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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Principalities and Powers

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:10-17 NIV).

Clearly one of the greatest errors we can make is to frame issues solely in terms of a material dimension – of discrete conflicts of economic interests or of political power. There are principalities and powers that with great expansiveness become pervasive overarching human affairs. Some might suggest I am opening the doorway to the demonization of one’s opposition. There is an old saying that when you point your finger in judgment of others, three fingers point back at you. This is absolutely and always true. We should always assume that the most susceptible person in the room to the influences of principalities and powers stands squarely within our own shoes.

We must all rely on the grace of God to extricate us from this dilemma. In a sense, a proper frame of mind is the starting point for effective problem resolution. We must throw ourselves upon the mercy of Providence to deliver us from ourselves and our tendencies of abeyance to the dark forces that encompass and surround human affairs. While this line of thinking can seem morbid and demented, the frank recognition of a powerful spiritual dimension (both for good and ill) influencing human action or inaction is the surest path to deliverance and triumphant attainment of abundant life. Materialism, despite our lust for solid symbols of no-nonsense rectitude, will never get us there.

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