(Tony the Tiger voice) Grrrrrrrrreat! Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…
I want to talk to my brothers and sisters of about something that irks many of you…RACISM. I’m not going to tackle this in the way you might be used to, but just hear me out.
As you all know, the topic of racism in America has become increasingly more relevant in recent years, mainly due to the reports of young black men getting murdered by white police officers. While this and other social injustices have no place in our society, the disposition that many black people in this country have isn’t so great either. In speaking out against social injustice, many fail to actually affect changes and just come off as being a bitter, helpless victim. We live in a day and age where people post videos or pictures that communicate the disadvantages black people have and in their minds, it somehow translates to being some kind of revolutionary. They want people to know “our struggle”. Trust me, people know what’s going on in this country and no number of memes is going to make people stop hating you. If you are in Christ, your mentality about racism must be different than those who are in the world.
Although unbelief is the bane of many believers, it is a particularly big problem for the black community in America. Why do I say this? Because many view their faith through the lens of either their negative experiences or the negative experiences of others (both past and present). Since black people had to work (and are still working) for equality in this country, their identity is rooted more so in the fact that they are of African descent than the fact that they are a citizen of Heaven. This has produced generations upon generations of men and women that are spiritually handicapped; all their lives they have heard about and seen the terrible things done to black people in this country and they passed these horror stories from one person to the next. Before long, it became a common notion that if you are a black person living in America, you are in for a rough ride (Some parents even teach their kids to be afraid of the police!). Yet, many of those same people go to church every Sunday to dance and shout before the God who makes them more than a conqueror. You can’t say that you trust in God’s word while maintaining the confession of disadvantage. Those are two totally opposite mindsets and they can’t coexist. Either your faith is working or it’s not. The Bible says that faith is the SUBSTANCE of the things you hope for (Hebrews 11:1). That means that you have liberty NOW.
Jesus told his disciples, “…ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world…” (John 15:19). He also said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). What is the world? The world refers to the system of the world, the way the world functions. Based on these two statements alone, you can know that you’re above anything that the world can throw at you. Refuse to let your communication be that of a victim! The kind of persecution that Jesus told us to expect was not based on our skin color, but because of our association with Him and our dedication to the gospel. Is Jesus this religious ideal that you turn to when trying to make it through hard times or do His words actually mean something to you? There is something called the mindset of the righteous that you must develop. If you knew about the triumphant life that Jesus came to bring, you wouldn’t be so quick to make everything a race issue.
I know what you’re thinking, the evidence is all around us! Yes, I am aware of the effects of slavery and the deep roots that racism has in various institutions. I agree that the treatment of black people in this country is a targeted effort. However, I want to ask you a question: who is your enemy in this fight for freedom and justice? I have news for you: It’s not white people (past or present). Neither is your enemy the government. TOO MANY OF YOU ARE FIGHTING THE WRONG BATTLE!
Life is spiritual my friends and your acknowledgement of this simple truth will change your life forever. The truth of the matter is that there are only two real enemies in the matter of racism: ignorance and the devil.
In Hosea 4:6, God says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” Peter tells us “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18). When you have the accurate knowledge of God in your spirit, you will know who you are and what belongs to you. It doesn’t matter who is trying to oppress you, God says that your faith overcomes the world (1 John 5:4), you are a king (Revelation 1:16), and that you have been given an authority above every power in this world (Ephesians 1:18-23). How could you be disadvantaged? It doesn’t matter who is oppressing you, your state has nothing to do with your God-given status. If you don’t believe in and confess your authority, you can’t experience it. This is my consciousness everyday. Most times, I honestly forget that I’m a black male because the consciousness of who I am in Christ has superseded my earthly heritage. Am I saying that you should ditch your ethnicity? Absolutely not! Celebrating your ethnicity and culture is a beautiful thing. What I’m saying is that you can embrace the beauties of your ethnicity without identifying with the victims of your ethnicity.
Apart from ignorance, your enemy is the devil. Paul tells us, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12). The people persecuting you may have white skin, but they are nothing more than instruments of dark spiritual forces. If you can understand that there is a God, then it’s not hard for you to understand that there is a devil and his sole desire is to destroy the lives of men, primarily through deception. There are many ways that his deception plays out in the world, but it just so happens that his strategy for destroying you as a black person is tricking you into believing the lie that a white man or the government is your enemy. And guess what? It’s working! As long as you are ignorant of of the fact that the devil has been defeated, you’ll remain in the wrong fight and wonder why you’re not making progress. This is a spiritual warfare we’re involved in. Are you using the right equipment?
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints…” (Ephesians 6:10-18).