We live in a world where conflict abounds. History demonstrates the reality of war, power struggles, and battles for territory, control, and influence in the world.
The battle for planet earth is not only a physical one. It is also an ideological one, where worldviews and philosophies collide. And it is more importantly a spiritual one, where two kingdoms clash in conflict over the earth. At the center of this battle is the human race.
How did this conflict begin? It all goes back to the Garden of Eden. When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them a special assignment. He gave them authority over planet earth:
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’ ” – Genesis 1:27-28
God is sovereign overall; He is the highest authority, and the One from whom all things were created and are sustained. But when He created mankind, He made them in His own image and He delegated dominion over the earth to them. Adam and Eve were to remain in close fellowship with God, and under His jurisdiction and care, they were to take care of the planet and extend God’s nature across it by being fruitful and multiplying throughout the earth.
But something happened. Satan came to them in the form of a serpent, deceived them into disobedience, and brought a great curse over the earth. The devil came along side of the ones with the authority so as to gain an inroad into the planet. When Adam and Eve sinned, they came into agreement with Satan and his rebellion. In the process, they handed the authority they had been given to the devil.
God works within the framework He establishes. He delegated the authority over the planet to mankind and He works within those parameters. This is one of the reasons Jesus had to come as a man. He came to restore what had been lost in the Garden.
Satan knew that Jesus came to take back the keys. He tempted him in this way:
“Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, ‘All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.’ ” – Luke 4:5-7
Thankfully, where Adam and Eve failed, Jesus overcame the temptation. He would not bow down to the enemy, but instead defeated Him through His death and resurrection. He took back the authority that had been lost, and once again delegated it to His people, commissioning them to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. (Matthew 28:18-20)
To this day, the battle continues to rage over planet earth and over the souls of mankind. Heaven and hell are both set on influencing the planet. The key players in the battle are you and me. When people are in agreement with God, He partners with them to see His kingdom come on earth. When people are in agreement with the evil one, his dark influence becomes stronger.
Let’s partner with the living God, allow the Holy Spirit to empower us, and partner with God to see His light shine in the dark world!
How have you seen this battle for planet earth play out in your life? In what ways can we partner with God to see His kingdom advanced?