12 When it was day, the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves under a curse: neither to eat nor to drink until they had killed Paul.13 There were more than 40 who had formed this plot. (Acts 23:12-13, HCSB)
The internet has really changed things. Before the web, hearing a conspiracy theory was somewhat rare and exciting. Now we can spread conspiracy theories with a mouse click…without taking five extra seconds to confirm or bust a rumor, we send it to our friends-list. But not everything is a conspiracy, of course. Isaiah said: 12 “Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it (Isaiah 8:12 (NIV). Maybe the Malaysian jetliner really did crash in the ocean…
If you know me at all, you know I have a bit of a cynical side to me…I’m sometimes a bit distrusting of the motives of others. It’s not that I’m a pessimist per se, just more of a disappointed optimist. Nevertheless, I’m not one to usually buy into conspiracy theories.
I think Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I think NASA really landed men on the moon. I don’t believe the US government is hiding aliens at Area 51. I don’t believe that Jesus really faked his crucifixion and started a family with Mary Magdalene. I’m not sure whether Donald Trump’s hair is part of a secret government experiment or not.
But sometimes, like with Paul, there really is a conspiracy. It’s defined as an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.
Not everything is a conspiracy, but there is one that is always at work against you: your own flesh and your enemy. Like some nefarious auto-immune disease, your fleshly, sin-nature will lead you to things that are harmful. Your enemy, in the meantime, is more than happy to put these temptations in your path. Together, they are bound under a curse for your demise. Here’s Peter’s strategy to fight the conspiracy: 8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings (1 Peter 5:8-9, NIV).
Holy Spirit build our faith that you might overcome our flesh, help us resist the enemy, and help us connect to the body of Christ, in Jesus’ name!