The Pathway to Victory
What can we do in the midst of the battle? First, we should rejoice—because the victory has already been won! This fuels our prayers and fixes our perspective.
Why have we won? Jesus tells us,
“In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33)
The greatness of the victory is determined by the depth of the struggle. God has called us to preach the Gospel to the world, and Satan knows his time is short. He is in the business of stealing people’s blessing and tricking them out of their destiny.
The serpent told Adam and Eve that eating the forbidden fruit would make them like gods—when they should have realized, “We are already in the image of God. You are telling us to disobey Him.”
In John 10:10, Jesus reveals the stark contrast between Satan’s mission and His own:
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
To be victorious, we must put on the whole armor of God, which is described by Paul in Ephesians 6:11-18 and concludes,
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…
Similarly, Paul writes in 1 Timothy 2:1,
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men.
He is not just saying, “Pray for everyone.” He is saying, “You’ve got to have supplications. You’ve got to have prayers. You’ve got to have intercessions, along with giving thanks. Why?
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (vv. 3-4)
God’s desire is for everyone to be saved. That is why He has commanded us to go into all the world and preach the Good News. And as Revelation 12:11 promises, we will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.
So, we give God thanks because that’s the pathway to victory—and we praise Him for the triumph to come. God bless you.
New Creations – Crosswalk the Devotional – January 19
by Ryan Duncan, crosswalk.com
“For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” – 1 Peter 1:23
Have you ever done something embarrassing? I know I have. In fact, you could say my entire childhood (and a good portion of my adult life) has been one long string of embarrassing moments. I am still haunted by the memory of when I threw up during my English final, or the time I tripped while skiing and caused a massive, ten-man pile-up in front of the ski lift. The worst part is your brain never lets you forget it.
The difficult news is it’s not just embarrassing moments we seem unable to forget, it’s our mistakes. Many of us have done things in our lives that we regret. We’ve acted selfishly, or violently, and other people have been hurt because of it. The Devil loves to use our past mistakes against us; they are by far his favorite weapons. He will always wait until we’re vulnerable, then take our dirty laundry and rub it in our face.
It’s at moments like these that I always turn to 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 and reminded myself about the truth behind Christ’s ministry.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” – 2 Corinthians 5: 17-19
When we choose to follow Christ, our slates are instantly wiped clean. All the mistakes we’ve made all the stupid things we’ve done, embarrassing or otherwise, no longer matter to God. We may still have to accept the consequences of our actions, but we can take comfort in knowing that in God’s sight we are new creations. So do not allow Satan to guilt you with past mistakes, you are a child of God and he will never see you as anything less.
The beatific vision
“We shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2
Suggested Further Reading: 1 Peter 1:3-9
Not think about him, and dream about him; but we shall positively “see him as he is.” How different that sight of him will be from that which we have here. For here we see him by reflection. Now, I have told you before, we see Christ “through a glass darkly;” then we shall see him face to face. Good Doctor John Owen, in one of his books, explains this passage, “Here we see through a glass darkly;” and he says that means, “Here we look through a telescope, and we see Christ only darkly through it.” But the good man had forgotten that telescopes were not invented till hundreds of years after Paul wrote; so that Paul could not have intended telescopes. Others have tried to give other meanings to the word. The fact is, glass was never used to see through at that time. They used glass to see by, but not to see through. The only glass they had for seeing was a glass mirror. They had some glass which was no brighter than our black common bottle-glass. “Here we see through a glass darkly.” That means, by means of a mirror. As I have told you, Jesus is represented in the Bible; there is his portrait; we look on the Bible, and we see it. We see him “through a glass darkly.” Just as sometimes, when you are looking in your looking glass, you see somebody going along in the street. You do not see the person; you only see him reflected. Now, we see Christ reflected; but then we shall not see him in the looking-glass; we shall positively see his person. Not the reflected Christ, not Christ in the sanctuary, not the mere Christ shining out of the Bible, not Christ reflected from the sacred pulpit; but “we shall see him as he is.”
For meditation: The sight of Jesus will distress many (Revelation 1:7); are you positively looking forward to seeing him (John 12:21)?
A Reason for Confidence
Negativity doesn’t fit who we are as God’s children—we should have confidence in our almighty Lord.
Negativity affects us in both spiritual and physical ways. Even simply spending time with a pessimistic individual can take a toll. On the other hand, positivity—especially that related to confidence in the Lord—enables us to live as our Father desires.
As God’s children, we have every reason to live with assurance. His very presence is permanently within us, and He has granted us His peace, which passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7). In addition, He promises to provide for our needs and empower us to obey and serve Him.
Sometimes, however, we have trouble accepting and living in these spiritual blessings. When that’s the case, we should purposefully take steps to develop confidence in our all-powerful God. This begins with meditating on His Word and drawing near to Him in prayer. As we grow in our understanding of the Lord and His promises, our faith is strengthened and confidence in Him increases.
The world is full of distrust, fear, and uncertainty. Don’t allow yourself to be influenced by negative messages that take your eyes off Christ. Focus on the truth of Scripture and put your confidence in almighty God. Facing each day with His strength will drive away doubt and anxiety.
Bible in One Year: Exodus 10-12