The Unseen Enemy

Dear Victory Members & Friends
I guess it will not be a surprise to most that I  celebrate the resources of Computer Technology.  However, I have never gravitated to the gaming side of the technology. I am totally lost describing or helping with computer games, of which there are thousands. My interest is the  technology as a valuable tool for creativity and problem solving. So you should understand why,  and hopefully be forgiving, when my students ask “Mr. Anderson may we play games on the computers? and I respond “Definitely No! We are not in class for that”.  Well, a few days past I realize I was sinking fast in a quicksand of ignorance, when I tried to comprehend the passage below intended to provide tactical information regarding the game “Dungeons and Dragons”, 
“Unseen target, it is clear that an unseen creature has advantage on attacks rolls against a target and that target has disadvantage against the unseen creature. Now, unseen creature is not equivalent to hidden creature. A hidden creature is contemporary unseen and unheard. A hidden creature, therefore, is not “targetable” if the means of perception rely on sight and hearing. 
What? How?  Hmm? Yes. I was so lost! However, a certain section – “it is clear that an unseen creature has advantage on attacks rolls against a target and that target has disadvantage against the unseen creature.” –  got me refocusing my thoughts on a Biblical theme about an unseen enemy. 
What’s The Theme?
Let me lay it out like this. Here we ( humanity)  are with all the technology advantages, world super-powers, our elated statuses, fame, accolades, and wealth. Yet humanity is under a global attack by an infinitesimal, invisible enemy called Coronavirus/Covid-19. We are doing the best we can; practicing all the precautionary steps to avoid being attacked by this virus. With all we do; it is successfully terminating thousands of lives around the globe, per day. In our own city of New York the death rate is frightening.  Covid-19 is an unseen silent killer. It respects no super-power, no ethnic group, no nationality, no status, no economic level, no age – it slays even the life upon the mother’s breast. It is a travelling sniper taking down with accuracy each of its targets. It is consequential, sinister, savage, heartless, diabolic, devilish and divisive. It “has advantage on attacks roll”.  Its invisibility to the naked eye, except with the assistance of a microscope, gives it super stealth power. We are its target. We are at a “disadvantage against this unseen creature”.  It’s playing a game that has no reset or restart button. Its wins are final!  
The Spiritual Perspective
In Ephesians 6:12 we are introduced to a parallel enemy. An enemy akin to the “unseen” enemy in Dungeons & Dragons and Covid-19. The author of Ephesians issues a global bulletin about this unseen viral enemy. An unseen enemy with advantages against us because it is invisible and sinister. Meanwhile, by ourselves we have all the disadvantages. Remember the line from Dungeon & Dragons about the unseen enemy?  Such an enemy it said “…has advantage on attacks rolls against a target and that target has disadvantage against the unseen creature”.  A similar description is found in the text mentioned above –  “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12).  This enemy described in Ephesians 6 exist in dominions outside our mortal eyesights. This enemy exist where spiritual wickedness thrives in high places of “darkness”. So vicious and insatiable is this enemy’s undertakings that the peer of the author of Ephesians 6:12, issues another vital warning. A stern warning and a revelation about this  enemy against humanity. An extreme caution alert – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”. (1 Peter 5:8). This enemy is liken unto a lion seeking lives to devour.  Seeking to destroy with severe consequences the target in its path. The enemy respects no class, levels of humanity or authority.  Not even the almighty God who spoke things into being  “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’  “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen 3:1-5)
While Codid-19  kills the body, i.e. takes precious lives from families and friends and submerge itself with the deceased into a grave; it is irrational regarding the eternal future of persons it destroy. It is not terminating lives because it has a mercenary grudge against  them or creator. It is not trying to equal the score. Rather, Covid-19 destroys because that is its nature! Nothing personal.  As a virus, the instinctive reaction is to become a silent killer of any host which is not like it.  Its knee-jerk reaction is to change the behavior or condition of the host it occupies. The negative transformation  of  the host’s  behavior or condition  may result in death of the total host. (Villarreal, 2020).
The Unseen Enemy
The unseen enemy of Ephesians, Genesis and 1 Peter has a personal grudge against mankind and his Creator. It is a deep personal grudge! So deep, it declared its  loathing for the most high God –  “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” (Isaiah 14:13-14).  This unseen enemy attacks because it has an intentional, strategic desire and  plans to terminate creation; and if possible even humanity’s  sovereign Creator. It, Satan, is brewing a Cosmic Conflict  against man and Creator – “All humanity is now involved in a great controversy between Christ and Satan regarding the character of God, His law, and His sovereignty over the universe. This conflict originated in heaven when a created being, endowed with freedom of choice, in self-exaltation became Satan, God’s adversary, and led into rebellion a portion of the angels. (Adult Sabbath School Lesson. 1 Quarter 2002). Covid-19 is just one of  Satan’s many pieces of arsenal, aimed against the Creator and creation. He, Satan,  is the originator of “fake news”. Remember the first fake news he spewed in Genesis ““You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. ..” Satan, is the master creator of Covid-19 and all earth’s woes and sufferings. Satan is cruel and he exercises sovereignty over souls not covered by the seal of Calvary’s blood. 
His attacks in any format – wind, fire, water, diseases, conflicts, starvation, etc. – are all personal attacks against God and man! However, hallelujah to the King of creation, Christ has declared that “For You granted Him authority over all humanity, so that He may give eternal life to all those You have given Him” ( John 17:2). Just like the unseen enemy in Dungeon and Dragons we are fighting against an unseen enemy. However, we are not all lost! There is a book of strategic tactical information regarding how we can prevail against this spiritual enemy. It is filled with tactical moves we can always employ, not necessarily to avoid this enemy, but how we can survive his attacks. Its instructions are not confusing as the one I read about the game Dungeons & Dragons. This book, when read under the guided influence of the Holy Spirit, is very clear on becoming victorious against this other invisible enemy.  Its words are lethal against the enemy “For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword… (Hebrews 4:12) .  Its strategies enable the user to be victorious even against the unseen enemy of Ephesians 6 ” These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (I John 5:13).  The captain of the host of Heaven overcame the enemy by using the words of the book “Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.” (Matt. 4:10). Its words are lethal against Satan. We are told “Satan left the battlefield as a vanquished foe” because “It is written.”  Its words are protective “Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11). 
The Take Away
One lesson from this pandemic is that earth’s definitions or exhibits of “security” are temporary and porous! There is a cornucopia of natural and medical information on how to survive or withstand Covid-19. These are available on social media, electronic media, emails, etc.  We are blessed to have all these resources available to help survive this pandemic. Yet, are we equally as earnest to use these said resources and this  time  to share the tactical information of Salvation to a spiritually and physically dying
world?  After this will the church be committed  to  “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Matt 28:19)  and  together pledge as one body “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
(1 Corinthians 1:10). 
 Covid-19 is a reminder that it is time to reach the unreached! Too many are being claimed by the enemy in sickness, global calamities, greed, perversions, selfishness and wars. Unlike the game Dungeons and Dragons, this game of the enemy Satan has no reset or restart button for the lives lost in sin. A friend of mine Lance Brown, puts it best in his Facebook post  – The fact is that “souls” of those who are dying are “WAY MORE” critical than just their “bodies” that are succumbing to the effects of the “temporary death” being inflicted by Covid-19. Their “dead bodies” are tied to a “temporary death”. But their souls are tied to either an “eternal death” or eternal life”. 
So after Covid-19 becomes a past, if it really does and with a new “normal” undoubtedly; will there be a new normal for the church. A new normal which transforms hearts and minds to be the Church of Christ. The church has an abundance of great talents and resources – technology, printed materials and people – but is it  making an indelible mark on so many landscapes.  Perhaps after this abnormal situation we are currently in ends a new normal will emerge at the church! Perhaps  the church will be just as normal as it was before Covid-19? I don’t know. I really don’t know. However, of this I am so very sure, I need to make the change start with me! 
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