“And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
(Luke 4:8 NKJV)
If asked and I have not been, I would answer the question: what could churches be teaching in a more profound manner?: the reality of evil. I think it is important to understand that evil is real and it is present and it is actively working. Satan’s interaction with our Savior was not abstract nor was it an existential meandering in Christ’s mind; no, it was a directed and specific attack upon Him at the weakest possible points. If you are reading this, then in some way you have expressed the desire to follow Christ; therefore evil will attack you.
Four examples for consideration:
1. “fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”
(Philippians 2:2 NKJV)
Paul is clear that Christians need to be like minded and unified as a body. Is not this an obvious place for evil to work against us?
2. “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
(Mark 10:9 NKJV)
Christ Himself blesses marriage as God ordained. Would not evil attempt to distort our view of marriage?
3. “You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
(Deuteronomy 11:19 NKJV)
The greatest of all gifts is to teach our children His ways. What better spot for evil to fight every attempt?
4. “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.”
(Romans 13:1 NKJV)
God’s way is order. How easy is it to stray from our Christian duty when we disagree with the current leadership?
In all of this His glory shines through, as understanding the reality of evil allows us to understand the nature of trust. Unity is His will, He will do amazing things through those who work for it in self sacrifice. Even when we have suffered bad marriages or seen them fail, we can know that He created marriage for us and His purpose in it is beautiful. We know that even when we fail to teach our children there is a Christian community full of great people who teach Bible stories every single day. We trust that even in our frustration the Kingdom of God will never fail and that is all that matters.