It was a horrible tragedy that occurred in Colorado. Just horrible. Innocent lives were snatched away. Fear took control of that theater and is still gripping our hearts every day when we hear the stories that are pouring in.
Don't be deceived. There is a battle going on. The war is not with gun laws or between politicians. According to Ephesians 6:12, "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."
Our battle is against the fear that threatens to dominate our lives. When we hold our kids tight because we are afraid of what's "out there" instead of out of love and compassion, we've lost the battle. The enemy wants us fearful. We wants us to behave in that human knee-jerk reaction of locking our doors and huddling in the corners.
Thank God, He has already laid out how we are to respond to situations like these. We've got to put on armor. He already supplied it. We just need to put in on:
The Shoes of Peace: We are to walk in peace in every step we take and in every word we speak. I can't see Jesus holding a protest sign. I see Him engaging with people and speaking words that heal and help. The enemy wants us angry and scared. He wants to create an uproar. Understand this every morning when you wake up to face the day. Decide before you even put your feet on the floor that today you will walk in peace.
The Breastplate of Righteousness: We will never make a difference in a hurting and disturbed world until we can first make a difference right here in our homes. Live righteously. Do the right thing even, and especially, when it hurts. Don't force your way on to others and be dominated by your ego. Live with mercy, forgiveness, and within the commands that God has laid out for each of us.
The Belt of Truth: The truth is that we live in a messed-up world, but God is going to fix it. The enemy wants us to question God's presence. He wants us to wonder where He was when a crazed man dressed up like a villain and took innocent lives. Truth isn't something we just play around with. It's something we consciously strap on every day. We believe in God out of choice, not convenience.
The Shield of Faith: The enemy fires at us, but our faith must stand firm. We must believe that God has a greater purpose in mind. It's not always easy to pick up our shield. In fact, it's pretty hard sometimes. That shield weighs a lot and it's difficult to hold. That's the fight of faith. To believe in something greater even when our circumstances aren't lining up with our vision.
The Sword of the Spirit: It's our only weapon, but the last one we often pick up. We pick up fear. We pick up sorrow. We pick up anger. But, there sits the Word of God--full of power and authority that remains untouched. Open the Bible. Read it even if you don't know what to read. God will guide you and speak to you. He will meet your needs. He will calm your fears. He will soothe your anger. The enemy wants us to think it's just an old-fashioned book that no longer applies today. But, it's real and it will change you from the inside-out.
The Helmet of Salvation: None of this will do any good if we choose to go into battle without Jesus going before us. Fear will always dominate and we will always be looking for something to fill that hole in our lives. There is no way we can "fix" this world if we don't first "fix" our lives by accepting the free gift of salvation that Jesus died to give us. It's not only the gift of eternal life with God, but abundant life here on earth.
Keep in mind that God provides nothing to protect our backs. That's because we are not mean to run away. We are not meant to live in fear. God has our backs. Now we are to go forward and live the kind of lives that will heal a broken world.
And it starts with you.