Unseen Threats

Many of us are getting weary of taking precautions against a virus. A virus that has not done much “damage” to people we know personally or to many of us. A virus about which there are conflicting reports does not seem important enough to make much a “to do” about for some (many) of us.

I wonder if our thoughts would change if the virus were more obvious, more visible? The fact that it is “unseen” (with normal vision, I am aware that it can be seen with medical equipment) contributes to how people regard it.

If only we could “see” it. If we could “see” it then we might realize that it is a wimp and there is has been much ado about nothing. If we could “see” it then we might realize that it is a monster and we need to treat it accordingly. If only we could “see” it.

I am not attempting to make any statement about the virus except for a correlation between our perception of it and its being “unseen.”

The real “unseen threat” that I am concerned about is the powers of darkness.

The Bible highlights the theme of conflict with the powers of evil. It is integral to the biblical worldview. Those of us who understand the Bible to be our authoritative and reliable guide to faith and practice need to seriously take this aspect of the biblical message. The biblical worldview, however, collides head-on with the modern worldview and its naturalistic assumptions.

John reveals in his first epistle that “the whole world is under the control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). Jesus spoke of Satan as “the prince of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). There was, then, some substance to Satan’s claim of dominion when he offered Jesus the kingdoms of the world (Matt. 4:8–9; Luke 4:6).

The opponents Paul emphasizes in his writings are demonic forces (see 1 Cor. 15:24; Eph. 1:21; 3:10; 6:12; Col. 1:16; 2:10; 2:15). The classic text in Paul concerning dealing with “unseen threats” is, “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” (Ephesians 6:12).

If only we could “see” the “unseen threat” (the evil spiritual powers in the heavenly places), we would realize that we need help. We need the power of God.

Thankfully, God empowers His people for the unseen struggle. Paul urges the saints to recognize: 1) that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Eph. 1:3); 2) identify the power of God that raised Jesus from the dead and seated above all forces in the heavenly places is available to us (Eph. 1:18-21); 3) that God raised us and seated with Christ in the heavenly places at conversion (Eph. 2:4-6); 4)      that we can be strengthened with power in our inner being (Eph. 3:16); 5) that God can do much more than we can ever conceive (Eph. 3:20-21), and 6) that we can be strong in the power of the Lord (Eph. 6:20).

The saints need to take a position of advancement and a position of resistance to be victorious against the “unseen threats.” Progress takes place as the church makes known God’s manifold wisdom (Eph. 3:10). Resistance is accomplished through “standing” (holding our ground) clothed in God’s armor (Eph. 6:10-20).

“Unseen threats” are present can be defeated! We must stay diligent and not grow weary.

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