Almost seeming as coincidence, I found myself watching an interview with Harry Belafonte on CNN. He was describing his views of nonviolent activism for his fight for civil rights in America with Martin Luther King. He was asked about many photos from that era that showed the black community being sprayed with water from fire hoses and even being chased by police dogs, etc. He was asked if that was a regular part of their lives at that time. Belafonte’s answer was that they had to “go where the enemy is the strongest.”
The Holy Spirit grabbed my attention.
Believers in Christ are also nonviolent; not wishing to injure or hurt anyone. We are not called to be activists, but we are witnesses representing the kingdom of God. But do you choose only to live in what seems to be a “safe zone?” Perhaps too many believers enjoy a world where avoiding conflict seems right. Content to simply “hang out” with our minority community of fellow church-people, it is easy to shield oneself from the need to confront darkness. We like to feel good about ourselves with little responsibility of impacting the world. Defined by dignity rather than selfless surrender, the church peacefully exists as a mere religious museum; nice people who others should aspire to be like. This should not be.
God has not “called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9) to hide you “under a basket.”(Matthew 5:15) You are called out to run. Run with Jesus to peacefully and compassionately confront a world of sin; to “go where the enemy is strongest.” That is where we make a difference.
I often face a challenge in ministry in Asia. Many people say about certain countries “Jason, you cannot go here” or “it is not open there.” They embrace impossibilities and reject possibilities. Once something is thought to be “impossible,” no one wishes to take up the challenge. No one wants to “go where the enemy is the strongest.” …but that is exactly where the Lord uses us best! All I want to do is carry the cross to the epicenter of the greatest resistance to the Gospel and plant it in smack in the middle of it! Go into darkness and lead some souls to Jesus and you can expect great results!
We do not change the world by staying in a “safe-zone.” We are called to work by faith in a “miracle-zone,” determined to lead people to salvation in Christ Jesus in all conditions; especially “where the enemy is the strongest.”
Many churches believe it is a fair idea to lead sinners to Jesus but never get around to it. Others feel the call to pray (or even “cry out”) for souls to be saved in their cities. They expend a lot of energy while experiencing the same results because they never go. Other believers seek to satisfy their thirst for spiritual adventure with other activities.
I once met a lady on an airplane who insisted that “waging warfare in the heavenly realms” and casting down demonic forces was a top priority for all ministry efforts to be successful. They had “waged warfare” in the tallest buildings in town, rented airplanes to fly over the town and prayed until “it broke.” Others have travelled half way around the globe to hike up a mountain to cast out the reigning demonic stronghold over ma particular area just so they could “do Christian work.” The only problem was that they often showed up to cast out the devils but left without a single soul being saved! The people still went to hell (along with the devils I suppose). The world was left in darkness, yet they felt they had performed their “spiritual duty.”
Please listen to me. The victory over Satan is already won! See what the Apostle Paul tells us:
“Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” – Colossians 2:15
Through the cross, Jesus has disarmed the devil and made a spectacle of him. It is as if Satan is being led out of the world on a leash… lying to us all the way. Don’t believe him. Preaching against a beaten devil sounds spiritual, but saving a soul hastens the retreat of Satan and the return of Jesus Christ. Real spiritual warfare takes place when we love what Jesus loves and win a soul. The triumphant victory won through the cross of Jesus Christ is your victory.
Be bold and look around you. Where is the darkness the darkest?
“Go where the enemy is the strongest.”
Win a soul for Jesus and you will change the world!
Jason is founder and evangelist for The Nations Hope and lead pastor of Life Tree Church in San Jose, California. He talks a lot.
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