FIGHTING THE DEVIL

The Devil wants to bring the fight to him, on his turf, his battlefield where his armaments are lies, pride, greed, power and violence. We cannot win on that field.

When the serpent talked with Eve. She had not the weapons or she did not know how to use them to fight the adversary.She and her husband thereby succumbed to every tool at the devil’s disposal. Their own will for power was greater than their desire for God’s will for them.

Take Jesus in the wilderness, honing his skills for the day of battle when the evil one would present Jesus with power and success and a kingdom of sorts. And each time Jesus was ‘tempted’ he responded with God’s word. Oh the devil knows the word of God but Jesus knew the author. And though a tough fight Jesus emerged the victor.

When the devil invites us to his battlefield we bring that whole battlefield before our Lord and Maker and we say ‘No, Satan, no power you have can match the love, the wisdom and finally the power of the living God. Be gone.

2Cor. 10 …For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

There are people who want trouble from us and our natural inclination is to use our muscle, our guns, our military and physical strategies to defeat the enemy but Paul above says that we have within us all the power, spiritual power we need to destroy the fortresses of the enemies. And we have the secret intelligence that Christ is on the side of the humble and contrite. Pride is the one weakness, the Achilles heel, if you will, of those who think they belong to Christ.

In this fight with ISIS, who appears to be the devil incarnate for this season, we need the faithful people to come together to raise up a mighty army of believers from Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, to put on all the armor that Paul says belongs to us.

The armor of faith, the word of God, the shoes to run and tell the Good News. The breastplate of righteousness is wonderfully thick when we follow God’s way. It will stop the fiery darts.

What’s that line in A Mighty Fortress is our God? One little word shall fell him.

His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
one little word shall fell him.

 That word is the Lord. It is faith. It is yes to peace.

Be gone Satan.

 Let the world bow before God to ask for his righteousness and deliverance.

 

KING OF THE WORLD

Let’s be clear. This world does not belong to Satan, the devil or any other powers and principalities. We may be fighting against their miserable terrorism (Ephesians 6) and they might be called the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2) and even ‘prince of the world’ (John 14) but make no mistake his princely crown is paper and the lie of his lips is that the world somehow belongs to him (Matthew 4- the temptation of Jesus.)

But King Jesus is the ruler of all empires of this world. In fact it’s why his disciples and Paul often got into trouble because they claimed there was another King, Jesus, and the Romans didn’t take kindly to such a proclamation. (Acts 17)

And the disciple John made it clear that greater is the Christ in you and me than any power in this world. (1John4)

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem to his own death he was coming on a donkey as a King, the King of the world, the universe, King to dethrone any powers that might think to be somehow rulers of this creation. He was taking his rightful place as King.

He tells his disciples in John 16 that though they will have tribulation in the world they don’t have to be afraid because he has overcome the world. And through faith in this same Christ we are the ‘overcomers’ with him. His faith given to us is our assurance of victory.

So when the day does not go well for you or the forces of darkness are surrounding your life you simply tell them in the most biblical sense, ‘go to hell’. ‘Be gone.’ We serve a risen King, a powerful Emperor, a sovereign God and nothing will separate us from his love. Nothing. Nada. Zip. No other ruler can make that claim or keep that promise.

And if you feel as if you life is falling apart at the moment you remember that just when the whole world seemed as though it was falling, at the crucifixion, God was doing his mightiest act of salvation and good for his own glory and to make sure that you and know that no matter what is going on we are his children.

So let’s take this day and celebrate what it means to be a child of God with joy and happiness.

And since mothers’ and fathers’ day is coming let’s rejoice that God who acts the most loving of both cradles us in his arms. You tell the devil that, or anybody who thinks to mess with you this or any other day. Amen.