Peace doesn’t come from pretending there’s no such thing as evil. Even though it can never destroy the soul of someone who belongs to God, evil can do plenty of damage in this world. Have you ever been somewhere and sensed the presence of evil? Charles Stanley tells of traveling with a group from his church to do mission work in Haiti. While there, he had an experience that frightened him.
He and others were watching a man perform a dance. “As he danced and whirled his machete in our direction,” Stanley says, “I suddenly felt a horrible presence of evil all around us. Momentarily, I was filled with fear for my physical safety and the safety of the people with me. My immediate response to this fear was anger, and out of that anger I began to pray and intercede for our safety.
“This fear,” he explains, “was rooted in the spirit realm. It was a fear I’ve come to recognize as a fear that any Christian should feel in the face of pure evil. Why do I say it is a good thing to feel fear of evil? Because that fear can and should drive you to pray, to trust God to deliver you from the power of evil, and to get as far away from evil as possible.”1
Both fear and anger can be helpful emotions, especially if they motivate us to work against and pray against evil. At times, fear is like the gauge on a thermostat, registering the spiritual temperature around us.
1. Charles Stanley, Finding Peace: God’s Promise of a Life Free from Regret, Anxiety, and Fear (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2003), 193–94.
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