On the End Game of Evil versus the Power of the Holy Spirit
Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
I am as amazed as everyone else at the brilliant state of all the technological whizbang whirring around outer space and enhancing inner space, i.e., you and me.
I am also intimidated by it, not only by the math involved but also by the potential for evil. Several of my previous posts on technology deal with this.
Technology enables not only more efficient production and maintenance of food, clothing, shelter, and us (as it were), but also more effective weapons to, well, control it, and, if deemed necessary by the powers-that-be, blow it all up (more likely it will self-combust in some way because, according to our Manufacturer’s Instructions, iron and clay don’t mix well).
Which brings me to Satan–who would, of course, love to do what he does more efficiently, do it on a global scale, and do it completely. Destroy, that is. All of it–outside and inside–and via the best of all that whizzes, bangs, and whirs, leaving just a few charred, sulfur-scented remains–the end game of evil.
(Note: although, because he is the archetypal liar, the end game for him won’t be what he is anticipating. See also, Instructions.)
I’m not talking about the Disneyfide version of the Devil, but the one described in the chronicle of his best (worst) works (here is a sample) that includes descriptors such as “deceive, devour,” and “destroy.”
But even as I am amazed and intimidated at what level of good mankind has accomplished by way of technology and conversely its potential for evil in the hands of–or inspired by–evil (not to mention by old-fashioned, man-made evil), I am also reminded of something else: the greater power of God.
After all, Who made whom (although “whom” threw it all away in a quest to be god, himself)?
A little story I heard recently brought this to mind.
The story-teller shared about the time he was on a walk. He stopped for a minute or two, then looked down. He saw a small, thin snake about 6 inches long trying to slither on top of his shoe. “It was as if I heard the Lord remind me that this is about the real level of threat Satan has against me,” he said, and laughed.
Why did he laugh, when we see the havoc wreaked by evil, and its minions in the flesh, on people, towns, cities, nations–the entire planet–it seems? The beast (and company) seems more aptly compared to some Giant Anaconda of our worst nightmares than some minute garden snake silently slipping through the tendrils and nipping at ants.
The story teller laughs because he is a born-again, baptized-in-the-Holy-Spirit believer in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the same Son Who came to earth and Who, by a power greater, defeated the wannabe god.
The same Spirit that raised Jesus (Satan’s eternal nemesis) from the dead.
Sadly, however, many Christians balk at this kind of talk, let alone any such thing as a “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” that, many preach, was only for the Apostles’ era, the plethora of Scriptures dealing with this spiritual phenomenon and the accompanying gifts, notwithstanding.
Sadly, “righteousness” in today’s brand of church is often reduced to behavior, Holy Spirit growth to a business model of growth, and the Rock of Ages is reduced to a rock star as congregations try to be “seeker friendly,” and all-inclusive. Hell is passe, the blood of Jesus, the “spotless sacrifice” for those who repent and receive Him as Savior, is rarely, if ever, discussed, and Satan fattens on our ignorance. Not only that, he gets meaner and meaner.
He plies his destructive trade–whether by technology, treachery, or other tricks–deceiving, devouring, and destroying those who, if they only knew, have the power to defeat him.
And “For lack of knowledge,” as it was written, they perish.
What kind of knowledge?–knowledge of our power to overcome and defeat Satan’s power over us, for, as Jesus put it, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:19-20).
“Your names are written in heaven?” How?
And here is where the hope and salvation and deliverance from evil all begins:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Today would be a good day.
It’s not going to get any easier, friends, and God has and will provide what we need to overcome what comes.