From The Pastor’s Heart – October 4, 2017
How do you respond in the face of events like we saw in Las Vegas this week? I’ve experienced fear, anger, sadness and a sense of urgency to do something. When evil is so blatant and in our face it is shocking for all of us. Politicians and talking heads are scrambling to come up with the right words to say and actions to take in order protect themselves and appear compassionate at the same time. Victims and their families are grieving, in many cases, without hope.
So where do we find hope in a situation like this? The truth is that we cannot regulate evil. There are no laws or policies that we can put in place to stop this kind of evil. Think about it. What would have stopped Stephen Paddock from carrying out his evil plan? No law, no security checkpoint, no fence can stop the force of evil in our world. As I consider this I am struck with the futility of the conversations I hear in the news media that do not factor God into the situation. I’m not suggesting our leaders shouldn’t do everything they can to prevent events like we saw this week, but the only real answer is that there must be a heart change in people. That seems like a tall order in the case of someone like Stephen Paddock.
It may sound trite. It may sound cliché. But an encounter with Jesus Christ is the only answer; He is the ultimate answer to our struggle with evil. Paul said it best when he said, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) Paul understood evil that manifested itself in the natural. He was in prison when he wrote those words and he ultimately lost his life as a result of taking the Good News of Jesus to the world.
So the bottom line it that the most powerful thing we can do is to pray. Pray for our nation to awaken to the realization of their need for Jesus. Secondly, we need to share the Good News with others. How will they know unless we tell them? We can make a difference by offering the only real hope there is in the face of evil.
On a lighter note I am looking forward to the men’s retreat this weekend. Pray with me that we will encounter Jesus in a powerful way. I am looking forward to seeing what God will do. For those who will not be at the retreat, Liz will be sharing the word with you on Sunday morning.
Have a blessed week.