Fighting the Effects of Evil
In India, we are fighting a lot of enormously powerful and despicable evil. The wickedness required to force over 100,000 girls into sex slavery in the city of Delhi alone is difficult to fathom, not to mention dark spiritual practices, rape, corruption, violence against those love Jesus, and so much more. It’s easy to see the devastating effects of this evil in the lives of the oppressed. They go hungry, they are slaves, they sleep on the street, the get raped, they get diseases, they get murdered, etc. And the pain and brokenness that we see and feel constantly screams out to us demanding a response, and we weep and pray because we desperately want to help.
Fighting Evil inside Others
But if we pause for a moment to consider the reality of the situation around us, we weep and pray for a deeper, more significant reason. You see, the devastation people experience from the evil done to them pales in comparison to what they experience from the evil inside them. The sex traffickers, satanic witch doctors, abusers, etc. are the most inwardly destitute people of all. But every person has great evil inside them, and the evil inside each one is far more dangerous than anything outside. It not only leads to an eternal lake of fire, but incredible inner suffering on earth as well. That’s why we fight evil in India not by picking up physical weapons, but by shining the light of the gospel in people’s lives in hopes that Jesus would change their hearts and free them from the wickedness inside of them.
Fighting Evil inside Ourselves
But sometimes, we forget that the biggest danger is the same for us as it is for the people we are trying to reach. The one thing that could derail our entire lives and chances of helping people in India is not any satanic powers or corrupt governments or traffickers or poverty or resistance to our message. It is the evil in our own hearts.
It has so many forms. And it just keeps coming back. We don’t always give in to the temptations, but the amount of garbage our hearts even consider is alarming. Hopelessness, anger, bitterness, selfishness, pride, complacency and so many other deep sinful attitudes constantly storm our hearts to take control of our thoughts and actions to destroy us. And we are fools if we become so wrapped up in trying to solve things outside of us and “change the world” and help people that we forget to zealously fight the evil inside us.
Fighting Radically to Win the Inside
We have to take radical steps. We have to weep and pray against the evil inside of us just as intensely as we weep and pray against sex slavery and poverty. Not only does the evil inside us destroy us and keep us from helping the people we are so desperate to help, it also keeps us from our greatest purpose. A close relationship is far better and worth far more than any amount of external success in missions or any other part of life.
So we vigorously fight for our inner selves not only because inner evil is our most dangerous enemy, but also because inner righteousness and closeness to God is more indescribably precious than anything else in the universe, including changing the world.
So how is your inner life? Are you more concerned with solving all the problems around you, or are you passionately fighting to have a pure heart and a close friendship with Jesus?