Sunday, September 11, 2016
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:12
Where were you on September 11th? I was at home with my one year old watching Regis and Kelly. They interrupted their lively broadcast to show a video of the first plane flying into the World Trade Center. There was absolute shock and disbelief on their faces. Just then our home phone rang, it was my husband telling me he had landed in Pittsburgh. While we were talking on the phone, it was announced that the second plane had hit the World Trade Center. Soon after, a plane crashed in a field near my husband by the Pittsburgh airport. Thousands of lives were lost and the whole country was in mourning.
After the attack, I struggled with a feeling of vulnerability. If this had happened once, I knew it could happen again. I wanted to go back to that oblivious feeling of security and invulnerability that I felt the day before the attack. The terrorists had been in America for months, training and planning for their attack yet I wasn't worried or scared. I was living in blissful ignorance that wasn't reality. September 11th changed that.
As a Christian, I believe there is a spiritual battle going on that crashed into the awareness of the United States on September 11th. As Ephesians 6:12 says "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." After September 11th, the whole country responded in prayer. There was a feeling of kindness and compassion that filled the towns and cities of our great country. Our great military and intelligence hadn't protected us from the attacks, so we turned to God. Soon however, our prayers for peace were supplemented by increased airport security, terrorist tracking, and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Fifteen years later, Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the attack is dead but in his place thousands of radicals have carried out plans to inflict terror on Belgium, France and Turkey just to name a few. This reminds me of the spiritual principal that Jesus talked about in Matthew 12:43-45, "When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”
In much of the "Christian" world like Europe, Latin America and the US, we have replaced our foundation on Christ with trust in the government. Rather than seeing the government and leaders as instruments of God's grace and blessing, our governments have become a "god." Instead of seeing God as our Provider, the Government is our provider; rather than seeing Jesus as our Healer, the government is our healer; rather than seeing God as our Shield and Fortress, the military is our protection, rather than seeking God's Justice, we have used laws to define what is right and to create our own version of justice.
Islamists know that this is a spiritual battle. It is time for Christians to join the fight through prayer and vigilance. I wish I could go back to the blissful innocence I had while watching Regis and Kelly on September 11, 2001 but I can’t. Over the past 15 years, my eyes have been opened to the spiritual battle in the heavenly realms. Where were you on September 11, 2001? How did September 11th change you?