Ephesians 2:2 refers to Satan as “the prince of the power of the air.”
Indeed, spiritual decay is in the very air we breathe. It can feel like there are a thousand forces working against our desire to know God and delight to do His will. So many ideas have so permeated our cultural environment that it feels impossible to escape their effects.
- Individualism separates us from our neighbors by teaching us that we should all just focus on ourselves instead of others. Even in our own families and churches we are often so unaccustomed to opening up to one another that we cannot get the help that we need from each other.
- Consumerism tells us that the way to happiness is through electronic gadgets, sophisticated machines, and expensive imported goods, and materialism provides us with an endless supply of such consumer goods to purchase or covet.
- Electronic entertainment numbs our minds as it literally puts our brains in an alpha brain wave state, and hypersexualization teaches us that personal fulfillment is impossible without constant sexual gratification.
- Industrialization means that many of us spend most of our time indoors, away from the beauty of God’s creation. It also means that time is money, and thus we are always busy maintaining our standard of living, which makes finding time for God more difficult.
Even though I can identify these and other hindrances, correctly responding to them is another matter. It is important to know that the Biblical answer to our dilemma is about more than changing our actions. The Biblical solution is a mind renewed by God (Romans 12:2).
This world is a place of spiritual darkness, but it is where we are constrained to live out our days for the time being. Thus Jesus prayed for us: “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” (Matthew 17:15-17)
By the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, “you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” (2 Peter 1:4)
Our minds must be renewed by the sanctifying knowledge of God and Jesus Christ contained in God’s word so that it can be said of us: “He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.” (Colossians 1:13)