Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
1 John 4:4(KJV)
One of the greatest lie propagated by religious people is, God is in full control of everything in this world. To them, there are no accidents. Everything that happened, happened by the will of God. This means if someone is sick, it is the will of God for this person to be sick. Maybe God wants to teach this person a lesson. Maybe God wants him to rest more. Maybe God wants him to spend more time praying. Maybe, maybe, maybe. No matter what the maybes can be, the religious people are sure in one thing, God wanted it to happen. They don’t know for sure why you are sick but they are sure that God is the culprit who caused it. The same is said for traffic accidents, natural disasters, acts of terrorism or any other crisis. They happened because God wanted it. It is the will of God to steal, kill and destroy.
Do you remember the 9-11 incident? The terrorists rammed 2 planes into 2 towers at the World Trade Center in New York. Within a few days, there were many religious leaders sharing their “insights” on what happened. The basic idea was, God allowed it to happen to punish America for her sins. What are those sins that require such genocide of so many people? It can be banning of school prayers and being tolerant to homosexuals. So, in their religious view, God will not hesitate to ram planes into buildings on nations that do not practice school prayers or tolerate homosexuals.
Can you truly respect such a God? I can’t. If the religious people are right about God, I don’t want to have anything to do with this entity. Thank God, they are wrong. The above verse tells us the opposite of what the religious people are propagating, which I will explain in the later part of this article.
“Are you saying that it is alright not to have school prayers and being tolerant to homosexuals?”
I believe in prayers as defined in the Bible. Prayers are meant to work and there is only one way for prayers to work that is to pray in faith (Mark 11:24). You can legislate prayers to force everyone to go through the motion of praying but you can never force them to believe. Prayers without believing is useless and a waste of time. Therefore, enforcing school prayers will only cause resentment among people who are not christians and will not produce any positive results. Why would God want to ram planes into buildings if there are no school prayers? Trust a religious mind to come out of that.
As for homosexuality, the Bible has clearly defined it as sin. It is not natural and not in the plan of God for it to happen. This means practising it will not result in blessings and prosperity from God. However, not everyone believes in the Bible. They may identify themselves as gays because they really believe they were born that way. As christians, we can show them the truth but they can also choose not to believe in what we say. This does not give us the right to persecute them and deny them of their rights as citizens of their country.
I believe the best approach is from the example of my country, Singapore. We have a law that prohibits gay sex but it has never been enforced. Some time ago, some of our liberal politicians wanted to repeal this law but faced with objections from the masses. In the end the government had decided to let it stay.
The question is, why do we keep the law that we have no intention of enforcing? To the majority of us, this law serves as our position that homosexuality is wrong and unnatural. We do not want our children to grow up thinking that they have a choice of becoming a gay. At the same time, we respect the gays’ right as our fellow citizens.
We do not have our version of Inquisitors or Talibans searching door to door, looking for homosexuals to burn at the stake. Homosexuals in Singapore are not required to identify their sexual orientation in situations like job applications, government grants, housing etc. So as long as they keep a low profile and don’t promote their activities openly, they can continue to live and prosper in our country. Yes, I believe in being tolerant to homosexuals and at the same time not compromising the truth.
Let us get back to the original topic. The Bible has a lot of verses proving that the religious idea of God in full control on everything is a lie and 1 John 4:4 is one of them. This verse can be broken down into the following:
1. We belong to God.
2. As such, we are able to overcome the world.
3. The one inside us is greater than the one in the world.
I don’t think I have to elaborate further that the one in us is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God and the one in the world is Satan. Let us enhance further the meaning on this. “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” This part tells me the following:
1. There are 2 forces in existence – the one in me (God) and the one in the world (Satan).
2. They belong to opposite sides and at war at each other.
3. The one in me is greater than the one in this world.
So it is clear that God does not exercise full control in this world. There is another entity called Satan running this world. Therefore the idea of everything that happened is the will of God is a lie.
“How can we tell then, what is from God and what is from Satan?”
10The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).
John 10:10 (Amplified)
The above verse clearly separates the will of God and the will of the devil. The “thief” refers to Satan. Satan came to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus came for us to enjoy life and have abundance. Abundance refers to prosperity. In short, God wants us to be rich and the devil wants us to be poor.
So, when you see stealing, killings and destruction in this world, they are the works of Satan. It is Satan’s will for them to happen, not God. This tells us that Satan is controlling the world that we are living in.
“How does this happen?”
Here is a brief history lesson. When God made this earth, he gave Man the full control on it. When Adam committed high treason to God, the control was forfeited and fell into the hands of Satan. This was the beginning to stealing, killings and destruction in this world. However, after Jesus died at the Cross to pay for the price of all our sins, Satan’s authority over this world had been taken away from him by God. God has in turn handed back this authority to us.
Having this authority is useless unless we know how to exercise it. While Satan’s authority over this world has been removed, he is still in control through illegal means. This is equivalent to a country’s president who lost the election but still hold on to power through military control.
In our spiritual battle to regain our rights, it is necessary for us to acknowledge these facts:
1. Satan is in effective control over this world.
2. This control is illegal after Jesus’s death at the Cross.
3. It is our right to take back this control. We are the legal owners of this world.
How do we do that?
First, we need to identify Satan’s works in out life. Are you sick? Are you in lack, poor and in debt? Are you depressed and stressed? Are you facing the prospect of losing everything that you have? These are symptoms of stealing, killings and destruction. They are the works of Satan and his gang. They have no right to do that and therefore illegal. It is illegal for the devil to steal our prosperity, health and success.
Second, we have to decide to resist their illegal oppression in our lives. We need to believe that it is God’s will for us to prosper and be in health as our soul prospers. As we believe, we have to determine to fight to regain the rights our Jesus has paid at the Cross. No matter how impossible the situation appears to be or how many times we have been knocked down, we can always rise up and fight again because the one who is in us is greater than the one in this world (1 John 4:4). So, as long as we have decided to fight this battle and determined no to give up no matter what the enemies throw at us, we are destined to win. We are destined to get back all our rights the Jesus bought for us through his death at the Cross and demand compensation from our oppressors on all the sufferings inflicted on us.
Third, we need to know that that the source of our strength and victory is God. Our reliance on God is the key to our victory. If you choose to rely on your own ability, you are bound to lose. This tells us that we need to spend quality time with God, listen to faith message, meditate on his word, confess his word and anything instructed by God if we are really serious in winning this battle.
8This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.