THIS WEEK: A Mission-Minded Person Knows their Opposition!
The demons Jesus encountered in the synagogue of Capernaum asked this question:
“What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” (Mark 1:24)
That’s exactly what Jesus came to do. Destroy Satan and his demons.
It wasn’t “smack” talk before a game that Jesus had to intimidate his opposition and the demons were wondering if he was serious. He was absolutely serious. He was on mission from heaven to fight AND win. The Apostle John put it this way:
1 John 3:8 The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.
Jesus wasn’t sent from heaven by his Father with the words, “Son, I know Satan is a tough opponent. So give it your all and see IF you can win.”
No Jesus was sent with a single focus. Go. Fight. Win.
Losing was not an option. Why? Lives…eternal lives were at stake. Yours and mine included.
The writer to the Hebrews put it his way:
Hebrews 2:14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
Jesus did come to destroy the trio of enemies we face: Sin. Death. The power of the devil.
He gave it his all, even his life on a cross to secure victory for each of us. His perfect life? Victory over our imperfection of sin. His innocent death on the cross? Secured victory over the punishment sin and Satan brought to us. His glorious resurrection? Defeated death once and for all. We too will live.
Why? So we too can go, fight, and win!
The Spirit of God lives in us to give us the same power Jesus has over sin, death and the devil so we can fight temptation, overcome fear, and stay faithful to the point of death. How? Do what the Apostle Paul encourages: Put on the armor of God!
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
The Opposition, Satan, isn’t going away until we are safe in heaven. But we can fight with confidence and strength because the power of the Lord is on our side!
1 Corinthians 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Apply: What piece of the armor of God do you forget to put on or use on a regular basis? Mentally make a note to ask the Spirit of God to help you put it on each day!
PRAYER: Lord, thank you for exposing our opposition, defeating our opposition, and giving us the power over our opposition. With your help and the Spirit’s strength, help us to destroy Satan’s influence in our hearts and lives with the power of your Word, the truth of your love, and the joy of life with you! AMEN.
Passage and Prayer for the Ministry of Cross & Crown:
Friday – February 5 – Romans 10:14-15
“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, ‘How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!’”
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, we exist to bring Your good news to the world and to live out that good news in all we do as witnesses of Your redeeming power. Thank You for choosing to use broken vessels to bring the grace of Your love for broken people. May we not be afraid of our weaknesses, but give them to You that You might be our strength.