Thursday, July 23, 2015

He is Greater

    One of the things I have seen quite a bit of in traditionalist Christian circles is the idea that the world is something that is to be innately feared. If you get a job outside the home, you'll be tainted. If you date, you'll be tainted. If you go away to college or to a secular school, you'll become worldly. There's just something about "the world" that is irresistible.

    What I hate about statements like these above is that we give the Devil more power than he really has. In Christ, we have victory over sin, death, and the world. The world is something to be combated, not feared. And when we respond with fear of the world, we retreat from the real battle in a desperate attempt to "hold the current line" rather than attempt to take Jesus beyond our defense and beyond the comfortable places into enemy territory. He is perfectly capable of being my strength.

    When Jesus sends out His 70 followers in Lk. 10, we see something interesting happen. He gives long instructions regarding how they are to behave and believe in v. 2-16, but v. 17 has a very interesting occurrence. "And the seventy returned with joy, saying, 'Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.'" 

    I love this verse. You can just see the astonishment (it says they came back with joy) on their faces as they tell Jesus, "Wait a sec! Even the devils are subject to us when we are in You!" It's as if they hadn't put together yet that Jesus' power was greater than that of the Devil.

    But I wonder if we don't do the same thing. When we respond in fear to the Devil and to the "world", are we not giving the Devil power over us that he doesn't really have? If Jesus is now Lord of my life, I have the strength through Him to stand strong over the world and the Devil. So the world is no longer something to be feared, but to be conquered for Jesus!

    V. 18 shows Jesus telling His followers what sounds like a gentle rebuke by pointing out that He was there when Satan fell from heaven. That's something we may know in our head during theology class, but it's a whole nother thing to get a grasp of that during the trials and temptations.

    Jesus is greater than the Devil. And Jesus, through us, is the conqueror of the world. We are no longer weaklings, forced to constantly hide from the world in order to keep from being overwhelmed by the temptations it offers. Rather, in the strength of our Savior, the power of an almighty God is in me. And He is greater than the world.

    When we respond in fear to the Devil, we give him more power than he really possesses. He doesn't actually have the power to rule our lives; but when we respond to his temptations with fear, we give him credit for power he does not possess.

    Who we serve is greater. We serve the God who threw Satan out of heaven. We serve the God who freed us from Satan at the cross. We serve the God who will ultimately consign Satan to an eternity of hell. We win. We win through Christ. And the devil does not have the power to stop us. Satan is not to be feared. The world is not to be feared. It is to be fought, because we serve its conqueror! And He uses us, His lambs, to mock all the powers of earth and hell, because He reigns in us. We are little lambs, with the faces of lions, because of the mighty, all-consuming power of God in us.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for this encouraging post!

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    1. Hey, thanks for coming by again! Nice to see you over here, and thanks for the encouraging comment!

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