How Love Does Battle

 

 Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

 

By Jodi Iwankiw, Washington Conference women's ministry director

 

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV)

“We live in a battlefield where the Devil is continually waging war against Jesus and His people.”

Lisa Bevere in Strong, a devotional for women, section “The Real War”

One hundred and sixty-two years ago Ellen White had a vision of the Great Controversy between Christ and Satan.

 

Like it or not, Christians are engaged in a very real war. Many of you already know this, it’s nothing new. But do we always remember who we are fighting or what we are fighting for? Do we see it being played out in our nation today?

The deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and countless others have awakened our consciousness to the constant injustice and inequality that our brothers and sisters of color face every day. But let’s not be confused: our fight is against injustice and racism. It is not against a political party or any group of people. Satan has been using racism to divide us for centuries.

Bevere emphasizes this, “We should always fight for rather than merely against… We war to free the captives rather than fight the captives…We are strong when we war to free others.”

My Story

I am a white woman in America who didn’t always know or understand what privilege means. I love traveling and learning about other countries and cultures. My friends come from around the globe, but I was still ignorant of the inequality right in front of me.

A few years ago, God started opening my eyes to some of the injustices my friends of color face every day. I can’t trace it to one event, but I began intentionally reading more black authors and books on racial awareness. I wanted to hear their story. Now, I still have a lot to learn, but I am studying, praying and committed to learning what I can do to use love in the battle for justice.

Through my reading and listening, I’ve been impressed with this question: How does love battle for justice?

 

  • First, we must look in our hearts and ask God to reveal any unconscious biases that we may harbor and give us the humility to repent.
  • Second, we must ask God to give us the grace and courage to have uncomfortable conversations so that we can all grow.
  • Third, we must ask God to show us how we can be the catalyst for diversity and inclusion awareness. We must fight with our voice, our actions and our love.This is how love does battle.

…The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds…

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV)

Bevere points us to one of our most powerful weapons: “Worldly weapons divide people, nations, and cultures while our weapons of prayer unite us under His kingdom rule.”

Pray that our eyes are open to the pain of others. Pray that we can be a voice for those who have not been heard. Pray for unity in this battle.

May this be our heart's prayer: “Heavenly, Father, whenever I find myself in a battle, show me what I am really fighting for. Holy Spirit, always remind me that I am to strike the stronghold rather than wound the captive.”

“I am strong when I war to free others.”

Lisa Bevere

Be strong with me and use your love to fight this battle.