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"Victorious" 2/29/24

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

I am writing to remind you that you, as a slave of Christ, are in a war. A war, not of flesh and blood, but a cosmic war against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12-13). Since Adam fell and God pronounced judgement on the dragon that serpent of old, the dragon has been at war with the offspring of the woman. To this day he makes war upon "those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus" (Revelation 12:17). 

Hence, the Apostle Peter warned "Be sober-minded, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world." (1 Peter 5:8-9)

         Do you realize the enemy you face? Are you mindful of the Devil's schemes?

The Christian life is not described as "fighting the good fight" (1 Timothy 1:18) and "contending for the faith" (Jude) for nothing. The apostles did not speak about armor, swords, and weapons (Ephesians 6:12-17,  Hebrews 4:12, 2 Corinthians 6:3-7, & 1 Thessalonians 5:8-10) merely to be poetic. This spiritual war affects every aspect of our lives from the griefs we endure to the struggle between our sinful human desires and the Spirit of God, from the lies that hold sway over our culture to the taunts of the world. 

         Where do you turn in such a war? Where is your hope in the war that we wage?

Brothers & Sisters, I must warn you "YOU DO NOT HAVE THE STRENGTH OR WISDOM TO WIN." You cannot deliver yourself from sin or death, nor escape the snare of the Devil or ascend to heaven by the merits of your 'righteousness' and enter the presence of the Holy One of Israel. But dear friends, you have the same hope that Israel had. The same hope the psalmist described in the 124th Psalm

"If it had not been the LORD who was on our side -let Israel now say- if it had not been the LORD who was on our side when people rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us up alive".

Unless the LORD fights for you, you cannot win, but if the LORD delivers you then you are safe.

Remember Israel in the valley of Elah when Goliath challenged Israel and they cowered including Saul their 'king'. Israel did nothing to deserve victory on that day, but when the young man David, the LORD's anointed, arose and slayed the giant all of Israel received the blessings of the victory their appointed Head had won for them. Brothers & Sisters, we know Him who is David's Lord, one who is able to win for us far more than a temporary victory. For "The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:56-57). And though we shall not see the fulness of the promise until Christ returns to demolish death itself, it is as good as done for Christ has cancelled "the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands" and "disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them" (Colossians 2:14-15). Now "in all these things we are more than Conquerors through Him who loves us" (Romans 8:37) and we have this promise that "the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet" (Romans 16:20). 

When you face trials & temptations, where do you turn? Do you remember the one who was and is Victorious on our behalf and turn anew to Him? Or do you still rely on your own strength to carry you through the struggles you face? 

There is only one path to a Victorious Life and it is through Jesus Christ, our Lord and God.

The one of whom the Father declared,

1 “Sit down at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.” 


2 The LORD extends your dominion from Zion.

Rule in the midst of your enemies.

3 Your people willingly follow you when you go into battle.

On the holy hills at sunrise the dew of your youth belongs to you.

4 The LORD makes this promise on oath and will not revoke it:

“You are an eternal priest after the pattern of Melchizedek.”

5 O Lord, at your right hand

he strikes down kings in the day he unleashes his anger.

6 He executes judgment against the nations.

He fills the valleys with corpses;

he shatters their heads over the vast battlefield.

7 From the stream along the road he drinks;

then he lifts up his head.

(Psalm 110 NET)

Of Him also the Father declared,

7 'You are my Son; today I have begotten you. 

8 Ask of me and I will make the nations your heritage, 

and the ends of the earth your possession. 

9 You shall break them with a rod of iron 

and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.' 

10 Now therefore, O kings be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. 

11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 

12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry 

and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. 

Blessed are all who take refuge in him." 

(Psalm 2:7-12 ESV )

You and I have two choices (see Psalm 60): trust in the salvation of man (including your own resources) and be swallowed up by death or submit to the Son & follow Him into battle, for He has won the victory.

It's only a matter of time before this war is over. The same Christ who has transformed countless tribes and nations over the last two millennia reigns even now in the heavens. God is not finished. Canada, like Samaria of old has "sown the wind, and shall reap the whirlwind" (Hosea 8:7), but God is patient, desiring to save his enemies.

In such a time as this, we are privileged to serve the Lion of Judah, the Lamb who was Slain. 

So let us not trust in ourselves, but rather serve Him with gladness and fight on until the final day.

Your fellow soldier & slave of Jesus Christ, 


Matt

--


Matthew Deneault 

Pastor at Christ Community Fellowship 

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