Years ago my oldest son, Ty, was recruited to play football for Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky. It was a special time as our first child was going to move about four hours away to attend college. We let him go, mostly, but from time to time I would make an excuse to go over and watch him practice football and just spend time with him. On one of my trips there we decided it would be great to go watch a movie together. The local theatre had the new movie release of The Ghost and The Darkness. It was a movie based on a true story of the British trying to expand their influence in Africa by extending their railway system further into the country to boost trade. In the movie Val Kilmer played a British Architect who was known for getting things done on time in the jobs he coordinated and his employer put a great amount of stress on him to get his railroad finished on time. Everything looked very good for Val to be able to accomplish his goals until he arrived on the work site. There had been a rash of lion attacks and the workers were fearful of the lions and progress was almost stopped. Val came in and decided he would kill the lions and the problem would be over. Like clockwork he set a trap. The lion took it and he killed the lion. Problem solved. Not quite! He didn’t know that they were about to meet two of the most ferocious animals ever seen. They were known as The Ghost and The Darkness. Multiples lion attacks turned the camp into a place of fear and dread. The two lions were smarter, quicker, and more cunning than Val could handle and he was at the point of giving up. Every step he took to kill them was a miserable failure and then in walked a man by the name of Remington (like the rifle). He was the most famous hunter in Africa and his reputation made everyone believe that the lion problem was going to be fixed. Remington gave them a new energy and he even went on the offensive, taking the hunt to the lions lair. It was at that point that he realized the lions were much more evil than first anticipated. He took every precaution and knew how to handle the hunt the best way. They set a trap and stayed up all night waiting for a chance to kill the lions. Just before they were about to go out the camp doctor offered his gun to Val Kilmer’s character and Val took the gun. When it came time to shoot the lion that had wandered into his sights, the gun didn’t fire and Val missed his chance. Remington was furious and told Kilmer’s character to never depend on an unproven gun. I will never forget that logic and it continues to be something I adhere to on a regular basis. Of course, Remington’s character got killed and after a big showdown Kilmer killed the lions and the railroad was a success. That night Ty and I slept close to each other because the movie was so scary. We have laughed about it since because two grown men were scared silly by the evil portrayed in those lions. The movie helps us realize some great truths from God’s Word.
1. Evil is ever present – Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus and told them in Chapter 6: 11-12 that our struggle is against the powers of this dark world and the against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. So don’t ever think you can let your guard down.
2. Evil hits us from many directions – verse 18 says, “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Be alert.” Don’t be caught napping, because just when you think you have won the last battle with evil it will hit you from another direction. Be ever vigilent.
3. Evil is not as powerful as God – We must allow God to handle evil for us. In verses 13-17 it talks about putting on the armor of God. The armor of God cannot be defeated. It is the weapon that is known by each of us to shoot the straightest. Don’t try some other way of battling evil just because you hear of a quick fix. Use the weapon you are most sure of…..God’s Word. Anything less than that will result in defeat.
4. When you face evil be fearless – Don’t let the devil beat you down….stand and stand firm. In fact, start walking forward with God’s Armor and He will help you defeat him again and again. Paul said in verse 20, “Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”
When you face evil you cannot face it on your own. You must be prepared and ready with the defense of God and trust Him to fight that battle for you. If you trust God and follow His precepts, evil will be defeated and you will see more and more victories from there on. It is a scary thing to try to stand up to evil, but God will be very near as you follow His Word and His Way. The ghost that seems so scary will be met with the Holy Ghost. The darkness that is so imposing will be met with the light of His Glory. And the only lion you will ever hear about is the The Lion of Judah and He’s on your side.
Stand firm, resist the devil, live for God… The Pilgrimage continues….. David Warren