A clever member of our congregation made an astute comment after my sermon on Sunday, where the main theme was that we have to make a deliberate and conscious choice to follow God. He mentioned to me that Silicon Valley (and indeed our church) lies between Mount Diablo and the Santa Cruz mountains – we are literally located between the Devil and the Cross. Welcome to Battlezone Earth!
The Devil is described in the Bible as the prince of the air, and the prince of this world. There is no doubt that, within the limitations God has prescribed for him, he still wreaks havoc and seeks to destroy the souls of men and women. It is clear from reading texts such as Ephesians 6, that we are engaged in this same battle:
10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 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.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. (Ephesians 6:10)
And on this St. Patrick’s day, the prayer of St. Patrick is beautifully relevant, as appropriate now as when it was first spoken:
May the Strength of God guide us.
May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us.
May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us.
May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Angels of God guard us.
– Against the snares of the evil one.
May Christ be with us!
May Christ be before us!
May Christ be in us,
Christ be over all!
May Thy Grace, Lord,
Always be ours,
This day, O Lord, and forevermore. Amen.
I prayed this prayer today for everyone that reads this blog. Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power!
Glyn Norman is Lead Pastor of Central Christian Church in San Jose, and Author of:
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