Joshua 2:8-9 Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you.”
God’s people often have very little grasp of how much the devil and his people fear us. Much of the persecution of Christians that goes on is actually motivated by fear, because those doing the persecuting know that unhindered, we will certainly conquer everything because we serve the Creator of the universe. When Jesus told Peter, “On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it,” (Matthew 16:18) He wasn’t talking about the Church in a defensive posture, but rather as being on the attack. We forget that John said clearly that “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” (1 John 3:8) We are His agents, so the devil fears us! In recent history, churches across eastern Europe had a great deal to do with the fall of the Iron Curtain. Other totalitarian nations, such as China and North Korea, saw that and stepped up their own persecution of Christians. Right now the greatest threat to the reign of the mullahs in Iran is the growing number of Christians there, though you won’t hear that reported in secular news. We tend to draw back at little things, forgetting that we serve the King of Kings, and “’No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,’ declares the Lord.” (Isaiah 54:17) The road may well not be easy, and in physical terms we may well be casualties, but the ultimate outcome is settled, and we need to rest in that assurance.
This of course applies as much to me as it does to any believer. I am not to be brash or cocky, but neither am I to be afraid. I am not to run from any battle, but know that in Christ I am more than an overcomer. (Romans 8:37) I am not to shrink from any physical or material risk, but know that my spiritual reward will more than compensate for any temporary loss. (2 Corinthians 4:17) As a pastor I am to encourage the believers with this truth, because it applies to each of them as well. The devil’s only strength is in lies, so our defense against him is God’s truth. That is also our offensive weapon against him, because the Word of God is Truth by definition. (Ephesians 6:17) God’s plans for us are good, and that means victory!
Father, I was wondering what I was to speak on this Sunday, and now I know! Thank you. However, there is so very much material in the Bible that I need clear guidance as to which passages to use, so that it will be Your Word and not just my research. There are many who need this particular message, and I pray that by Your Spirit it would communicate fully to them, bringing them to the victory You intend for them, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!