January 13

The Great War, Part 1

Revelation 12:7-9 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Matthew 25:34-41 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…” Then He will also say to those on the left hand, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels….”

Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

There have been innumerable conflicts around the globe throughout the ages. Even in our own lives, we could spend a good deal of time delineating the various conflicts we experience, both external and internal.

But in reality, there is one, great, overarching battle: that between God and Satan. Not only is this the grandest of all battles, it is the Great (usually unseen and undiscerned) Battle behind all other battles. And if we could see our troubles and challenges in this light, it would revolutionize the way we think and live.

To reduce things to their simplest, God is building a people, raising up an (ultimately) unblemished Bride, and extending His rule throughout His creation. Satan, on the other hand, is occupied with holding onto the remnants of his kingdom in a desperate, furious attempt to hold back his eventual eternal punishment. We are in the middle.

God loves us, and wants our best, which of course is found in Him. Satan hates us, but not with personal hatred, the kind he clearly has toward God. He hates us with a cold indifference, wanting to hurt us because hurting us both hurts God and can temporarily slow down the advance of God’s kingdom and his eventual judgment. It (meaning everything) is really not about us at all.

One of Satan’s greatest victories is obscuring this truth. He wants us to see ourselves in other battles, especially those that have people, especially our Christian family members, as the enemy. In actuality, i’s us—with Jesus—on one side, and Satan on the other, opposing us and all that God is doing in and with us. It’s not you on one side of a fence, and your troublesome friend or spouse or relative on the other side. It’s you and whoever on one side, and Satan on the other, trying to make it look like he’s not there trying to pull strings.

Yes, people can do and think terrible things. But if we have eyes to see, they are not our enemy. We have a real enemy, and he is more terrible than we are currently allowed to see. If we can start to view things this way, and ask God for eyes to see this more clearly, it will change our lives.

Prayer: Father, help me to see things from Your perspective, especially regarding this great battle. I thank You that You have won this battle on the cross, and that You are spreading Your victory even now. Thank You that because of Your grace, those that know You are on the side of victory.

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