Friday, May 8

Ephesians 6:12: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood...”

Our struggle against coronavirus is not against flesh and blood. A virus is not a living organism. Bacteria, amebae, and fungi are all living organisms that feed and excrete. Viruses are organic packets of DNA or RNA, the information blueprints for living cells. They take over and co-opt the information processing of living cells just like a computer virus takes over and co-opts the operating system or applications on your computer. In other words, they are parasitical hijackers of a living cell’s control system.

Because of this, viruses provide a fine analogy to what God’s Word says we struggle against—“the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). These forces co-opt the authorities God has established for our good and turn them toward evil purposes. They are like viruses that exploit the selfish gene in human nature. These “cosmic forces of darkness” work through false ideologies and false explanations of reality that go viral, infecting and co-opting whole societies to turn them en masse toward the dark side. Nazism, Communism, the sexual revolution, and radical Islam are all examples of ideologies that have gone viral and turned whole societies into cultures of death.

In spite of the untold suffering perpetrated by the dark forces of this age, God regularly prevails over them. As Psalm 2 reminds us, God’s Son, Jesus Christ, sits on the throne. He looks at the enemies arrayed against him, and he laughs. Yet he also looks upon his faithful ones, with whom he has promised to dwell. He bears with the martyrs in their suffering, who are sharing His suffering on earth. He hears the prayers of his people. He acts in mysterious ways according to divine Providence. But he also acts in definitive ways, according to his New Covenant, the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, to increase the knowledge of God in the earth. He forgives, renews, and sanctifies people—individual by individual. Cell by cell, he builds up His body, the Church, a living organism. The light shines in the darkness and overcomes it; just as sunlight destroys the coronavirus.

Prayer: Lord of light, scatter your enemies of darkness. Make the schemes of the wicked backfire—let no one succeed in exploiting this crisis for their own gain. Overcome false ideologies with your truth, your Word is Truth. Empower the preaching of the Gospel. Send your Holy Spirit to renew your churches across the earth. Send workers into your harvest. And by your providence, provide effective and widespread measures to stop this pandemic. May our new normal be one that increases righteousness, justice, and peace on the earth.