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I just saw this on the KKHT page. I love the teaching I hear there. No Benny Hinn or TD jakes for me.

Just Say No
The Call to Confront Evil
by: Chip Ingram

I was young and foolish. And, unfortunately, I recklessly displayed both of those attributes in a foreign country.

I loved the time I spent hanging out on the beach in Acapulco, mainly because I love hanging out on a beach anywhere. But I also have a penchant for history, so I skipped the beach one day and went to visit the old Spanish fort at the north end of the city.

As I explored, I envisioned a montage of battles and blood on the rocks and galleons in the bay. I think I even heard some cannons in the distance. Then I left the same way I had come in-through a short tunnel in the base of the ancient wall.

On my way out, I saw two teenagers in the tunnel. "How nice that the local youth appreciate their own history," I thought. But in reality, they had more of an appreciation for tourists who were young and foolish and recklessly displaying both attributes in a foreign country. Especially those who had valuables in their hands.

In my case, the valuable was a camera hanging loosely over my shoulder. As I walked by, the older of the two boys snatched the camera. My hand caught the strap, and we played tug-of-war for about two seconds until I saw his other hand pointing a gun at my face. In spite of being young and foolish, I did the smart thing. I let go of the strap. He slowly backed away, keeping the gun pointed at me as I stood there completely befuddled.

Then something very unusual (for me) happened: "indignation" overcame "smart." That camera was a graduation present, and I'd only had it a year. It was mine. I simply couldn't accept this turn of events.

"Wait a minute," I thought. "I bet that gun's a fake." Young and foolish took over again, and I charged my attacker.

He pointed the gun off to the side and shot. He might have done that as a warning. Or he might have done that because a direct shot that accomplished nothing would end the debate about whether the gun was real or not. I assumed the latter, so I kept pursuing him.

He ran back into the fort - and out in the open. I grabbed the camera strap, we fought, his gun-wielding fist hit my ear while firing very loudly and rudely into the air, I fell, and he let go of the camera and ran. His accomplice had already disappeared.

As a nice Mexican couple came over to help me up, I heard people talking about an "estúpido Americano," which I think is Spanish for "young, foolish, and recklessly displaying both attributes."

Considering that this skirmish took place in the physical world, it was pretty stupid. I mean, I may have risked my irreplaceable life for a very replaceable camera (although I still think the gun might have been fake).

But I like to think that in the spiritual world, this was a natural and godly reaction. We see spiritual criminals every day, thugs who fill people with personality disorders and anxieties, who injure God's children and inflict diseases on them, who cultivate conflict and tear up relationships, and who do all sorts of other evil things.

I think it's appropriate to challenge what we see, chase the demonic thugs out into the light of God's truth, and just say "no" to their injustices. And the best way to do that is in faith and in prayer.

The sense that "this just isn't right" was put into us by a holy God. He never tells us in Scripture to resign ourselves to evil consequences. In fact, He strongly encourages us to put on our armor and take up our swords, persevering in all prayers and petitions wherever we see the schemes of the enemy. We are spiritual visitors in a foreign country, and it's okay to stand firm against attack. Even if we have to look a little young and foolish doing it.

Biblical faith is insistent. Blind Bartimaeus kept shouting at Jesus to the point of annoying the disciples, and Jesus commended him for it. A Gentile woman insisted, also to the point of annoying the disciples, that Jesus deliver her demon-possessed daughter, and Jesus considered her faith exemplary. David was outraged at a giant who slandered God, and God rewarded him extravagantly. Elijah was incensed that Israelites were bowing to Baal, so he boldly walked into a spiritual showdown, vastly outnumbered, and God showed up in power. God honors those who won't let the evil one have his way.

Sometimes we submit to our circumstances thinking that we're submitting to the will of God. But in the back of our minds is a nagging suspicion that we're getting kicked around by the enemy. We don't have to do that. We can rise up in indignation and pray powerfully against the evil agenda.

Just because circumstances are visible doesn't mean they're legitimate. Sometimes they're the product of unseen powers and principalities that linger in the tunnels of this world waiting for naïve tourists carrying valuables to pass by. And it doesn't even matter whether they wield real guns or not. The power at work within us is greater.

When evil confronts you, don't back down. Rise up and resist. The shot might be loud and rude, but it can't kill you. And if people call you an estúpido, just ignore them. When it comes to challenging evil, "young and foolish" can be an asset.

Chris Tiegreen is a devotional writer and editor for indeed magazine at Walk Thru the Bible in Atlanta, Georgia. He has also been a missionary, pastor, journalist, photographer and university instructor. He has helped plant churches in Michigan and Idaho, has been a pastor in Florida, and enjoys doing mission work in Thailand.
 
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