WE DON’T FIGHT FOR VICTORY, WE FIGHT FROM VICTORY.
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4.4)
“For everyone born of God overcomes the world… Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (1 John 5.4)
“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” (Revelation 12.11)
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4.7)
Jesus has already won the victory… victory over death, victory over sin, victory over condemnation, victory over powers of darkness, victory over sickness, victory over pain… JESUS HAS ALREADY WON THE VICTORY!
As long as we fight, we will win. We fight from Christ’s victory. Write the above verses in your journals multiple times. Memorize them and let the reality of what Christ has accomplished for us sink into your mind, heart and soul. According to these verses, proclaim who you are and what you have in Christ.
Let’s pray: “Lord, I believe that Jesus is the Son of God! Jesus, you have overcome the world. I stand on your victory! Nothing can overcome me when I stand on your victory! In Jesus’ name, Amen.” Let’s sing “Victory is Yours” by Bethel (click here)
“We Must Respect Our Foe but Not Fear Him… we must become acutely aware of his methods but not be preoccupied with them… we give him too much credit—or give God too little credit—if we fear him… Our preoccupation should be entirely on God and not on our adversary or ourselves. We do, however, need to be aware of the enemy’s strategies. Like the defense preparing for the Super Bowl, we can prepare for demonic attacks…
“When we read these passages about Satan’s activity, however, it’s clear that the issues are usually things like unwillingness to forgive, bitterness, anger, deceived minds, and any other attitude that can break a marriage, split a church, cause depression, turn people inward, and destroy our bodies with ulcers and anxieties… things we encounter every day. That makes our knowledge of the invisible war a necessary and practical understanding for getting through normal life situations.” (C. Ingram, The Invisible War)
Paul talks about forgiveness with the Corinthian church “in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2.11).
Examine your life like a football coach looking at game film. In what areas of your life can you perceive the enemy’s influence? Unusually disturbing circumstances at work? Constant strife and quarrelling in important relationships? Inexplicable feelings of inadequacy leaving you paralyzed? Disturbing stray thoughts while reading God’s Word?
Don’t be outwitted. Proclaim God’s truth and worship the Lord with the help of His Spirit – let’s sing “Surrounded” by Upper Room (click here).
“The cross of Christ is the pivotal point of salvation history. This is true, not only in the sense that Christ made satisfaction for sin through his blood, but also in the fact that Christ won a decisive victory over the evil powers… The death and resurrection of Christ marks the beginning of their demise. Christ won a once-and-for-all victory over the powers with eternal repercussions…
“God Disarmed the Powers. Christ’s death and resurrection deprived the evil forces of any effective power against himself or the members of his body, the church…
“How did Christ’s death and resurrection accomplish this disarming? Precisely because the powers could not deter Christ from making a satisfaction for sin. By offering his life and spilling his blood, Christ could extend forgiveness of sin to his people. The powers thus lost their chief mechanism for holding people in bondage…
“The strongest weapon in Satan’s arsenal [death] was not sufficient for conquering Christ. Neither will it prove sufficient for destroying his people.” (C. Arnold, Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul’s Letters)
“When you were dead in your sins… God made you alive with Christ… And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” (Colossians 2.13, 15)
Let’s pray: “Lord, help us to grasp how great Your victory on the cross truly was and what it means for us today!” Let us worship and be in amazement of our Savior! Let’s sing “The Cross Has the Final Word” by Cody Carnes. (click here)
Spiritual warfare is a part of the normal Christian life. Christians must appropriately engage in it without being dismissive nor paranoid.
“Whatever you were before you became a Christian… you are now the sworn foe of the legions of hell. Have no delusions about their reality or their hostility. But do not fear them. The God inside you terrifies them. They cannot touch you, let alone hurt you. But they can still seduce and they will try. They will also oppose you as you obey Christ… ‘Resist the devil… and he will flee from you’ (James 4.7). Life with Jesus can be an exhilarating and reassuring experience of constant triumph over evil forces. But the battle never ends…
“[The enemy’s] interest in you has nothing to do with you as an individual so much as with your potential for Christ’s cause… To God you are very important. But to Satan you are nothing more than a potentially useful microbe. But microbe or no he can hurt you. He and his hellions will damage you along one or more of four lines: They will tempt, they will accuse, they will deceive and they will devour.” (J. White, The Fight)
“So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper.” (James 4.7 MSG)
Let’s pray: “Lord, we belong to You and choose to live in Your victory today!” Yell a loud no to the Devil by singing loudly the praises of our God! Let’s sing “Not Today” by Hillsong. (click here)
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
“The disciples are lights in the world, not calling attention to themselves but pointing the way of God. They obtain their light from the One who is the Light of the world. This visibility and service is expressed by Jesus in two illustrations: the city on the mountain and the candle placed on the lampstand. The light dispels darkness simply by being present. As one has said, ‘It does little good to curse the darkness; one should light a candle.’ And the motive is to illuminate the way of God for others, that by seeing our good works they may glorify God.” (Stuart Briscoe, The Preacher’s Commentary)
When I consider my story in Christ, it’s through individuals that I experienced God’s love and power and my life was changed. We are called to be influencers for Christ, to shine His light, reveal His love and illuminate God’s way for others. This is an amazing purpose and a calling!
Think of someone who has influenced you for Christ. What are some ways they illuminated God’s way for you? Would you be that person for someone else?
Pray: Father, use us for your glory. May our lives illuminate God’s way for others around us. In Jesus Name, Amen.
1 You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water. 2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you. 4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands. 5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
“There comes a point in the lives of many of us when only an intimate relationship with God will satisfy. Many traditional Christians, including evangelicals, go through life with a low sense of spiritual vitality. Our days are largely consumed with secular pursuits. Prayer and Bible reading are one-a-day ‘fast food’ items. ‘Real life’ is not life in the Spirit, but life in the flesh. It is reaching here and there, doing this and that, and fitting in Christian activity largely to meet our social needs. We may close the night in prayer as a ‘spiritual glaze’ over our real interests, but there is no manifest heart-hunger for God.” (Stuart Briscoe. The Preacher’s Commentary)
What are some of the ways we are ruining our appetite for God’s presence and purpose?
Spend time today worshipping to “In Over My Head” by Jenn Johnson and surrender your life to Him. (To listen click here)
10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
The good works that Paul is talking about here are works that are tied to our eternal destiny in Christ. When we grow more and more knowing the true value of our lives, who we are, how we are God’s handiwork, we see that our works have eternal impact on those we come in contact with. What may seem insignificant or common can have eternal impact on someone’s life.
Let’s watch the testimony and consider how Edward came alive as He aligned his life and work to His purpose. (click here)
How we live this out His purpose may look different in our day to day but that purpose that comes from knowing who we are gives meaning to everything. It doesn’t matter whether you are a student, educated or not, working professional, parent, single, married, social status, background, etc. In Christ, we have this all-consuming purpose to love God and to love others.
Spend a moment in prayer asking God to make us alive as we participate in His purpose!
12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
“Step 1 to knowing God’s story is having a front row view of God’s mercy. God’s mercy reminds us that we have escaped death. When you escape death, you expect people to live differently. Jesus spared us from death! The most appropriate, reasonable thing you can do with your life is to live differently. Rather than using our lives for wrong purpose, we have been set apart for His purpose. God has taken common human beings to make us holy, uncommon for His glory. This world has a pattern that cycles. Do not conform to the pattern of this world. When we are connected to the Creator of all things, we are set free! Be renewed in your mind to understand what God’s will looks like. Let’s fight to think differently about life everyday.” Adapted from 2019 Fall College Conference.
What is one area in your life that needs to be aligned to His will?
Let’s spend time today worshipping to “Surrounded” by Upper Room. (To listen click here)
Pray for breakthrough in that area that is hindering your from living out His purpose.
Psalm 57:2 (NLT) 2 I cry out to God Most High,
to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.
“Often the search for purpose, meaning, significance begins with us. We look at our desires, our talents. We look within. One of the lies we believe is we think we could create our own stories. For us, it’s about understanding God’s story, the gospel story. We don’t create anything. We discover it. In order to do so, we need to immerse ourselves in God’s Word. Give God’s Word a chance to change you from inside out. Let’s allow ourselves to be affected by His Word.” Adapted from 2019 Fall College Conference.
Watch these video testimonies from the Bible App. (click here)
Today, in the Bible App, listen to either John 1 or Romans 8 multiple times if you can. Let’s be immersed in His truth!
Father, we don’t want to create our own story. We cry out to you! We turn to you! Reveal to us Your story. We trust that You will fulfill your purpose for us. In Jesus name, Amen.
1 John 4:16-19 (ESV) 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us.
“He does not say, as we might expect, that we look away from ourselves and simply trust in God’s all-powerful, all-conquering love. No. He says that ‘just as he is, so are we within this world’. What does that mean? He means, it seems, that if God revealed himself in the world by turning his love into flesh and blood, when we do the same we should realize that we are ‘completing’ God’s love. What will be operating through us will be the true love of the true God. When that happens, there is no need to fear any longer. Love that has been made complete in this way leaves no room for fear. Once you learn to give yourself to others as God gave himself to us, there is nothing to be afraid of any more, just a completed circle of love.” (NT Wright, The Early Christian Letters for Everyone)
Love and fear are polar opposites. Even more so, we see in 1 John 4:18 that perfect love casts out fear. “Perfect love” does not mean a love that does the “right thing;” rather, as NT Wright explains, it is love that responds to Jesus’ love by giving itself in the exact same way. It might be more aptly translated as “completed love.”
– Are there opportunities in your life to drive out fears, by stepping into “completed love” expressed to others around you?
Let’s worship to the song “Not Afraid” (click here), performed by Jesus Culture.