"When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him." Isaiah 59:19
In this day and age, we are seeing more evil of the worst kind happening than we ever have before. All around us, across our nation, in our homes, in our churches, it is all around us. This verse is for our direction and admonishment as the church and servants of our Lord. Far too often, many develop a great fear that isolates and removes them from the conflict. Others lose hope when they see the swelling of the flood waters of evil. But this verse is a promise for us, that when such times come, and we are in these times, that God will raise up a standard to counter and contend with the forces of hell and the flood of evil.
1. What is this flood of evil?
--Let me give you an example from just this month of November, 2013; Murder-suicides have triple to their normal pace in our country. Grisly, evil murders of multiple family and friends at one time. Just in the last week: 4 dead in Phoenix; 4 dead in Boston (including two babies); 4 dead in New York City; VA state senator's son stabs his father, critically wounding him and then shoots himself (a failed attempt of murder-suicide); These are all recent cases of that which has been much before me for two years. This is an increased evil apart from but similar to the rise of suicides and homicides in our land. The enemy comes to destroy, and he is destroying the fabric of our land in the homes through this tragedy of murder-suicide.
--younger generation being swept out into darkness; their choices, lifestyles all products of evil damage and impact them for the rest of their days; From drugs, alcohol, sexual sins, music and materialism all impacting them for years to come. It has been a literal evil cancer eating away at what should be our next generation of hope. Hope is being diminished by so many being destroyed before they have the opportunity to make a difference in homes, our nation and our churches.
--drugs and alcohol is an evil of convenience; It is amazing to see and study how Satan over the decades has made these two sins to be so prevalent in the lives of the majority of our younger generation. From high school to college there is a constant state of health, emotional and long-lasting affects upon them for their usage of these sins. Death, nervous system, mental capacity, abuse and other affects are detrimental to our young ones. All passed down and access granted by the previous generation. The access to these things in each city and location is so easy and accommodating to this younger generation. Money is not an object, access is no problem, limit is uncontrolled but the damage is unseen in the moment. Each week at our local college there is a report of 1 to 2 alcohol poisoning calls, on a campus around 2000 students.. Last week a 25 yr. old drug overdose death, and multiple more affects left unreported are happening each day. This reflection of our local area is only multiplied by bigger cities and other areas in our nation. It is destroying us from the inside out.
--Lust, sexual sins and flesh are another evil ravaging through homes, our nation, churches and families; I have said often over the last several months, that with all the legalizing of same sex marriage, a nation working to promote sexual sins as normal that I do not know of a family that is not affected with adultery, divorce, homosexuality, fornication and other sexual sins of abuse. Again, where God is absent from the hearts, homes and heads of a people, sin, self and Satan comes barrelling right in as a flood to sweep them away to destruction.
--Family - we have seen the erosion of 'family' in our nation over these last several decades; I can remember as a teenager hearing James Dobson, lead Focus on the Family, making the church awarre of the reality we are not living in. Marriages being torn by adultery, divorce, abuse. Relationships of children to parents all victims of a society of self and sin, causing great rifts between that which was meant to be love. Money, time and routines tearing away from family time, creating those that live in the same home to be as strangers. Satan seeking to destroy the Christian homes more violently and viciously than it seems ever before.
2. Where is this battle really at?
The above example of this flood of evil are only the symptoms of the root of the problem. Much energy, thoughts, discussions, prayers are all focused on the symptoms and are forgetful that without cutting away the roots of the problems there will be no solution nor remedy to this flood. Just as when an actual river floods from a dam breaking or a downpour of rain; until those water sources are stopped or cease, the flood will not subside. So it is with the source that keeps the symptoms occurring. The sources of the flood of evil are sin, self and Satan.
Sin - 'all have sinned and come short of the glory of God'; It is this recognition that men know and understand that they are not good, they are not 'okay'. But born into this world we are given to sin, our flesh fails us. Our hearts are evil and follow after sin easily enough. It is only when sin is revealed and that men understand they need help to be delivered from sin, that they can find a shut off valve to the source of the flood of evil. The remedy for sin is the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. So long as men do not receive Christ as their Savior and Lord, sin has a root that continues to feed every lust, desire, thought and word that is anti-God.
Self - men are more lovers of self than God; it is that nature of sin with self that compels us to continue to seek for selfish desires, fulfillment and direction. Self always leads away from God. When one comes to Christ, he must die to self; must die to sin in order that the source of evil might be cut off so that roots of righteousness, holiness and faith might grow. But it is quite evident that many that proclaim that they are Christians, have not died to self, and therefore the flood of evil is still continuing. This failure to die to self allows for the water to continue to flow.
Satan- that old crafty enemy is always preying upon God's people; he is not worried about the lost, he already controls them. 'But as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour,' Satan is pursuing the Christian. And because he knows man so well he uses sin and self to tempt them, to try them and to persuade them to give in. But as Christ put down Satan all three attacks, so we must defeat him in the same way. Satan cannot have a foot hold lest the flood of evil continue. He is the one that breaks the dam wide open to cause the flooding.
3. What is the response of the church?
God promised that when evil would raise its ugly head, that God would raise up a standard against it. The question for us to answer or examine is what is this standard and what does it look like.
First, we must recognize the source of this flood, which we have identified in the previous section. Granted, there is far more details and descriptions that can be addressed and spelled out, but it is enough for our purpose here. The understanding of this is crucial for we are aware by Scripture, 'we are not wrestling flesh and blood, but against priniciplaties, against pwoer, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places'. This is where the conflict is fought and won. I repeat, it is not against the symptons of the flood of evil; but rather, at its source.
Christ demonstrated His victory over Satan's temptations as a means for us. On all three occasions of temptation, Christ quoted the Word and refuted and refused Satan. So our weapon of warfare is the Word of God, it is a Sword. It is an offensive weapon to combat and defeat the enemy. Christ had been days in prayer to be dead to flesh but powerful in Spirit. Prayer is what saturates the Word with power from on high. I feel that many invoke the Word without power in prevailing prayer and it fails to accomplish God's intended purposes of victory. Many a solider claims a promise from the Word, but does not prevail due to lack of prayer.
We are to tear down the strongholds that are rooted in these evils of our day. They are in multiple places to be found. Thoughts, intents, words, deeds/actions, in society, traditions, religion, are some of the places that show forth as strongholds in the hearts, souls and lives of many. And only there when the strongholds are torn down and removed will there be victory.
There is a lesson here to be taught and learned by the church. God is willing to show us what is going on and hwo to deal with it. Not all the church is aware or alarmed at what is going on. It seems to often they are never alarmed until it hits home. But it is happening in rapid form and it does require for the church to recognize it and teach it to their flocks to be aware. A warning of this threat should be admonished to the brethren for what is happening and its consequences if it continues. Satans activities, plans and ways should be made aware to the body fo Christ to stand against him. 'We are not ignorant of his devices', but I would say the church of today is very ignorant of Satan's activities.
When Satan has his minions holding a soul, holding a region, a place by their evil power, and prayer is made against this evil and no victory is seen or had; then we know that 'this kind can come forth by nothing but prayer and fasting'. Oftern our failure is in not understanding nor knowing what we are dealing with nor how to deal with it. We must discern and know and be obedient to the 'heavenly calling' that God puts upon us to stop this flood of evil.
Failure by the church to do these things, allows for the flood to continue. It permits the evil to grow, taking more souls with it than it should have. Satan is not stupid. He knows if the church, if families are not praying, then he has free access. He has an inroad on the unprotected souls. Herein is our failure to a great extent. We have lost enough ground, enough souls, enough time. We must return to the 'old paths' and stop this flood of evil before our entire nation is swept away into destruction. Time is eveything with this truth. We have sqaundered enough, and now we are in crisis mode for the souls of our loved ones, and the soul of our nation and future.
"Arise my beloved and be doing'