Thursday, November 3, 2016

The All-Important IF

Spiritual warfare, and the tactics of the enemy of our souls, has been on my mind a lot lately. This ministry of intercession and recruiting people to pray is one that the devil particularly dislikes, so it's a frequent target.

This morning, I read the account of the temptation of Jesus in Matthew 4. You probably know this passage. Jesus had just completed forty days of prayer and fasting in the wilderness. The devil came to him three times with temptations. Every one of the temptations began with the taunt "IF". If you're the Son of God.

I hadn't thought much about that word until today, when I finally realized that there was no "if" in the equation. Jesus knew He was the Son of God. So did the devil. 

The enemy was simply taunting Jesus by questioning the truth they both knew. In a way, he was saying to Jesus, "How sure are you?"

It's the same tactic he uses with us. If you've been made free from ... prove it by... If you're a child of God... If you have authority... 

Jesus, however, has already countered the attack. "If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:36) "If any man is in Christ, He is a new creature." (2 Cor. 5:17) "Behold, I have given you authority over... all the power of the enemy..."(Luke 10:19)

The enemy may stand against us, our faith, and our work, but, IF the words of Christ are true, the enemy can only have victory if we concede defeat in a battle that Jesus has already won.

Our victory in battles of spiritual warfare depends on how well we know the words of Christ and how certain we are of their veracity.

If the words are Christ are true... and they are, we can stake our lives (and all our battles) on that truth. He died, was buried, and rose again to defeat sin and death. To conquer the grave. To deliver the fatal, crushing blow to the head of the serpent, the enemy of our soul. 

We serve a victorious king and we have a defeated enemy.

No matter what lies he whispers today, let's resist. Stand firm. Remember Whose we are and Who has won the victory. Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Battles will come. Struggles are inevitable. Defeat is entirely optional. We have a conquering King and we fight, not in our own power, but in His. 

"Take heart. I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
In case you missed yesterday's post, here's the link: Breaking the Burn Ban and Taming the Fire of Hell
Other posts you may have missed: A Month of Gratitude: The One Who Always Keeps His Promises and When Good Comes From Evil
#warfare #spiritualwarfare