Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Passing through foreign territory

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TODAY'S SPECIAL: Ephesians 1-2; Psalm 8

"And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience." Ephesians 2:1,2

Do you sometimes feel like the society in which you live is against many of the things you value? Marriage and the family are under attack. Public education removes any reference to God. The people most honored, admired, and influential are the beautiful, wealthy, and entertaining who charm and excite through movies, music and sports.

Feeling like we're misfits, traveling through a foreign land shouldn't surprise us. One of the reasons why is found in Ephesians 2:2 where Paul talks about a character, "the prince of the power of the air," who directs these things. The writer of my Bible's study notes describes his influence:
"The mood and manner of society is shaped by the prince of the power of the air, a title for Satan as he exercises influence globally and within each culture" Jack W. Hayford,  New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1646.

We see Satan referred to as a princely ruler in other places:

  • He tempted Jesus on the basis of this position: "'And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish'" - Luke 4:5,6.
  • Jesus predicted, and God the Father agreed, that Jesus' death would "'cast out'" the "'ruler of the world'" as He (Jesus) would " '…draw all peoples to Myself'" John 12:28-32.
  • Satan and his system had no claim to or presence in Jesus - John 14:30.
  • Jesus, before He died, told the disciples of the Holy Spirit who would come to them after He left. One of the Holy Spirit's functions would be (and is) to "…convict the world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgment …. of judgment because the ruler of this world will be judged.'" John 16:11. In other worlds, through the Holy Spirit we understand that God will someday judge this world's ruler and the system he oversees.
  • Satan has power over the minds of those locked in his system - 2 Corinthians 4:3,4.
  • And in our passage—Ephesians 2:2—Paul describes those in the clutches of this prince as "dead in trespasses and sins."

So maybe we should view our discomfort within our society and our sense of living at enmity with it as a good thing. When we feel like "strangers and pilgrims" it's a sign that we are really citizens of a different tribe, traveling through this earth system to a "homeland" and "heavenly country" - Hebrews 11:13-16.

Dear Father, help me to know how to conduct myself while I'm in this world system controlled by the "prince of the power of the air." Amen.


The Bible Project VIDEO: Ephesians (Read Scripture Series)

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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