Bible Ballistics: Vol. 9 No.08 Not Without A Fight???
Some Christians today live with a naiveté’ toward the world. Some have been led to believe that the Christian life is like a walk in a ‘rose garden’; while others have come to believe that it is a right of “childish temper tantrums” to manipulate God. Then there are those who believe that “If you’re nice to everyone, then everyone will be nice to you!” None of these are biblical perspectives of being a follower of/believer in Jesus Christ; I’d like us to consider a biblical perspective today. After all, a true biblical perspective is the one that we want to possess and live by. Let’s begin with the Psalmist’s perspective in Psalm 2.
“Why do the heathen rage,
and the people imagine a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord,
and against his anointed,
3 Let us break their bands asunder,
and cast away their cords from us.
4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh:
the Lord shall have them in derision.
5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath,
and vex them in his sore displeasure.” Psalm 2:1-5
The world is the territory of the enemy, Satan, and he is always working around us to: “steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (See John 10:10), and he is gaining ground at an alarming pace. We can’t expect the world to like us, or to be happy when we choose to follow Jesus, and the Word of God. We should understand that that while they are against God and His children, they are not our personal enemies, but the one who is the “thief” and the great “liar” is.
“Put on the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to stand against
the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle
not against flesh and blood,
but against principalities,
against the rulers of the darkness
of this world,
against spiritual wickedness
in high places.” Ephesians 6:11-12
And while men and women who are deceived by the enemy, are not the enemy, we must realize that they are under the influence of the real enemy, and will often respond to us as enemies. Jesus identifies the character of this enemy.
“Ye are of your father the devil,
and the lusts of your father ye will do.
He was a murderer from the beginning,
and abode not in the truth,
because there is no truth in him.
When he speaketh a lie,
he speaketh of his own:
for he is a liar,
and the father of it.” John 8:44
We must be aware of the enemies tactics and understand that the world will view us as the enemy, just as they see God as the enemy, yet we are to love the unlovely while standing firm against sin, with Biblical truth. Jesus changes us from the inside out, and gives us eternal life, delivering us from eternal death. It is a choice between life and death.
“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10b
The Gospel IS the Good News. And just as the light dissipates the darkness, Jesus delivers us from the “darkness” and brings us into HIS light.
“Giving thanks unto the Father,
which hath made us meet to be partakers
of the inheritance of the saints in light:
13 Who hath delivered us
from the power of darkness,
and hath translated us
into the kingdom of his dear Son:
14 In whom we have redemption
through his blood,
even the forgiveness of sins:” Colossians 1:12-14
But the darkness doesn’t like the light. And remember, Jesus said it would be this way, not me!
“He that believeth on him is not condemned:
but he that believeth not
is condemned already,
because he hath not believed
in the name
of the only begotten
Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation,
that light is come into the world,
and men loved darkness rather than light,
because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil
hateth the light,
neither cometh to the light,
lest his deeds should be reproved.” John 3:18-20
Jesus told us that this is truth, and if it was true of His life, it would be true of His children. But many don’t like to hear this part of the Gospel, the Christian life that Jesus calls us to live.
“If the world hate you,
ye know that it hated me
before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world,
the world would love his own:
but because ye are not of the world,
but I have chosen you out of the world,
therefore the world hateth you.
20 Remember the word that I said unto you,
The servant is not greater than his lord.
If they have persecuted me,
they will also persecute you;
if they have kept my saying,
they will keep yours also.
21 But all these things will they do unto you
for my name’s sake,
because they know not him
that sent me.
22 If I had not come and spoken unto them,
they had not had sin:
but now they have no cloak for their sin.
23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.” John 15:18-23
Do you see that? While Jesus tells us that we are not to consider the lost as the enemy, they will often consider us the enemy. They will hate it when we stand for Jesus, the Cross, and the Word of God, yet it is imperative that we walk in truth and power of the Lord Jesus Christ. We also must realize that we won’t always walk forward without a fight with the enemy. Just as Paul told us in Ephesians 6:12, we do “wrestle”! He didn’t say when we wrestle, if we wrestle, or we may wrestle, he said “For we wrestle”, or “because we wrestle”! It is a fact that we are in enemy territory and we will encounter opposition when we walk in obedience to The Lord and His Word. There is a fight, yet we must remember that our fighting isn’t in the flesh but in The Spirit.
“For though we walk in the flesh,
we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,
but mighty through God
to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations,
and every high thing
that exalteth itself
against the knowledge of God,
and bringing into captivity
to the obedience of Christ;” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
We can have confidence knowing that while we do “walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh”! God is our strength and power, even as Paul told us in Ephesians 6:10:
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”
In my power and strength, I am weak to say the least, but in God’s power we can be victorious overcomers.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13
I “can do all things”….. I can be victorious, but it may not always look like I think it will look. Sometimes God takes us through that “valley of the shadow of death”, but remember Jesus has overcome sin, death and hell—but that makes the enemy angry and we should expect opposition. Even more than that, we know that Jesus wins, and that means we win!!! Those who are against God cannot prevail!
“……upon this rock I will build my church;
and the gates of hell
shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18b
“My sheep hear my voice,
and I know them,
and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life;
and they shall never perish,
neither shall any man pluck them
out of my hand.
29 My Father,
which gave them me,
is greater than all;
and no man is able to pluck them
out of my Father’s hand.” John 10:27-29
A war is raging and we serve the soon coming King. How are we serving Him? Are we ready for His return? Are we ready to give an account of “every idle word”? (See Matthew 12:36)
“And I saw heaven opened,
and behold a white horse;
and he that sat upon him
was called Faithful and True,
and in righteousness he doth judge
and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire,
and on his head were many crowns;
and he had a name written,
that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed
with a vesture dipped in blood:
and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies
which were in heaven
followed him upon white horses,
clothed in fine linen,
white and clean.
15 And out of his mouth
goeth a sharp sword,
that with it
he should smite the nations:
and he shall rule them
with a rod of iron:
and he treadeth the winepress
of the fierceness and wrath
of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture
and on his thigh
a name written,
King Of Kings,
And Lord Of Lords.” Revelation 19:11:16
He IS our soon coming King, and when He comes He will “judge and make war”, although it will be a most short-lived war!!! But until that time, the nations rage against Him, and the lost and dying world will often rage against us with hatred, prejudice and persecution.
“And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” Revelation 11:18
The earth will become even more belligerent as the time draws close to the coming of The King! And the time will come when Philippians 2 will be fulfilled.
“And being found in fashion as a man,
he humbled himself,
and became obedient unto death,
even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him,
and given him a name
which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow,
of things in heaven,
and things in earth,
and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:8-11
The question isn’t, “Will you bow?” for God tells us that “every knee should bow”! The question isn’t ‘will you bow?’, but when. You will either bow before Him now as your Lord and Savior, or you will bow before Him then, as your judge. It’s your choice! He can and will save you if you call upon HIM! And those who have bowed before Him are to worship, obey and love Him, and I/we can do no less than that, because He has placed His love within us, and HE is worthy of our praise always. Paul told us that we could “give thanks in all things” and “rejoice in all things” because we belong to Jesus.
“Therefore being justified by faith,
we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith
into this grace wherein we stand,
and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so,
but we glory in tribulations also:
knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience;
and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed;
because the love of God
is shed abroad in our hearts
by the Holy Ghost
which is given unto us.
6 For when we were yet without strength,
in due time
Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die:
yet peradventure for a good man
some would even dare to die.
8 But God
commendeth his love toward us,
in that, while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us.” Romans 5:1-8
While the love of Jesus transforms all who will believe, that transformation can bring opposition. Yet we are to stand in our armor, girded up for battle and standing fast in God’s power and might. Are you ready for the battle? As I was thinking on this article, I thought about how painful “healing” can sometimes be. When a splinter comes into our body, it will fester and can make a horrendous ‘sore’, but it is the body trying to rid itself of the poison, and when that fester is lanced and the poison is expelled from the body, healing can truly take place. Healing and victory are God’s work, when we will but yield to His work in our lives.
Some of us may be in a battle, a time of trial or opposition, or something may be festering—be it a test, or a trial or even discipline for sin—whatever it is, God may be working and using this ‘fester’ to rid us of some poison, be it the past, the present trial or some other unwelcome conflict in our life and/or our body. That’s when we must seek the Father regardless of the trial that we are experiencing, or the battle that we are engaged in. We must remember that victory seldom comes without a ‘fight’ but we can truly have “Victory In Jesus”! Today and every day we can overcome, one step at a time, one day at a time. I pray right now that God will help you find the victory in your battle, whatever it may be. We win—but it may not be ‘Without A Fight’!