by Pastor Mark Jordan
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:7-8, NIV)
This week we have explored aspects and elements of spiritual warfare. We’ve looked at how it is real; Satan’s goal is to distract and deceive; and how evil does have power, but nothing compared to God. As we conclude this series today, I want us to consider the victory we enjoy in Jesus.
Think back to the day we know as Good Friday. This is when Jesus went to the cross to die for the sins of all humankind. That was the day that evil thought it struck its greatest victory against God, seeing Jesus die on the cross as the hands of sinful people. That moment, though, proved God’s love for us as Jesus died, because the ultimate victory wasn’t the cross, but the empty tomb on Resurrection Sunday! That power, the power of death defeated, is what claims the victory for you and me today. God brings victorious life through the suffering we each are called to endure.
So how does this relate to spiritual warfare? Are we called to suit up and run into battle? I can’t say exhaustively, “no,” because there are people God calls to be warriors to take on the fight for others. In the broadest understanding, however, we get the answer in today’s verse: submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee, and as he does, draw close to God who is drawing close to you. Ultimately, spiritual warfare is not about a technique to defeat Satan or demons, but a heart that walks closely with God. When God is first and foremost in our lives, Satan lacks power over us, despite his attempts to weaken our efforts to pursue Christ.
So may this be your battle cry! Don’t draw a sword made of steel, but the Sword of the Spirit (Scripture). Draw near to God. Draw on His power and provision. Draw on His power and provision. Draw on His strength and protection. Jesus doesn’t just bring the victory…He IS the victory!
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for being my victory. Forgive me the times I fixate on the suffering as opposed to the salvation…on the violence and not the victory. I know you are my victory, so I draw close to you to watch the devil the flee like the vermin he is. I pray this in the victoriously powerful name of Jesus. Amen.