How does a child of the king process the current events that are going on in our country? Should we rebel? Should we march? Should we protest? What is an appropriate response to the recent shootings? The first thing that we should do is gain perspective. The reason this is important is so that we can respond effectively. Satan would love nothing better than to see the saints of God respond inappropriately. He loves to deceive us by having us fighting against the wrong perceived opponent and that is what I see him doing here. He wants to make it a black vs. white issue and have us fighting among ourselves as he goes about stealing, killing and destroying. The issue is not a “black or white” issue. It is a “sin” issue. Not the sin that was committed by either person in the recent shootings, but the sin that occurred a long time ago, back in the garden. The shootings that took place recently are a direct result of Adam’s sin. The same thing that motivated Cain to kill Abel was the same thing that motivated these policemen to shoot these citizens. These actions are a result of the depravity of the human heart that is a result of Adam’s sin. Look at what Galatians 5:19-21 tells us about what is true about every human as a result of the fall.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God
Notice the enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions and divisions… All of those things lead to ungodly and violent behavior. These things are innate in all humans and if they are not addressed biblically they will manifest themselves in a variety of ways. One of which is the senseless shooting of another human. Because the depravity of humanity is so strong, it causes a person to try to justify their actions. When a person is not born again, there is no taking responsibility for ending a life created in the image of God, only an effort to justify the murder. Why is that? Because it’s just human nature; which is a result of the fall. So we have to regain our perspective. A failure to do so will cause us to respond in the wrong manner. It just like going to the doctor. Would you rather him treat the symptom or treat what is causing the symptom? I don’t know about you I want the doctor to find and treat the cause rather than treating symptoms and providing temporary relief. These shootings are just symptoms of a greater problem. The problem is a corrupted heart that is totally depraved. Listen to what Romans 3:10-18 tell us:
10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Once we regain the right perspective then we are in a position to pray. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 it says:
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
God has placed us here, as the body of Christ, to be an agent for change. The way we change things is on our knees. You know how the children of Israel were delivered from captivity? Through prayer. You know how our forefathers were delivered and survived slavery? Through prayer. We must begin to follow the instructions that God has given us. According to Romans 13, all authorities have been placed there by God for our good, that is why we have this obligation to pray for them. As the body of Christ, how are we praying for those that are in authority over us? I really believe that these recent actions are a direct result of prayerlessness. Notice the promise that is given when we pray. We will ‘live a quiet and peaceable life’ here on earth. We will not live in fear of police and people of authority. Instead we will be glad to see them because they are God’s servants for righteousness. But when we don’t pray, we will have fear, the fear that is running rampart across America… the police are afraid and people are afraid. Everyone is fearful because they don’t know how the other person will respond. Since so many are operating ‘in fear’ should let us know who is behind all of this. God did not give us a spirit of fear. In light of this truth, let us make a commitment to be obedient to what the word of God has instructed us to do. Let us take all of our leaders, black and white, men and women to the Lord in prayer so that we can live that quiet and peaceable life that the Father has promised us.
Once we have gained the right perspective and commit to praying, we are now ready to persist. Keep that perspective. Pray. In reflecting, I am reminded of what Nehemiah did when he found out about the wall being down around Jerusalem and the city laid in ruin. He began to pray and continued to pray four months. For the first time, Nehemiah went into the king’s presence with a sad face (which was punishable by death). The king, who was a pagan king, asked him why he looked so sad since he was not sick. I am convinced that it was because of his persistence in his prayer life that Nehemiah was able to respond properly, explaining his sadness and his heart’s desire. God had also given him a plan to rebuild the wall and courage to ask the pagan king to provide what he needed to do the work and leave from his palace responsibilities. If we show the same persistence I really believe the Lord will show us how to deal with these situations in a way that brings him glory and strengthens the body of Christ.
God has presented us with a great opportunity but we must know how to fight and who to fight. We must fight from our knees and fight against Satan. The solution that has been given to us to deal with the major issue is the gospel. We must live the gospel and preach the gospel. It is the only hope for today. Don’t allow Satan to have you fighting the wrong battle and engage in the wrong fight. The battle is a spiritual battle and must be fought with spiritual weaponry. It’s not a race issue, it is a sin issue and must be addressed accordingly.
Reggie Hutchins is the pastor of Unity Baptist Church in Tallahassee, FL