Wednesday, May 31, 2017

ENEMY - YES, EQUAL - NO


To be someone's Rival is to be their Equal. Each one's power, strength, speed and wisdom - to name just a few - must be on the same playing-field to be considered Rivals or Equals. One cannot have much of a competition or challenge if one party is less in any area. With weakness exposed, the one with the more developed area of expertise will prevail. This view of the competitive drive or King of the Mountain success that drives our society touches businesses, sports, politics and personal lives, but the idea does not pertain to God.

God has No Equal, No Rival. The notion that there must be a balance, a yin and yang, between good and evil for the universe to exist is a lie from the Devil himself. God was doing just fine before the material universe and the spiritual realm were created by God Himself. He created both realms with - every law, creature, being and place in them and sustains them to this second. John and Paul assist, under the power of the Holy Spirit, when they wrote the following -
  • In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.(John 1:1-5)
  • The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15-17)
When God created the spirit realm and the angelic host thereof, Lucifer was one of the beings created. Scripture depicts him as the next glorious being down from God - "You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty." (Ezekiel 28:12) Eventually, the created developed pride and believed wholeheartedly he could usurp The Creator. Notice the attempted overthrow came as Lucifer said in his heart the following - he did not even get an opportunity for action or perhaps even vocalization of his desire.  

"You said in your heart,
I will ascend to the heavens;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.
I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:13-14)

Then THUMP! Judge, Jury and Executioner all in God played out over the course of human history. You can read in Ezekiel 28:12-19 and Isaiah 14:3-20 about the ultimate demotion and eventual elimination of an Enemy - Yes, Equal - No. 

Jesus did not come to defeat Satan. The devil was already defeated when he said in his heart - "I will...". 1 John 3:8 spells it out for us.
  • "The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work."
The word "work" ascribed to the devil here is the original word ergon. This word means effort, labor or occupation. Therefore, the interpretation is all the schemes, plans and actual job/occupation of Satan is what Jesus destroyed in His first visit through The Cross and Resurrection. 

One way to display Christ's work through us over the enemy is our speech. Christians still dole out credit to the devil way too much. We say things like - 
  • "Allow me to play the devil's advocate."
  • "Speak of the devil."
  • "The devil is in the details."

One might say that the above is just a cultural language group of sayings that have no real bearing spiritually. I disagree. In everything, as much as possible, leave the devil out and alone. Shun him, rebuke him and cast him aside as Christ has done. Allow wholesome, Godly, positive, uplifting speech to be your cultural language (Philippians 4:8). We need to be purposefully good in the words we select, which means - think before speaking. 

Even moreso than our speech, Christians need to grasp the mindset, the reality of the Holy Spirit in us - the dynamite power of God able to do more than we can imagine. 

Ephesians 2:6 says, 

  • "And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,". 

Romans 8:10-11 says, 

  • "And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you." 

1 John 4:17 says, 

  • "This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus." 

1 John 4:4 says, 

  • "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." 

When we, as Christians, get a hold of these truths as a whole - look out world! The influence upon us and the world is all because of Christ Jesus and His empowering Holy Spirit! So, do we have an Enemy - Yes, Equal - No!