The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb

Devotional

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).





In the Ephesians 6 passage above, we see that our calling as Christians is to wrestle against what we now call the “powers and principalities” of “this present evil age” (Gal. 1:4). Tragically, we often fail to see the powers and principalities as evil. When we fail to stand firm against them, it is because we believe they can actually save us. We buy into the lie that we can employ evil powers for the kingdom. We may naively believe we would never be tempted in this way, but that is the subversive power of this evil. As when Jesus was offered bread after forty days of fasting, the temptation to grasp the way from below will feel natural and necessary. We naively think we can destroy these evils on their own terms, but in trying to do so we are warped from within. Maybe we continually think that more money would solve all of our life problems, so we inadvertently begin worshiping the god of Mammon. Instead of being honest and caring toward others, maybe we subtly deceive by employing guilt, shame, or lying as tools to manipulate and control (Matt. 5:37). Maybe we try to align ourselves with famous people—in the church or outside the church—because we believe that their celebrity will fuel our success. Or maybe we use church resources to promote our own projects, books, or ancillary ministries, telling ourselves it is justified because they will bless the broader church community. Notice the goal is not necessarily nefarious. We often have good motivations. But if we try to employ the way from below for the gospel, what we find is that the gospel is undermined and the powers reign. When we enlist the way from below to defeat it, we end up joining the ranks of its battalion ourselves.





Prayer


Father, please enlighten me and expose the lies of the way from below. Help me to identify deceit and evil powers. Amen.