They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD (Psalm 112:6).
You don’t want to look or listen to the news, but you’re drawn like a tractor beam whenever you happen to catch it. Or, perhaps you’re a news junkie, and you have Drudge bookmarked on the computer, AM radio programmed on your car, and network news in the background 24/7.
People often ask, “Why is all the news so bad?” Christians wonder, “Why didn’t that miraculous healing get reported?” or “Why don’t we hear of all the good that the church is doing in the community?” The answer is clear. The devil is the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2), and very much in influence of what comes across the airwaves. Jesus referred to Satan as “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31, John 14:30, John 16:11). Commentators and pundits have long bemoaned media bias, without realizing the full scope of why the “media elites” think and act the way they do. Their “boss” is Satan himself!
Recently, the Lord convicted me of a very bad practice. I was praying and interceding on behalf of the nation on specific points, then looking at various news outlets to see if my prayers had been answered. I didn’t realize how absurd this was until I heard someone say, “Why would we pray to God, then look to the world for the answers?”
As Christians we don’t look to the news to find out what’s happening in our world. Christians are to shape the news and world around us with prayer and fasting and praise. I once heard Joe McIntyre say that he visited a convent in Ireland and the nuns, totally cut off from the world of radio, television, internet, and newspapers, were “praying the world’s headlines.” The Holy Spirit was leading them in exactly how to pray for the nations, and these sisters with their focused prayer were impacting societies from which they were physically estranged.
Most of us can quote by heart the verse “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7), but do we live it? Is it our modus operandi, our way of life? If we as Christians live by faith and not by sight, then what is there in the world to make us fear?
Certainly I am not saying there isn’t a place for outrage and even agony over the world around us – “a time to weep” as we groan in our prayer closets for the outpouring of the Spirit, as we mourn and plead for the lives in despair, destruction, and deception all around us. Certainly I believe we identify with Christ when we bear the burdens of His own tender heart in ours.
But to go to the news outlets as a means of understanding what is happening in the world around us is actually to get a distorted, one-dimensional view. And even if it’s a news outlet that favors our own worldviews, or has a reputation for higher integrity, that is not necessarily a guarantor that God wants us to tune in on a regular basis.
A practical example of this is something I’ve been praying over for a couple of years. That is, if God told me to pray that a certain piece of disastrous legislation be shut down – if He told me to proclaim it dead, to recognize it in the spirit as already dead, then that is what I do. I don’t worry if the rest of the nation is reacting to it, if those who endorsed it are smugly smiling over it, if the news networks are all discussing its impact on businesses, young people, and the economy. It’s dead!
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
Please agree with me in spirit and in prayer that the Kingdom of God advances unswervingly. We will not be deterred nor intimidated by what we see being broadcast by the prince of the power of the air. Nor do we throw up our hands and say “it’s all over” because of what we hear reported.
“Many are asking, ‘Who can show us any good?’ Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD” (Psalm 4:6).