It is now 2018 and I think it’s safe to say that our world is utterly and completely broken. Turning on the news is barely necessary because we all know the anchor will be reporting some sort of tragedy. It isn’t safe to post your feelings about a topic with any sort of controversy on Facebook because you are probably going to be unfriended by a few friends and family members. We all know not to bring up a certain current event at Thanksgiving because Uncle Steve will lose it. We are walking on eggshells.

We have turned against each other and need less than a second to point out flaws in our neighbor. We “agree to disagree” and feel it necessary to “leave people in 2017” if they don’t share the same feelings as ourselves. We protest our leaders and tell the world that they are unfit for their position. We despise each other to the point of physical harm and emotional abuse. We have adopted an “every man for himself” mentality. We are living in hatred.

I have been studying Ephesians since January 1st. It is a very short book (only 6 chapters) but it is filled with life-changing scripture. It gives instruction for wives and husbands, for children regarding their earthly parents as well as their Heavenly Father, and for those experiencing spiritual warfare. Chapter 6 goes into depth about the armor of God. Paul tells believers to put on the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, take up the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and use the sword of the spirit. This action is necessary because, as said in Verse 12, our struggle is not against flesh and blood but instead against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Our hatred for each other and for our leaders stems from Satan working in our world. The problems with society are due to the fact that we are letting the enemy take over. He is pleased to see that his plan seems to be working and that we are all turning against each other. This is nothing new; the devil has been scheming since Creation. I think that the main issue is that we have accepted the new condition of the earth. It has been deemed as too much for us to handle. This mindset is extremely dangerous.

As believers, our great commission is to go out and make disciples of all nations. We are called to share the good news that is Christ Jesus and to tell it to the masses. But the brutality that exists in our earthly realm has given us a spirit of timidity and fear; it is too dangerous to be bold. We are forgetting a crucial piece of information: the great dragon was cast out. Jesus has overcome the world. Satan has already been defeated.

While it may seem like a big task to turn the state of the world around, it starts with love. 1 John 4:12 says, “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” The only way for the world to see Jesus is through the faithful actions of His people. We need to understand that our world isn’t being broken by evil people, but instead by the evil and manipulative nature of our enemy. Stand firm against the enemy and be alert. Look for him and don’t let him take advantage of you.

Love your neighbor even though he refuses to put grass in his yard. Love your family even though they are judgmental. Love your friends even when they betray you. Love your boss even though he takes advantage of his power. Love your classmate even though he only talks to you because he wants your notes. Love the woman in the grocery store who bought the last rotisserie chicken. Love the man who broke your heart. Love your employees even when they seem completely incapable of the task you have given them. Love your president even though you disagree with every single thing he has ever said.

God has written our story. Every person with whom you have crossed paths has been placed in your way for a reason. Every person in power is there for a purpose. Be light and share love no matter how much you want to fall into the patterns of the world. 1 John 4:20, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.”