views and has offered some disturbing words about his potential fate in the September issue of Popular Science. The online version of the front-page story "Bill Nye Fights Back" shows an animated presentation of the evolutionist with hands wrapped buffeting the air.
Sometimes life can be absolutely overwhelming. The enemy is expert at coming in like a flood with crushing circumstances and disturbing thoughts that try to drown you in feelings of helplessness and even hopelessness. "Overwhelm" is an enemy I've fought many times over the years, and defeating it starts with understanding what it really is.
Merriam Webster defines "overwhelm" as: to affect (someone) very strongly; to cause (someone) to have too many things to deal with; to defeat (someone or something) completely. Overwhelm also means: upset, overthrow; to cover over completely, submerge; to overcome by superior force or numbers; to overpower in thought or feeling.
Of course, you can be overwhelmed simply from a natural perspective with too much work or too many facts or too much opposition. But the enemy likes to work in our naturally overwhelming circumstances to apply spiritual pressure. When that spiritual pressure mounts, too often we look for a way of escape rather than trusting in the Lord for His sufficient grace to meet the situation at hand.
You've heard it said the enemy doesn't fight fair. Well, that's a spiritual-warfare understatement if I've ever heard one. The devil is a dirty fighter—and he's just as subtle as he is dirty. He never sleeps or slumbers, but he works to put us to sleep through apathy, complacency and waves of weariness.
Indeed, Satan has been working since the Second Great Awakening to put the church back into a deep sleep. He had some stops and starts. The Asuza Street Revival, the birthplace of the modern Pentecostal Movement, revived the saints at the beginning of the 20th Century. But that slumbering spirit crept back in unawares.
Although Pentecostals and charismatics are the fastest-growing segment of the church in the 21st century, the enemy effectively lulled much of the church to sleep a long time ago—even Pentecostals and charismatics. We were sleeping when prayer was taken out of schools and we were sleeping when abortion was legalized. Some segments of the church are waking up and fighting in the culture wars but the majority is still like listening to the enemy's lullabies (see Judges 16:19).
I was at the Florida Supreme Court recently praying before I got on the air with Pastor Greg Young of Chosen Generation Radio. We talked about the state of the nation but quickly moved into spiritual warfare principles. What's the difference between power and authority? Why do we have to fight if Jesus already won the victory? Click the headline to listen in to this week's broadcast.
Robin Williams' suicide not only rocked the entertainment world—it rocked people in many parts of the world who loved his comic genius. In the wake of his untimely death, mental-health experts are pointing to statistics that reveal Williams' silent suffering was part of an epidemic.
Suicide is a top-10 cause of death—more people die from self-harm than from car accidents—yet we don't hear much about it until someone of notoriety ends their life. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the suicide rate has jumped nearly 20 percent over the past 10 years even as heart disease, HIV and cancer death rates are declining.
The stats look worse when we come to Robin Williams' generation: the Baby Boomers. According to the CDC, the suicide rate among Americans aged 45 to 64 has climbed over 30 percent in the past 10 years. Cut another way, the category of upper-middle-aged white men has seen a 50 percent rise in suicides.
I was driving down the highway just as content as I could be when the Holy Spirit started talking to me about discouragement. I listened closely with my spiritual ears, as I always do, but my natural mind didn't understand why my Friend would bring up the topic while I was driving down the highway just as content as I could be.
"The enemy wouldn't bring discouragement to your heart if you weren't doing something he didn't like. He's trying to get you to quit doing what you are doing by making it look like you're not making a difference," the Holy Spirit whispered to my heart in that still, small voice. "Don't be discouraged."
I thought to myself, "What a great topic for an article. I know how discouraged so many people are." Of course, I usually have to walk through things before I can write about them with any authority, and this discouragement business was no different. Within hours of the Holy Spirit sharing those words with me, a flood of discouragement raged against my soul like a Category 5 hurricane.
When we're in the midst of a spiritual battle—whether over our personal lives, our families or even contending for revival in our cities and awakening in our nation—many sincere believers tend to petition God to rise up and take action against the enemy.
The problem is: When it comes to matters of spiritual warfare, it's not God who needs to wake up and rise up. It's us.
Jesus defeated the enemy on the cross (see Col. 2:15). Now, that doesn't mean that the enemy can't wreak havoc in our lives, in our cities or in our nations. Look at what's happening in Iraq, China and the United States of America. Persecution is rising in the Middle East and Asia, while much of the church is sound asleep on prophetic pillows of prosperity in the Western world.
Clearly, there's a devil on the loose. A literal onslaught of principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places is working hard to fulfill Satan's mission (see Eph. 6:12). Our job is to get instructions from the Holy Spirit in a place of worship and waiting on the Lord, run to the battle line with eyes wide open, fully awake to what's happening in the spiritual realm, and enforce Christ's victory over the devil He defeated. Victory belongs to us if we follow the Holy Spirit's battle plan.
First an artistic, devil-inspired barista took demonic to a whole new level with one lady's latte—crafting a satanic symbol in a Catholic woman's Starbucks drink. That's only somewhat surprising, given Christian complaints over Starbucks' so-called Jezebelic logo over the years.
Now, a burger chain symbolized by its golden arches is making headlines for something nearly as sinister: a golden swastika depicted in butter on a chicken sandwich bun she bought from a McDonald's drive-thru in Morehead City, North Carolina. Swastikas are anti-Semitic symbols made famous by Germany's Nazi Party during the Holocaust that killed millions of Jews.
"Is this a joke? Does somebody really think they're funny?" Charleigh Matice, the customer who discovered the swastika when she set out to put mayo on her sandwich, told WCTI12.com. "Many people died because of that symbol, and it's not something that should be taken lightly. It's not something that should be thrown around. I really didn't have an appetite at that point, so I said I'd rather have my money back."
It's official. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa an international public-health emergency. Stopping the global spread of this deadly—and generally fatal—virus will demand a swift, mass response.
"Countries affected to date simply do not have the capacity to manage an outbreak of this size and complexity on their own," WHO Chief Dr. Margaret Chan said at a news conference in Geneva, according to an Associated Press report. "I urge the international community to provide this support on the most urgent basis possible."
Over 900 people in West Africa have died—and those are only the ones we know about. Ebola experts are warning of an African apocalypse in the face of an unprecedented outbreak that has left hundreds lying dead in the streets, The Daily Beast reports.
"The disease is uncontained and out of control, the international response has been a failure," Ken Isaacs, vice president of Program and Government Relations for Samaritan's Purse, told The Daily Beast. He thinks the reported number of infections and deaths "represent just 25 to 50 percent of what is happening."
Dr. Heinz Feldmann, chief of virology at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, told the AP that the "situation is very critical and different from what we've seen before. There are so many locations with transmission popping up, and we just need more people on the ground."