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Politicians on both sides of the spectrum are guilty of twisting words to manipulate the national conversation. We saw this during the recent mid-term election campaigns. Words have been weaponized to smear those who disagree with certain positions.
For example, “democracy,” “fascist,” “tolerant,” “inclusive,” “science denier,” “racist,” “homophobe” and “transphobe” have been routinely dropped like smart bombs to win arguments. Yet the Bible warns us against manipulating definitions to achieve our own selfish ends.
Isaiah 5:20 says: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” What is truly evil is not up to anyone’s personal interpretation. The definitions of good and evil are not up for a vote! Think of the ironies we face today:
- Parents who want to protect their children from transgender ideology are called “hateful” and even “Nazis”
- Pro-life activists who say it’s wrong to abort a baby during the third trimester are called “fascists”
- Citizens, including African Americans, who believe repeat criminals should be jailed to protect the community are called “white supremacists”
Regardless of what people say, God is the ultimate judge. So it doesn’t matter how political groups define their buzzwords. God has the final authority on what is evil—not politicians, social media executives, billionaires or the people who write our dictionaries. Or me. Or you. God has the last word.
In the days leading up to the mid-term elections, I found so much comfort praying according Matthew 6:13. Jesus told us we should pray: “Father … deliver us from evil.” I’ve been asking that Jesus will deliver us from evil in seven areas:
1. Deliver us from perversion. Sexual immorality has taken deep root in our nation—and this includes the pervasiveness of pornography, the horror of human trafficking and the wickedness of full-term abortion. And now, doctors are making their fortunes by performing sex-change operations on minors who are confused about their gender. Lord, deliver us from this evil!
2. Deliver us from racism. We as a nation still struggle with pervasive prejudice against certain minorities—and in many cases racism exists in the church. We need deep repentance and freedom from our hatred of people who don’t look like us. Racism also has prevented the church from taking the gospel to certain communities, and from caring about orphans, foster kids and prisoners. Lord, deliver us from this hatefulness!
3. Deliver us from lawlessness and violence. In some American cities today, children who should be free to play in their front yards are dying because of stray bullets. Murder rates are skyrocketing, and stores are closing because of rampant theft. In San Francisco and Philadelphia, for example, certain companies are pulling out of the cities altogether because local authorities won’t prosecute thieves. Lord, restore peace to our streets!
4. Deliver us from a mental health breakdown. Statistics show that deaths caused by alcohol, drugs and suicide have now reached their highest level ever in the United States. The deadly spread of fentanyl (carried illegally across our Southern border) is only one of the causes of this increase. Anxiety disorders, depression and more serious mental disorders have turned many people into ticking time bombs. Lord, deliver us from this deadly wave of drugs and mental illness!
5. Deliver us from greed and materialism. The Bible warns us that “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Tim. 6:10). This evil is entrenched in our banking systems, pharmaceutical companies, universities, media corporations, hospitals, high-tech companies and so many other sectors of society. Pray that businesses will treat workers fairly and use their profits to help others. Deliver us from greed!
6. Deliver us from media deception. It’s no secret that some politicians and world leaders are busy using their wealth and influence to plot evil. And sometimes the media—which is supposed to broadcast the truth and expose evil—is actually in bed with the evildoers, so they are engaged in a cover-up. Pray that we will not be misled or manipulated by spiritual darkness. Psalm 37:12-13 says: “The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes at him with his teeth. The Lord laughs at him, for He sees his day is coming.” God deliver us from the liars, deceivers and conspirators!
7. Deliver us from our own sin. We shouldn’t pray, “Deliver us from evil,” without taking a look at our own hearts. Many of the problems in our nation today are not the fault of unbelievers; sin in the church has actually opened the door for our national crisis. We’ve seen in recent days that Christians have been engaged in sexual sin, child abuse, financial scandal and other forms of religious hypocrisy. Lord, forgive us!
Don’t just point at the world when you pray; point at your own heart and ask God to deliver you from any sinful compromise. You can pray: “Lord, I ask You to deliver me from evil—so that I can be a light in the darkness!”
J. Lee Grady was editor of Charisma for 11 years and now serves as contributing editor. He directs the Mordecai Project (themordecaiproject.org), an international ministry that protects women and girls from gender-based violence. His latest book is “Set My Heart on Fire” (Charisma House).