October 30, 2014
Daily Advance – Weekly Column
By: D. Clay Perkins
President, Mid-Atlantic Christian University
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God … that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Ephesians 5:10-13a, 20b (NIV)
If you are seeking to live a spiritual life, do not be naïve: we are at war. We are in a spiritual battle. As we win battles, we can boldly tell others about the love of God.
Three stories from my life remind me we are in a spiritual battle.
The first story is a memory of going to a funeral years ago. The deceased was the spouse of a woman in the church I served. I had never met the man; he never came to church with his wife. He never cared for his wife or his children. When I walked up to view the man’s body, I suddenly felt the presence of evil. It was cold. It gave me the chills. It was evil.
The second story is a memory from Haiti. Our hosts in that region told us very sternly: “Do not go out at night No matter what, do not leave the second floor of the building you are in until morning.” Each night we heard the Voodoo drums. We heard the chants.
The third story is a memory from France, where I stood in some of the great cathedrals. In particular, I remember the amazement I felt touring Notre-Dame Cathedral. The architecture of Notre-Dame de Paris is stunning with its flying buttresses, statues (particularly of the virgin and child), and the gargoyles. The relics include things like the Crown of Thorns and Holy Nails. I stood in awe viewing the stained glass windows, the bells, and the pipe organ with over 7,000 pipes.
I was there that day with hundreds of tourists when I noticed over in the corner a very small group of believers worshiping God. They were worshiping the Creator, not the things created. The Spirit of God overwhelmed me, and I cried. A building that, through the ages, has guided people to know God had on that day more sightseers than worshipers.
My friends – this is war. And our battle is not of this world. Our fight is not with flesh and blood, but between evil and good. We fight so that good might prevail.