As a home-group, one of the activities that we schedule to do ever so often, is to go out and share the good news of the perfect love and abundant life found in Jesus Christ. We do this because we love God and we love people!
So the other day we planned to go out, with a focus on Järntorget, a square in the middle of Gothenburg. What we didn’t know, is that we were in for a great head-on surprise. As we approached the scene of mission, we were met by police cars and officers plus myriads of people and lot’s of movement. Moreover, there was a distinct group standing strategically around the square. Some were standing at attention with a clenched fist, others were holding a green flag with an arrow pointing upwards and others were handing out flyers. I wondered who these people were, especially considering the clenched fist gesture. Was this an expression of solidarity, unity, strength, defiance, or resistance, and to what?
I was quite excited actually and just prayed in the spirit as my friend and I decided to approach one of the ones handing out flyers. This man saw us going towards him but he angrily walked away as though we had just insulted him. That was okay for us since we had met resistance before, maybe not in that particular manner. Well, we moved on to the next one who was much warmer and we curiously questioned him about who they were and what they stood for.
To our surprise, as you might have already guessed, these were Svenska motståndsrörelsen or Swedish Resistance Movement (SMR), the Swedish branch of the Nordic Resistance Movement. This group is known for its opposition to non-white immigration to Sweden, a central actor in Sweden’s white power movement
Wow!! Head-on into a war against the spirit of racism is where we were. Pretty intense since 80% of our group out on that day were black! You see the picture?
In spite of our shocking discovery, we took time to find out more from this warm young man, genuinely interested in what he had to say.
Generally, what he told us was that:
- we (my friend and I are black) were not welcome to stay in Sweden because of our skin colour and our ethnicity.
- since we were not northern European or of closely related descent, we ought to return to our respective countries of origin.
- we are too different from ‘them’ to get along.
- they enjoyed a peace that would be jeopardised by our stay.
- they were proud of who they were and were not about to change that for us.
He spoke with great conviction but with no anger or hate undertone. I must say that I truly understood what he meant and where he was coming from. Here is a man living in the world and of the world who can only see things in the world’s eye. His frame of reference is closely linked to nazism which he brings up to somehow justify what he represents. He obviously doesn’t know or understand the spiritual realm, neither can he own up to being influenced by it…he is serving justice as he knows it.
My heart went out to him as I listened and questioned him with love. I took his flyer and then asked him if I could share the reason that we were there. He gladly obliged to my request.
I began to tell him how much we loved him/them and how much more God loved him/them, about God and His love and power that unites us together (which he thought was a euphoric perception that could never be achieved in reality), how limited man is and how unlimited God is since He created man, life in the spirit versus human effort and examples of unity in diversity among the believers in our home-group, in Smyrna International Church (down the road from where we were) and around the world. As we continued in conversation, I believe his eyes were partly opened as I perceived in the spirit and as he also made mention of his parents being believers of Jesus Christ in a manner that suggested a wanting connection.
I spoke a blessing over his life as one of his accomplices, the angry man from before, came over to kind of stop our conversation. That is when I looked around and noticed the attention we had acquired for obvious reasons, now apparent to me. Many were around us listening in on the conversation (the police included) and many others approached us wanting to know what was going on. We gladly shared the love of Jesus and the abundant life through Him. It was a very exciting and memorable day for our evangelism engagements as a home-group.
After that encounter, I took time to reflect upon some things I take for granted. Romans 8, Ephesians 2&6 and Galatians 3&4 being some of my reflections linked to this experience.
See, the truths in the Bible, the word of God, are the natural for me but sometimes I forget how much of a struggle it is for those who are not in Christ. They only know what they see with their naked eyes. They confuse human facts with the absolute truth. Or as the bible puts it, ‘they are in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces (basic principles) of the world’.
Let’s look at Galatians 3:23-28: Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
- Let us humbly remind ourselves that we are saved by grace!
- Let’s take time to share the good news and also to pray for those that are deeply rooted in advancing ‘the kingdom of the devil’ unknowingly; for their salvation and deliverance.
- Let’s remember that we are not fighting against flesh and blood…it is spiritual warfare!
- Let’s be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to know what specific spirit we are waging war against so as to engage with the right weapons of warfare.
- Let’s pray for the salvation of many. For it is only through faith in Jesus Christ can peace be achieved; that the two groups (Jews and gentiles) can be one and that the barrier can be destroyed, the dividing wall of hostility.
- Let’s spread the love of Jesus.
Have a blessed day! <3