Originally posted Jan. 2012. Edited.
I was working in the kitchen a little while ago, and as I was putting something in the fridge my eye fell on the prayer card we got this week from a missionary to Mexico. There is a verse on it, or rather the first part of a verse - Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God…
I was struck by the marvelous thought of being turned from the power of Satan unto God. This is a wonderful and amazing thing, and in light of things we heard the brother say, it is happening there in Mexico.
But, as my mind meandered along this train of thought, I asked myself in a vague way why it is that American Christians don’t grasp the enormity of being turned from the power of Satan to God for the people around them in their own country and neighborhood. I hope that many see the need for this transformation from the power of Satan to God for people in foreign countries, but why not for the people next door and at the super market and the craft store and at soccer practice, etc.? The thought that came to me was that it is probably because too many of the believers in the U.S. are so immersed in the culture that they fail to see the many things that are really the power of Satan! They don’t see the need for others to be turned from those things because they themselves are following those things or enjoying them also.
Think about it –
How many Christians read books, play games or watch movies and T.V. shows that glamorize death and killing, witchcraft and other satanic things? Yes, I mean Harry Potter, Twilight and other vampire stories, Lord of the Rings, zombies, fairies, Halloween, Warcraft, Game of Thrones, Mafia based games, etc.
How many Christians are addicted to pornography? How many overlook “soft pornography” as incidental or even normal? Do you realize that what is considered “OK” today in television, advertisements, movies, etc. would have been considered pornography not that very long ago? And, in this vein, how many Christian women are addicted to romance novels, even the ones of the grubbier type? (You don’t believe that’s wrong? I read one secular writer who classed the reaction that women get from reading those stories as a form of sexual arousal. Think carefully and prayerfully, sister. Also see for yourself how easy it is to stop reading them – or to get your friend to stop reading them. That’s a challenge. I dare you.)
How many Christians listen to music that has words, terminology, ideology, etc. that is wicked or lewd or even satanic?
How many Christians participate in events, listen to music, or read things that include defaming of the name of Jesus Christ, blasphemy of God, and ridicule of Christianity, and enjoy it?
How many Christians think that evolution is true, or at least partly true and thus that the Bible is lying in the first part of Genesis and other passages?
How many Christians are caught up in the covetousness of materialism and “the American dream”? How many of us think that if we could just get this or that we would be “happy”? How many assume that we are entitled to certain things in life such as a house, a job, a car, a spouse, kids, fashionable clothes, the newest technological gadget, etc.? You don’t think you’re entitled? Let someone tell you that you can’t have those things and see how you feel. (Ouch. Yes, that hurts because it’s such a “normal” part of American culture. But God says, Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: Colossians 3:5 [Emphasis added])
I could go on, but I think I’ll stop there.
Can you see how hardened we often are to the bondage that people are in? We miss the fact that so many around us need to be turned from the power of Satan to God because we’ve allowed ourselves to accept the thinking that all these things are “normal”. We’ve allowed ourselves to believe that so many things are not “evil” because it isn't “politically correct” or “nice” to think so; or, even worse, because we enjoy them ourselves. We’ve been propagandized to think things are “OK” that really are the power of Satan in people’s lives!
What do you think? Can you see ways in which U.S. Christians (or Christians in other countries) have been affected in their thinking, making them blind to the power of Satan in the lives of people around them, and blind to how they have been influenced by it themselves?
The entire verse that I mentioned above says, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Acts 26:18
What a wonderful verse! What amazing love and power! How we need to get our vision back for the needy world around us that needs to be turned unto God and light and be delivered from the power of Satan and darkness!