The way evil can take over our lives is based upon the age-old principle of strongholds. Strongholds are things that have a hold over our opinions, emotions, and desires in life. They don’t always adhere to logic. They are self-imposed and not of God. These are the things that get us into trouble when trying to get everybody to play nicely in the same sandbox, so to speak.
We all have different strongholds because we are all different, come from varying parts of the world, have endured different circumstances, and have been brought up differently. This diversity, while beautiful, can in itself create lots of strongholds for people. Evil is more than willing to use these strongholds to generate bad emotions that cause us to react to things instead of thinking them through before acting. This is the stuff war is made of. This is the stuff we need to conquer within ourselves in order to find real peace in the world. When love is removed from us, whether by a friend or spouse or any group, we tend to replace that love with hate. If we allow Jesus into our hearts, there is so much love there that hate has no room to enter.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”. John 3:16-17
God had to come into the world in order for His love to be properly spread to people of all nations. We as people failed Him. We didn’t spread His word to the rest of the world properly. As a result, Jesus came to us. Even with this amazing gift, some people still don’t see the love God was trying to show us through Jesus, His Son, the One the Christians believe is the Messiah. The One who has given believers peace in our hearts.
In an effort to unite all peoples of all races, not merely the Jews, God brought His Son into this world to defeat sin through love. For those gentiles of all backgrounds, this was the opportune moment in time to see, recognize, and believe.
Here’s a little poem by Roy Lessin that resonates with my heart for Christmas:
“Little Baby on the Hay, soon there’ll be another day when nails shall pierce Your hands and feet as you provide our sin’s defeat.
Risen Jesus on the throne, we lift our praise to You alone–for You’re the gift that we receive, the moment that our hearts believe.”
Happy Christmas Eve.