My friend texted me the video below of the explosions happening in Ukraine, and at first, I was a little apprehensive to watch it, because I’m always getting tons of videos that try to alarm me, and upset me with clickbait.
But the Holy Spirit prompted me to watch the video, and when I did it compelled me to look a little deeper into the issue, and a little deeper into the human heart. What we see happening is nothing new, but how should one respond to it, and what perspective should one keep?
Don’t Lose Eternal Perspective
In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “ Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men”. It’s a sad thing that President Vladimir Putin has decided to invade Ukraine on illegitimate causes  https://theconversation.com/putins-claims-that-ukraine-is-committing-genocide-are-baseless-but-not-unprecedented-17751 thus causing thousands of people to be displaced, and seek refuge in neighboring countries. Yet, I still have compassion for the man because Jesus tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44-45). As Christians, we understand that there is a spiritual battle being fought in the hearts of our enemies causing them to respond the way they do. But, this doesn’t mean we ignore their evil actions or neglect standing up for the truth. Turning the other cheek doesn’t mean turning a blind eye. We should stand up against evil in order to deter people from harming themselves or innocent people. Proverbs 31:8-9 says, “ Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” Jesus came to set the oppressed free (Luke 4:18). We must not lose perspective that there is a war going on in Putin’s heart, yet we must not ignore his evil actions or neglect standing up to deter him from committing war crimes that not only affect Ukrainians negatively but Russians too. We must keep in perspective that there are spiritual forces at work pulling the strings on every leader’s heart, and that’s why it’s important to pray. Putin is traveling on the wrong path that so many misguided leaders have walked on by thinking that power will solve the problem. Not realizing that no matter how much power you get, if you don’t know the power of Jesus Christ to save your soul from destruction, then everything you worked for will be lost. In the words of Jesus, “ What is it for a man to gain the whole world, but lose his soul?”(Mark 8:36).
In the book of James, it says, “ Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. ( James 4:1-4, NKJV ). Becoming an enemy of God means that you love the things in this world so much ( money, power, sex…etc ) that you are willing to kill in order to get them. I fear for Russia’s soul, and the position they are taking against God by trying to gain more wealth through war.
The Evil Path of Jezebel
National pride, and fighting on false pretenses to take over someone’s land is evil and follows the path of Jezebel who paid two scoundrels to bring false charges against Naboth and kill him in order to take his land ( 1 King 21). I’m disheartened that Putin and his people have taken this path of Jezebel by making claims that the Ukrainians are anti-semitic ( when the president of Ukraine is Jewish) and accusing the Ukrainians of genocide towards some of their own people. I searched for records on this and couldn’t find it verified by any legitimate news source. This is disheartening, because I really want to believe Putin, and believe that he has a legitimate cause for striking out. Yet, even a Russian independent news source condemns Putin’s claims of a genocide of the Eastern Ukrainian people  https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2022/02/23/genocide-and-nuclear-bombs-putins-unfounded-claims-a76543. People who make up false accusations in order to land grab will not go unpunished by God, and they are enemies of God following the path of Jezebel.
Conclusion: Pray for Both Sides
What’s happening in Ukraine is sad. Yet, it is a real-life example of the evils in our world that rule the hearts of those in power. Nevertheless, Putin and leaders like him before are mere men before God. When pride blocks their perspective they not only hurt themselves but a lot of people end up dead for no good reason. I pray for Ukraine, but I also pray for Russia because people are dying on both sides of the war, and the devil wants more souls to drag to hell. God loves Russians, just as much as he loves the Ukrainians, Americans, Africans, Asians, and all the people of the world! For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that WHOEVER believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). I pray that Putin who is the aggressor in this war learns from the wisdom of the Bible, and take heed to the words of Jesus “ What is it for a man to gain the whole world, but lose his soul?”( Mark 8:36 ) and not just him, but that’s for all of us.
Therefore I pray for Ukrainians that they will be successful in warding off this evil invasion, but I also pray for the Russians, and for Putin to see the light before it is too late for their souls.
Michael aka “Malan Jones” is a worship leader, writer, artist, and producer born in Georgia but now resides in Tucson where he creates music and videos that proclaim the gospel. He has a B.A. in Film and Media Arts from the University of Tampa and an M.A. in Christian Leadership from Grand Canyon University.