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Thursday, November 19, 2009

we can triumph!

I was going over some of my old Bible study notes this morning and I found this that I'd done a long time ago. I don't rememer if it is all my writing or not, probably it was prompted by something I'd read some place. But it really doesn't matter because it is all the Word of God.
Isn't it great how the same messages can make your heart rejoice over and over. It never gets old. We might read a novel or a magazine and lay it down, never to come back, But the word of God and His messages are richer and fuller when we read them over aand over. I hope someone is blessed by this as much as I was again this morning.

We Can Triumph

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Ephesians 2: 1 – 2

"The Prince of the Power of the Air" -- who or what is it? Are there men arriving in spaceships to invade earth? Or some wizard floating on a cloud? Many think so. But we know that there's a negative power---a field of power, if you will---that fights against our spiritual progress. It's a little like the principle of gravity. Gravity is no immediate problem as long as we're not trying to lift something or move something. But when we try to move a big stone or climb a steep hill , the force of gravity is very real.

In the same way, if we're not trying to live by spiritual standards, we don't feel the strength of the power of evil. But when we make a serious attempt to live righteously, to pray, to fast, and to study God's word we feel the resisting power of something---or someone. Paul calls this the “prince of the power of the air,” the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience.

In our world, the devil is caricatured as having a red suit, a point-y tail, and horns like a goat. If he were like that, we could "laugh him away" and tell him that the masquerade party is in the next apartment. But it's not that easy. And Satan's wiles are not so easily recognizable.

Disobedience is the door by which Satan enters our life, or perhaps he makes us believe that it's the cause. At any rate, we disobey because of who we are, and because of who he is. In the first chapter of Ephesians, Paul, in celebrating the power of Christ, says: And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, (Eph. 1:19 - 22). In celebrating the power of Christ we must also recognize that we have the same power to stand against all sin and evil habits and every kind of disobedience. (How wonderful!)

Obviously all of these issues of sin and disobedience are motivated by the prince of the power of the air because Paul connects wrong doing directly to that source in our text. Jesus gives us victory over them if we will only take hold of His Power and put forth our sincere effort to overcome them, but let's not imagine that we're free from conflict.

God does not magically make every spiritual conflict disappear. Not only must we wrestle against the inclinations of our natural man, but we also must wrestle against sin prompted by Satan's powers. Later in this letter, Paul gets specific: Put on the whole armor of God,that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph. 6:11-12). God has given us every tool that we may need to triumph.

There's no victory without a struggle. And without the power of God's spirit working within us, there is no victory. The nature of our flesh drags us down and the power of the ultimate adversary shoots us down. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 15:57) Only in our devotion to Christ can we triumph!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Vondi, I don't know if you remember me, but I'm Connie Chancellor, married to David. I noticed a comment you made on Mitchi's blog space and have been reading some here on yours now, hoping you don't mind. It's good to hear about you after all these years. It has been nice to connect to Mitchi, as well. Much has taken place in all our lives, hasn't it? I don't have a blog space you can send messages to, should you desire to, but I'm on facebook. Or my email address is momchancellor@hotmail.com. Take care.