To set up the stage, let me reiterate that we have two worldviews at war. The first is the one that we’re all familiar with. The kingdom of darkness has set up itself as the only way. Most people don’t realize that there are other options. It is the wisdom of Satan that has given us things such as the Freudian view, Marxism, and the theory of relativity. As wonderful as relativity has done in the realm of physics, sociologists have then taken it into our culture to say that our beliefs and views are relative.
If we go back in time to the 1950’s and even the 1960’s words such as respect and honor were common in the realm of business. You wanted to run a respectable business. In modern day, businesses are set up on fraud and outwitting the other businesses. Usually the way you outwit someone else is by deception, manipulation, slander, or some other injustice against rival companies.
An entire system has come into existence where self is at the center. Self-promotion, self-preservation, self-exultation, and anything else to push down others is the name of the game. We put ourselves over others mentally. When we commit crime, it isn’t that we committed a crime, there was some sort of social injustice done to us that caused us (or forced us) to steal, lie, murder, etc.
We are at war. Our lives and our characters need to exude a different kingdom with different ethics. As much as I believe in the inefficiency of ethics and morale, I also understand that they have their place. Some of the ethics most people miss is that God is a God of order. How chaotic and out of place and unclean our homes and bathrooms and linen closets are will describe exactly how close we are to this God of order.
I don’t believe that we can be followers of Christ and then only do that which is required of us in our schoolwork or at our jobs. We can’t simply do the bare minimum. How? How can we feel comfortable to call Jesus the Lord of our lives, and then go about according to the system of the world, which is the system of Satan? In everything you do, even in eating and drinking and chores and schoolwork, do it unto the Lord.
Even the name of our Lord can be blasphemed by being invoked wrongly. When our motives are only brought out of self, to call upon the name of Jesus is to blaspheme His name. In the name of Jesus can be invoked vulgarly when we’re just trying to get demons off our back so we can continue to live our own lives. We’re called to a deeper dealing with them. We’re to break their power itself and release the captivity of men. This is more than a calling upon a name. It requires a corporate calling upon that name, which is already a testimony against them. And it will only be to the extent that we are indeed free from these powers. Colossians 2:15 they continue by false intimidation, lies and threats, but robbed at the cross. Like a toothless lion can roar and fool those who don’t know it is toothless.
We’re called to break their power itself and release the captivity of men. When we thought Satan’s power had to deal with sin and since we’re free from sin we have this power, we’ve missed it. Satan can say, “Jesus we know, and Paul we know, but who are you?” There needs to be a quality of life in us that so transcends their deception and their values that when we call upon the name of the Lord, there is nothing false about us.
Even in our walking, we don’t walk like Kingdom people. We walk in casually. We address each other as friends. Everything about our Sunday services is based upon being casual and non-intimidating. It’s another business ploy to cause new comers to feel welcomed and at home. The principalities and powers yawn. You can’t break down their strongholds when you don’t even walk correctly.
How ought we to walk? You are to walk as though time and eternity hangs in the balance. You are to walk as though you actually believe that there is an end coming. You are to walk and live and move and talk and have your being in the understanding that this world is going to end, and that we only have a short time. We are 2000 years closer to the end than the original Church fathers. Yet, in comparison we live as though we have another 2000 years beyond them.
In 2 Peter 3, we’re told that everything will be destroyed by fire, even the very elements of the earth. The question is then asked, “Since everything is to be destroyed in this way, how then ought we to live?” We are to look forward to a day that has been promised of a new heaven and new earth. We are to look forward to a day where righteousness dwells. If righteousness dwells, and there is no sin, and everything is absolutely pure, then will those who delight in evil enjoy it?
Will those who are wicked enjoy heaven? Just imagine with me. If God comes down with complete and utter purity, will those who dwell in darkness rejoice? Will those who claim to be righteous, yet live according to society and the system (even if they’re Christian), will they rejoice? When truth comes, and when light is shed, and when righteousness is the only thing that can dwell, then everything else must go.
How are we supposed to live? We better be living in righteousness, godliness, purity, blamelessness, spotlessness, and at peace with God. There isn’t another alternative. We are to be utterly transformed. Either God works through us, or we’re done for. When God comes, we won’t stand a chance if we’ve been living our lives in a way that falls short of the glory.
In 2 Peter 3, the statement is made, “You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and hasten its coming.” By our very character and our conduct, we can hasten the day of the Lord. God has held off, and is holding off, for us to come into a reality and a mode of life that exudes this kind of living. It is because we have not lived up to this call that the day of the Lord has not yet come. He is waiting for us to get our act together.
In ignoring the principalities and powers, we have ignored a major point in Scripture. They call us to an authentic life before God. They call us to something more radical than modern preaching (and most of the classics to be honest) have called us to. We’re required to face them. We’re required to be free indeed.
Our freedom from their deception and power is scoffed at and laughed at. Even most Christian people will scoff and laugh if you bring up the thought of not going to malls because of modern day marketing. Forget about how people dress. My eyes get overwhelmed when I’m in the city. There is a bombardment of advertising all competing for our attention. I don’t want an orgy of the senses. You don’t even need to buy anything. To simply behold the advertising and the merchandise is enough to cause anyone to undergo a psychic phenomenon.
This is how we’re called to live. Paul went into the marketplaces to debate those who were devout. What are the devout doing in the marketplaces? The marketplace is a pinnacle of the flesh. It is everything society puffs up and parades. What are the devout doing there?
Unless we can understand the spiritual implication of these things, we will always be searching for love and joy in idols. Sports, shopping, and the news are the three places where I find myself battling against many believers. Too many people are sold on these things. We have given ourselves over to the idol of sports and its multibillion-dollar industry. We have given ourselves over. They didn’t take us over. They didn’t deceive us. They didn’t force us to watch. Yet we have handed our lives over.
In doing so, we have created non-truth, unreality, and a cloud of deception in our hearts and lives. The proof is in the youth. The evidence is that youth groups are full of idiots with microphones who amp up the excitement and then never deliver a message beyond salvation. They’re nothing more than court jesters. So many of our youth go through the youth group and have a fun time with the games, then end up as godless as the rest of the world. How many times do you need to see the pastor’s kid being the demon of the school? They do worse than any of the other kids.
We have not confronted the principalities and the powers in real and tangible ways, through our lives and characters and conducts, and the result is that our children don’t believe our testimony. If we were authentic, they would see it and live it with us. Teens don’t need much. They just need to be shown reality. If you won’t show them, then the television will. Our failure is only shown greatest when we look at our children.