You Have an Enemy

As we are all well aware, this whole COVID-19 thing has gotten us all on the ropes. Every one of us has been affected in one way or another.

As such, over the last few weeks I’ve tried to write about some things that might help us in this time. I’ve written about fear, peace, and mostly hope. The last two weeks especially have been especially good for me (I do write these things for me as well) because while I don’t live in fear, hope is something that seems in short supply these days. All we hear is news about how bad things are. I need to remember, now more than ever, that there is something on the other side of all of this that will be good.

But here’s the thing. Hope is not a strategy.

Funny (and by “funny” I guess I mean “ironic”) how here in spring, when everything in the world around us, in nature, is starting to come back to life again after the dormant, dark days of winter, there is a virus that is trying to take life away from us. Trying to steal not only our life, but our hope, our peace, our beauty, and our joy.

There’s Something Happening Here

A few years back I learned this simple “trick” from John Eldredge, author of many great books including Wild at Heart and Captivating (which he wrote with his wife Staci). It’s a little question you can ask when you are trying to process the things that are happening around you. If you’re ever left wondering “Where did that come from?”, or “Is this from God?”, you can usually figure it out by stepping back and asking “What is the fruit of this thing?” Meaning, what are the results of it? What’s happening as a result of this thing?

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. – Matthew 7:15-20

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23

You shall know them by their fruit.

The result of things from God (the fruit) are the things listed in the Galatians verses above. If it’s from God you will see things such as love, peace, and self-control.

If you don’t see those things as a result of the thing you’re questioning, then it’s not from God.

Where Did This Come From?

So in the case of this virus, let’s seek the fruit. Let’s ask some questions. Do a little Q&A.

Question #1:

Q: Does this virus reek of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or self-control?

A: No, that’s not really the vibe I’m getting.

Question #2:

Q: Does it smell more like an enemy that prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8)?

A: Absolutely.

Question #3:

Q: Does it seem to come as something that wants to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10)?

A: 100%.

So if the result of the thing that’s happening isn’t from God, then it kind of points to it coming from someplace else, right? It points to being the work of the evil one.

Satan walks around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. He is continually looking to steal, kill, and destroy. This virus has brought the world many things, but it hasn’t brought with it much peace, joy, or self-control, has it?

What do we do with this information? I think if we want to be successful right now, there are two things we need to do.

Job Number 1

Our first job is to do all we can in the natural world to stay safe and “flatten the curve”. Stay home, wash your hands, cover your sneezes … you know the drill.

I know there has been talk about “reopening the economy”, but we’re not there yet. Keep doing what you’re doing, it’s working.

Support those people who are working hard and are on the front lines of the battle with the physical disease.

  • All the health care workers who are literally standing next to and helping those who have been infected.
  • Police, fire, and emergency personnel all over the world who have no choice but to put their lives on the line to keep us safe. They need our support right now more than ever before.
  • Local businesses need us.
  • Those of us who have lost jobs need those of us that haven’t.

There are so many people who need our support right now. Let’s do all we can to help and support those we can right now.

Job Number 2

Our second job starts here:

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. – Ephesians 6:12

There is an enemy looking to devour. There is someone that wants to steal, kill, and destroy.

Do not miss this. Whenever you go online or watch the news, what you’re hearing about is the physical virus. It’s real, and dangerous. That’s why the first thing we need to do is guard against it.

But there is a very real spiritual component we’re missing. There’s a whole realm of reality that we’re not talking about at all.

Where do you think this virus came from? You think it just popped up out of thin air or that some guy ate a bat and now the whole world is sick?

We have an enemy and it wants to destroy us.

We are at war, friends. A war with two fronts. One you can see and one you can’t.

Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real. You can’t see the wind, but it’s for sure real.

Brothers and sisters, it’s time to stand up and fight.

It’s time for us to be willing to get on our knees and fight in the spiritual realm against these rulers, authorities, cosmic powers, and spiritual forces to push back the kingdom of darkness.

It’s time for us to put on our armor (Ephesians 6:10-18) and go into battle for our families, our cities, our nation, and our world.

It’s time to humble ourselves and start to pray 2 Chronicles 7:14.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

We need a healed land. We need to work and pray like never before.

It’s time for us to wake up to the fact that we have an enemy.

It’s time we acknowledged that we are at war.

It’s time we decided to stand.

It Might Be Friday but Sunday’s Coming

For those of you that read this blog regularly, one of the things that I hope you’ve noticed by now is that I want to be an encourager. I want to help you along your journey is this life. I want to be a hope dealer.

To that end, I really want to bring you some hope today.

Good Friday?

In the Christian tradition, today is “Good Friday.” It’s the day we remember that Jesus went to the cross and died for our sins.

It’s a very sad day. It’s a dark day.

As a Christian, I want to mourn today.

Jesus had what is, quite possibly, the worst 24 hours a person has ever seen. It was brutal and about as horrible as one can imagine. Betrayed, mocked, beaten, wrongly accused and convicted, beaten some more, and ultimately nailed to a cross to die from asphyxiation.

My life, the things I’ve done and the sins I’ve committed made it necessary that a sacrifice be offered to make me holy and acceptable to a just God. Jesus decided to become that sacrifice for me. He suffered, bled, and died for me.

That’s overwhelming. That someone as holy and righteous and perfect as that man would choose to become a sacrifice for someone as not holy, not righteous, and not perfect as me is astounding.

So I mourn, because the one true perfect man died because of me. It’s my fault.

Yes, Good Friday!

But there is good news. There is a reason to celebrate what happened to Jesus on that Friday. The story doesn’t end there.

Yes they killed Jesus. He died, humiliated, on a cross for everyone to see.

But …

Three days later, He came back to life. The stone was rolled away and He wasn’t in the tomb any more. He’s not in there!

Because Jesus won, because He rose victorious over sin and death with the keys to Hell in His hands, I can celebrate.

I can celebrate because by His death and resurrection I am forgiven. I am holy. I am made perfect in the eyes of God. One day I will see Jesus face-to-face because of His sacrifice.

It’s because of what He did today, and the fact that He rose again on Sunday that I will get to see Heaven. I get the hope of redemption, the peace of forgiveness, and the joy of salvation.

And so do you.

It might be Friday, but Sunday is coming.

It’s Dark Right Now

Today might seem dark in your world.

This COVID-19 virus is running rampant across the globe. Many people are dying. Hospitals are overwhelmed. So many people are fighting what seems to be a hopeless battle right now.

Our economies look like their collapsing. Millions of people are out of work. We are all seemingly stuck in our homes, with only Netflix, Disney+, and Zoom calls to keep us company. Grocery stores are out of all the things that we once took for granted would always be there.

The world has gone crazy.

This is a depressingly dark time. Just watch the news. They’ll tell you that the world is ending, the sky is falling, and that this is, quite literally, the worst time ever.

It might be Friday, but Sunday is coming.

There is another side to all of this. Today is not the end of the story.

We will emerge out of this at some point. We will be allowed to meet together again. To hug our friends and family. To see each other face to face.

We will be able to go on vacation, go to work, and not have to disinfect everything. Life will move on again. Maybe not exactly as it once was, but it will move on again.

This virus is not the end of the story. Satan didn’t get to win when Jesus died and he won’t get to win here. On the other side of this (and even in the midst of it) we will have hope, peace, and joy again.

It might seem dark. Friday is here.

But have hope my friends.

Sunday is coming.

Become a Hope Dealer

We are in the midst of a crisis the likes of which we’ve never seen. You all know this.

In the middle of a crisis of this magnitude, we all need so many things. We have actual physical needs that have to be met. We need health and protection. We need jobs and money coming in. We need food on our table and our rent to be paid.

Outside of our physical needs, there are intrinsic, down-deep-in-the-soul things we need too. We need peace. We need to know everything is going to be okay on the other side of this.

One of the biggest things we all need is hope.

Hope is your life blood in the midst of crisis. It’s that thing that you hold on to when all else seems lost.

It is the belief that tomorrow can be better. It’s knowing we will get through this. It’s trusting that there are better days ahead. The rain will stop. The sun will come out. Life, although different, will once again spring forth.

Hope is one of the only things that will sustain us through this time.

Right now, what we all need is more hope. Not more numbers. Not more bad reports. Not more media briefings telling us how terrible things are.

And so today I want to implore you to find hope. Ask God to show you the hope He has for you. He is the God of hope. Remember Jeremiah 29:11:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

If you have to, sit with that verse for a while. He has plans for you. Not plans for harm, but plans that will give you what we need most right now … hope.

Grab on to hope. Don’t let go.

And then, when you have gotten enough hope for yourself, start to let it overflow out of you to others. They need the hope that you have.

Like a drug dealer gets people hooked on their stuff, get people hooked on the hope that you have.

Become a “hope dealer”.

For Such a Time as This

What a time we’re living in right now, huh? The COVID-19 virus is running rampant across the globe. It’s a global (read that word again … “global”) pandemic. Everyone in every country everywhere is being affected.

We are certainly living in unprecedented times.

I’m sure you are all aware of the fallout that is happening because of this disease. I don’t need to spend a lot of time talking about how many people are sick right now around the world. Neither do I need to labor over the people who are losing their jobs, the potential number of people who could lose their homes long term, or the global recession we’re starting to experience right now. You all are keeping up with the news (some of you too much) and you know what’s going on … probably better than I do.

Suffice it to say that this pandemic is changing our world. Nothing will ever be the same. The way we work (and the things we do for work) will change. The way we care for people will change. Everything we know about our lives will change.

I wish this change came under better circumstances. I wish that we didn’t wait for a disease to come and hurt so many people before we decided that the way we did things needed to change. I wish we didn’t have such short-term thinking.

That’s me by the way. I am probably the worst of the short-term thinkers. I am very much a “right now” kind of person. I don’t think with a very long-term mindset. That has to change.

That’s going to change.

Some Encouragement

But here’s the thing … change, in general, is not a bad thing. Hitting the reset button and doing things better or different is awesome. Finding new ways to do what you do, being creative and coming up with new things, that’s what’s gotten the human race to where we are today. That’s why we’re still surviving.

New medical procedures save countless lives every day. New tech means that we can work in new ways. Smart, creative people come up with new ideas all the time.

Change is all around us all the time. We just need to open up our eyes and see it. We need to be willing to take out our notebooks and dream. We need to turn off Netflix for a minute and spend some time thinking about who we want to be and what we’re meant to do. Then come up with some ways to make it happen.

This isn’t a time to sit back and do nothing. On the other side of this virus - and yes, there will eventually be an “other side” to this virus - there will be a whole new thing waiting for us. A whole new world.

This is the time when it’s up to us to adapt and change. If you’ve got some free time on your hands now, what productive things can you be doing with that time? If you work in an industry that’s still moving along right now, what are some ways that your industry could change and move forward better than it is today? How can life be different moving forward?

The world is changing. This is our chance to change right along with it. This is our chance to not get left behind.

The world might be changing us but this is our chance to change the world.

We’ve all got ideas inside of us. They might be buried deep, but they’re in there. We just have to be willing to do a little excavating to find them. What better time than right now?

Get out your shovels, my friends. Let’s start digging.


What do I share in such a time as this?

We are in the midst of an outbreak of a disease whose repercussions are potentially longer lasting and more devastating that anything I’ve seen in my lifetime.

I talked last week about fear. I don’t feel fearful. Thanks be to God.

I do have to acknowledge the seriousness of what we’re experiencing though. To ignore it would be unwise. I refuse to obsessively watch the news and give in to the fear they would have me believe in. I do, however, believe that this is a serious thing worthy of my respect and that we should be extremely careful in how we respond to it.

As Christians, we have a great opportunity in front of us. In a world that would continue to spiral into chaos and confusion, what a great chance we have to be love and peace; to be a shelter in the midst of the storm.

We are bearers of light and hope.

Galadriel: And for you, Frodo Baggins, I give you the light of Eärendil our most beloved star. May it be a light to you in dark places when all other lights go out.

– The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Frodo went on to use that light in his battle with the spider Shelob. As the battle progressed and things were looking grim and that darkness would win, Frodo remembered the light he had been given and used it to push the spider (and the darkness) back.

So can we. We are bearers of light. This is not the time for us to hide. This is an opportunity for us to stand up and shine. To point the way to the One who is light. To light the way to He who can lead all others out of darkness.

Maybe we can’t physically get together with each other. That doesn’t mean that we can’t be an encouraging voice in the midst of chaos. Virtually high-five your family across the country. Help others where you can, when you can. Be generous with your stuff and money where it’s possible. Don’t hog all the toilet paper.

At the end of the day, in the middle of the storm everyone is looking for peace. Jesus was able to speak to the storm and tell it to cease. In Mark 4:35-41, He brought peace in the midst of the storm. Christian, you have that peace too. A peace that transcends understanding.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

– Philippians 4:7

Do you see that? God has a peace that no one can understand … and it’s yours. It will guard your heart and your mind. In a land where all seems hopeless, where the darkness seems to be winning, you can have peace. You can give that peace to others.

There’s this worship song called Tremble that I feel fits so perfectly in these days. It has become a prayer of mine recently. Part of it says:

Peace, bring it all to peace

The storm surrounding me

Let it break at Your name

Still, call the sea to still

The rage in me to still

Every wave at Your name

Jesus, Jesus, You make the darkness tremble

Jesus, Jesus, You silence fear

Jesus, Jesus, You make the darkness tremble

Jesus, Jesus

Your name is a light that the shadows can’t deny

Your name cannot be overcome

Your name is alive, forever lifted high

Your name cannot be overcome

If you have Spotify you can listen to it here.

What we all need right now is peace. We need someone that can calm our fears. We are craving relief like a cold drink of water to a parched throat in the middle of an endless desert.

That someone is Jesus. The one who makes the darkness tremble. The one who silences fear.

That same Jesus lives in you. You have something that so many others need so badly right now. Give it away friends. Give it all away.


For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. - 2 Timothy 1:7

There is a lot of fear going around right now. I’d go so far as to say that it has a stranglehold on the entire world.

Coronavirus (or specifically, COVID-19) has got everyone on edge.

The media, which sensationalizes everything, would have you believe that “the end is near!”

The end is near

That is fear mongering at it’s finest.

I am definitely not a health expert. I am no doctor or nurse or any kind of health practitioner. And I honestly don’t know that much about this particular disease.

What I do know is that fear has a grip on us all and there seems to be no stopping it.

But here’s the deal, fear is not from God. There are many fruits of the Spirit, but fear is not one of them. Fear is just another of Satan’s ploys to get you to stop following God and start following anything else.

In 2 Timothy above, we can see that fear is not something that God gives us. He instead gives us power, and love, and a sound mind.

God gives us the ability to think clearly and be level-headed about even the most incredible, fantastic, and terrible things that could come our way.

Perhaps the Coronavirus is terrible. Maybe it really is a pandemic as the World Health Organization claims it is. It definitely has spread across the world at a rapid rate.

So does the common cold. Or the flu. Should I be fearful of them?

Yes, wash your hands. Yes, cough or sneeze into your sleeve. These are things you should be doing anyway.

But stay away from fear. Be careful and alert, but be wise and clear-headed. Jesus said:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. - John 14:27

Don’t let your hearts be troubled friends. Satan is a roaring lion just looking for someone to devour. Don’t let him devour you. Stand firm and in peace, whatever comes your way.

And please, if you’re sick, stay home. They give you sick days for a reason. 😷