The hate-filled perpetrators of fear, death, and the destruction of faith and freedom demonstrated by ISIS and terrorists are under the influence of a power greater than alcohol or any drug addiction. They are controlled by satanic and demonic forces in the name of religious extremism. It is anti-God, anti-Christ, and anti-freedom committed to the destruction of all who disagree. These deranged individuals are not out of control, they are under the control of evil personified, drunk on the spirit of deception and destruction.
These deadly forces must be resisted on every front by all who love life and freedom. But know this: without the wisdom and direction that comes only from Divine Providence and the hedge of God’s Word, we will not be able to overcome. Mere mortal men cannot defeat this enemy. Do not take lightly the importance of being filled with and led by wisdom and the Spirit of the living God. Christians who are totally sold out to the mission of Christ and live whole-heartedly for His Kingdom purpose hold the keys to our future security and freedom.
The prophet Isaiah referenced this dangerous condition, declaring that the enemies of freedom are indeed drunk and intoxicated, but not with any form of alcohol. “They become drunk, but not with wine, they stagger, but not with strong drink.” In the same passage he said, “The wisdom of their wise men shall perish.” Not only are terrorists controlled by this spirit of deception, but national and church leaders who are not led by the Spirit of God are misled by an intoxicating spirit as well. They are unable to think clearly, give wise direction, or inspire the people to make right decisions. We can easily see the lack of unity and decisiveness on the part of those chosen to lead.
Through the prophet, God revealed that powerful, controlling forces in the spirit realm were influencing the nation of Israel, His chosen people. Isaiah used the analogy of those who stagger and stumble under the debilitating influence of alcohol to illustrate the control that spiritual forces can have over people.
The story of Israel is the narrative of a people freed from Egyptian bondage (a metaphor for any bondage to the anti-God worldview) and led toward blessings and freedom in the Promised Land. But even though they were physically liberated, their minds were plagued by fear and unbelief leading to a lack of trust in God’s promises. Consequently, they wandered in circles for forty years until finally the faithful few who believed the truth entered the Promised Land and defeated their enemies through the supernatural power of God. Centuries later the same chosen ones, because of their disobedience to God, became prisoners again. “Behold, we are slaves today, and as to the land which thou didst give to our fathers… behold, we are slaves on it.”
This slavery-freedom-slavery scenario is repeated today among many in our nation and the church family. Doubting believers live in as much or more bondage as they did prior to their deliverance from the world. The enemies in the spiritual realm are called “principalities” and “rulers of the darkness” by the apostle Paul. These demonic forces can deceive and take captive even the most influential members in our country and in the body of Christ.
Isaiah went on to say that truth cannot be understood when people draw near to God only with their words and honor Him with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him. Jesus repeated this in the New Testament: “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me.”
Much of the church and many in our country are trapped by a spirit of mechanical repetition regarding truth. Prayers are offered, but often they are merely insincere collections of words that go no higher than the ceiling. Christians sing songs, but have forgotten the messages. Many go through the motions of worship, but live in defeat. Sermons are heard, but seldom applied. Church members have become hearers and not doers of the Word.
Again, God spoke through Isaiah to His people, calling them to repentance and promising them freedom:
Therefore, please hear this, you afflicted,
Who are drunk, but not with wine:
Thus says your Lord, the Lord, even your God
Who contends for His people,
‘Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of reeling,
The chalice of My anger;
You will never drink it again.
I will put it into the hand of your tormentors,
Who have said to you, ‘Lie down that we may walk over you.’
You have even made your back like the ground
And like the street for those who walk over it.”
God said to His people and to those with “ears to hear” but who refused to receive the message that they would reach a point of intoxication by the spirit of deception, distraction, and defeat and the enemies of life and freedom would command them to lie down while tormenting forces walked over them as trampled ground. People intoxicated by evil spirit influence end up with broken spirits. But hope, salvation, deliverance and freedom are also revealed in the words of the prophet Isaiah:
Clothes yourself in your strength, O Zion;
Clothes yourself in your beautiful garments…
Shake yourself from the dust, rise up,
O captive Jerusalem;
Loose yourself from the chains around your neck…
You were sold for nothing and you will be redeemed without money.”
Redemption and freedom come through the precious blood of the Lamb. That is true not only for gentiles but also for every Jew. The true Zion is the restored, redeemed, blood-bought people of God. And we can deliver the good news. We can announce peace. We can announce salvation. We can announce to Zion and the world, “Our God reigns…not only in word but also in deed.”
Jesus promised that those who become controlled by His Spirit, rather than being intoxicated on the spirit of this world, will be overcomers and trample the enemy under their feet. All the dreadful enemies of life and freedom (including ISIS and terrorists), ultimately will be defeated only by those who know and abide in the Truth which makes both men and nations free and safe. As watchmen, we can lift up our voices and shout joyfully together, “Our God reigns!” and then the world will witness with their own eyes the Lord restore broken lives, set captives free, and release His love. Those who have been set free from personal bondage and defeat are the ones who can lead the way back to sound thinking, security, and the blessings true freedom makes possible.