#201 "You May Be In A Battle, But The War Has Been Won!"
May 31, 2011
"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him." (2 Corinthians 2: 14)
For six or seven weeks I've been doing a Bible study called "Duty or Delight" by Tammie Head. (http://www.lifeway.com/product/005429354/#) To say it's been outstanding and transformational would be an understatement. Anyway, check it out if you're looking for some structured Bible study time this summer. Schedules change in these hot months and we lean a little bit toward rest, relaxation and vacations. We should never choose the R&R and vacation route when it comes to God's Word. Be purposeful about staying in the Word in these coming months, and if you need something to keep you focused, definitely check out "Duty or Delight".
As I walked through week six of Tammie's study, she led me to an old familiar passage of Scripture in Ephesians 6. You know the place, I'm sure. I hope it's familiar to you too. It's the passage about putting on the armor of God. Riiight....that's the one!
You can check out the study to find out Tammie's take on it, and by the way...awesome! But right in the middle of the week God showed me something that just leapt off the pages of my Bible. I love the Word! I love how you can read the same passages over and over again through the years, and suddenly you see something you've never seen before. Scripture truly is "living and active" (Hebrews 4:12). It's so fun to connect the dots and have a new revelation.
Are you ready for a little Bible Study?
First of all, you need to understand that you are in a war. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have an enemy. Your enemy, the devil, schemes and devises detailed, well thought out methods to destroy you. You may even feel like the battle is particularly fierce in your life today. That's because it is! Revelation 12:12 tells us that "he [the devil] is full of fury, because he knows that his time is short." Your enemy's days are numbered and he is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5: 8) You and me!
Your battle may manifest itself in your marriage, problems on your job, troubled children, relational strife, financial difficulties, illness, or a host of other situations that have you beside yourself today. But in reality, those situations are being controlled by something else. If we could see supernaturally, we would witness a battle going on around us that rivals anything we see in Iraq or Afghanistan. It's a battle against an adversary that hates you and has unseen forces trained to hit you with a fatal blow. Their aim is your soul, your faith, your confidence in God and your very life.
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6: 12)
Pretty scary, huh? It will be very scary if we only look at life through what is visible to our naked eye. But fear has no hold on us when see what is going on in our lives through supernatural eyes; through the eyes of the Spirit. Put your spiritual glasses on and hang on to your hat.
When Tammie brought me to Ephesians 6:12 in the study, four words stood out to me. "In the heavenly realms." It was then that I remembered one of my Scripture memory verses found at the beginning of that same book, Ephesians, in chapter one. This is why I believe it is of utmost importance to know your Bible. I can't encourage Scripture memorization enough. Watch this.
"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 1: 18-20)
Where are the powers and authorities and forces of evil? _____________________
Friend, where is Christ seated? __________________________________
Your Bible may use the words, "in high places" or "in heavenly places", but the same words are used in Ephesians 1: 18-20, and in Ephesians 6: 12, whatever translation you have.
While all of the forces of evil dwell in the heavenly realms, God the Father has seated Christ Jesus in those very same heavenly realms.
What is Christ doing?
Standing Lying down Running Sitting
Christ is seated in the heavenly realms. The Greek word is kathizo and means that He is sitting in a position of authority on the throne of God. I believe He is also seated because one sits when one is done. Christ is done. It is finished. He has done the work. He has won the victory. He is seated at the right hand of God in the heavenly realms. Those forces prowling around in those same realms, and prowling around in the shadows surrounding your life, can do you no harm. They can't touch you without the express permission of God who is right there watching them, listening to them, and either giving them permission for His own perfect reasons, or rendering them powerless against you. He's right there!
**If you want to explore this further, read Job 1 and 2.
Now, watch this.
Fill in the blank:
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the ________________, against the _______________ of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
Turn to Colossians 2: 9-10 and 15, and fill in the blanks.
"For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every _____________ and _____________." (vs. 9-10)
"And having disarmed the _______________ and ________________, he made a public spectacle of them triumphing over them by the cross." (v. 15)
Who is Christ head over?________________________________________.
How many of them?_________________________
Who did he disarm and make a public spectacle of?_______________________
Christ is head over EVERY power and authority in the heavenly realms where He is seated at the right hand of the Father, because by His Cross, He made a public spectacle of them all! He disarmed every last one of them and they cannot harm you. Are you seeing with your Spirit eyes what you could never see with your natural eyes before?
This is truth, precious one! This is where our faith must be our eyes, as we fix them on what is unseen, not on what is seen.
The battle you're fighting today is not against your spouse, your child, the mortgage company, your boss or the illness inside of your body that is trying to take your life. It's not against difficult people or traumatizing acts leveled against you, or that ache in your heart that you wake up to each and every morning. Your battle is against spiritual forces in heavenly places, but the triumphant, magnificent, all powerful, holy, perfect Son of the Living God has beaten each and every one of those powers and authorities. He is right there. Those forces can never get out of hand or out of control. You have no reason to ever be afraid. You will never really lose because Jesus has won the victory for you. You have everything that you need in Him to never let the enemy utterly take you down or out. You may be in a battle today, but Jesus has won the war!
Right now you may feel like you are losing every battle that comes your way. You may feel that the enemy has caught you and you will never be free. I pray that by doing this little bible study today you may renew your mind with the truth that the Lord Jesus has won your victory for you. I know it seems like you will never taste the sweetness of the win, but I will leave you with this quote.
"The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest and most exciting triumph of all time. Many sports teams win on the last play of the game. But Jesus' victory was more dramatic. He did not win in the "last second" - Jesus won the victory three days after the game was over!"
Living the Word along with you,
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