So many things were racing through my mind reflecting on people talking so much about the enemy and the evil spirits. I had hit the bed earlier than usual as I was dozing off. People who know me well know that I’m pretty much an owl, a night person. However despite all that I couldn’t sleep. Why do people who are believers give too much of credit to the enemy? Why do we ‘fear’ him so much and think of him as in control? Why do we always talk about his ‘tempting’ us?
My thoughts went to God’s Word. I thought of Job who God Himself had suggested to Satan who had been to and fro earth to consider him. Before this God Himself had said Job was righteous. Then I thought of Jesus telling Peter that Satan has asked to sift him and the other apostles like wheat. Jesus continued saying that His prayer was that Peter’s faith may not FAIL. He then asked Peter to strengthen his brothers after he turned back. It was interesting that Jesus identified Peter to be the one to pull up the rest of the others, Jesus knew Peter’s faith wouldn’t fail.
After Jesus ‘died’ the 12 minus one were scattered going back to where they were previously, before Christ. However, when Jesus appeared to them before ascending to heaven, He re-instated Peter after questioning him THREE times whether Peter loved Jesus. In the first two instances Jesus used the term ‘agapeo’ which means love in the moral or social sense. On the third instance, He used the term ‘phileo’ which is love as a friend denoting a personal attachment. Jesus wanted Peter to not just love HIM in a moral or social sense but to be a friend, have a personal attachment. He gave Peter the responsibility to feed His lamb and sheep. Jesus made it clear that the lamb and sheep were HIS. God’s people don’t belong to the pastors but rather His and the pastors are ‘stewards’ of HIS people and thus are answerable to God for the way they treat each person God places in their care. If they kick people out, then God will hold them accountable for that too.
Jesus wanted Peter to have a personal attachment with Him. He made it possible for not only Peter and the apostles but for us too to have an intimate relationship with God by dying on that cross. The enemy doesn’t hold power over us who believe in Jesus because of the work on the cross – Jesus’s death and resurrection and ascension to heaven was NOT IN VAIN. There has been VICTORY over the enemy. The gap has been bridged now.
Yes the enemy will be completely DESTROYED on Judgment day. Satan who was thrown out of heaven along with his angels, who tumbled onto earth will soon tumble into the eternal fire of hell. However in this interim period, we do have POWER over the evil one.
Was anyone ‘tested’ or ‘tempted’ or ‘sifted like wheat’ after Jesus returned to His rightful place next to the Father? Is there any mention of that in any of the books of the Bible after the gospels?
Yes there is a STRUGGLE…
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 – Ephesians 6:12
Yes there WILL be trouble on earth – Jesus Himself said that. There are times God ALLOWS certain trials and difficulties for a purpose no doubt. Despite the trouble Jesus reassures us not to be afraid, that He gives us His peace!
Yes, the enemy is prowling around like a lion wanting to devour!
Yet the Scriptures tell us not give the enemy a foothold. What do we care if he is putting up a roar? Can he even touch us when we are covered by the blood of Jesus? Isn’t the ROAR of the Lion of Judah much more victorious than that? Are we not the temple of THE LIVING God?
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds – 2 Corinthians 10:4
Do you BELIEVE that? No stronghold is strong enough to keep us down!
The flesh and the Spirit are in conflict with one another. Those who live in the flesh gratify the desires of the flesh. Many of us live in the flesh and we happily give the enemy the ‘credit’ for where we ourselves have slacked or faltered instead of ‘crucifying the flesh’.
If we were loving God with all our heart, soul and mind we will be led along the narrow path by the Holy Spirit. We may stumble but our hearts will be convicted when we do so and we will SPRING BACK onto the NARROW path? The more we love HIM the lesser we can stay on the broad road that leads to anywhere but heaven!
Scripture also tells us to take up the FULL armour of God. God has made it all available to us. Are we going to take it up, equip ourselves and march forward in expectation as His soldiers?
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power – 1 Corinthians 4:20
Are you going to live in fear of the enemy and his fake USELESS so called power or are you going to rise with faith in God’s power and live in that VICTORY? God is asking you today “My dear child do you sincerely believe in Jesus? Do you believe in the cross? Do you believe in what was accomplished by His death, resurrection and ascension? If you believed will you really live giving UNDUE credit to the enemy? Do you love Me with ALL your heart, ALL your soul, ALL your mind and ALL your strength?”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord – Romans 8:37-39