I recently read an article that stated “The task at hand, for every genuine believer, is to recognize evil so that it may be either shunned, or engaged in battle and defeated—wherever it is found.” This got me thinking about the “task” and the aspects of it that make it difficult. The word “genuine” immediately jumped out right before “recognize” and finally the word “battle”. These three elements are our clues to accomplishing the task set before us.
First things first, be a genuine believer. This quickly reveals that not all who profess to be believers are genuine. Some are hypocrites, those who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. They are not the real deal but masqueraded as believers. The bear a resemblance to believers but don’t pass the test of time. We have to be not only those who profess to believe but genuine. We have to be authentic. We must prove to be true when tested.
I was on a bus yesterday with a bunch of church youth, some from the country and some from the city. We were headed to the Madison Youth Ranch to put in a work day and to visit with the kids there afterwards. As we came into Madison on a damp morning, we passed a large group of buzzards on the ground near a house trying to dry their wings. I was looking for a carcass knowing they were vultures and the nature of a buzzard. When a young girl from the city behind me holler out excitedly, “look, look, everybody! Look at all the chickens!” When I regained my composure I marveled that someone could fail to recognize a buzzard and mistake it for a chicken.
The second key term is to “recognize” evil. It is imperative for a believer to recognize evil. Genuine believers must be able to distinguish evil from that which is good and acceptable. We must be able to discern its presence in all the ways and places it hides. We must see through all its disguises. We must know who sets the standard, who determines what is good and evil and know it is God, not man.
The Apostle Paul says. “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15–17—NKJV)
Last we must be daily aware that as genuine believers, each day is a battle so we must enter it prepared. We need to be ready to resist evil and its temptations when we encounter them. We must be wise concerning the scriptures so we can discern evil when we see it. We need to have the word of truth hidden in our hearts to speak out against it so others may take heed. We need to put on the full armor of God, every day so that we may stand and fight the battles that come because the “days are evil”.
If the task at hand, for every genuine believer, is to recognize evil so that it may be either shunned, or engaged in battle and defeated—wherever it is found. And you are not about the task at hand… Maybe the question comes down to this – are you a genuine believer?