Rhema Grace May 2016

In March, we discovered that we are victorious over the world, the spirit of the world, and it’s earthly attractions.  In April, we discovered that we have victory over our flesh, sinful nature, and selfish desires.  This month, we look into God’s Word and find that we have victory over the enemy, satan and his cohorts.
In all three of these  battle arenas, the world, the flesh, and the enemy opposition, we must first understand clearly that our victory is found in ,and only in ,the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and that work was sealed in His resurrection.  This can clearly be seen in Colossians 2:9-15:  “For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.  And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power…… buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead.  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”  Note first that in Verse 10, it says that we are complete in Christ.  Another translation says that in Christ “we have the fulness of life and reach full spiritual stature.”
Over and over again Paul uses that term, “in Christ,” but it is not just a term or a cliché.  It is a way of life and the answer to a true, victorious life.  When I am in Christ, I have life and all the advantages that come with it.  I am complete only when I am in Christ and I have complete victory only in Him.  Colossians 2:12 says when I am in Him, my own sinful nature is buried with Him.  When I am in Him, the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world (Galatians 6:14).  Colossians 2:13,14 informs me that when I am in Christ, all my sins were nailed to the cross with Him and I am justified by His act of love for me.  Justification places me in a position of righteousness in the eyes and heart of God.  All of this took place on the cross.                               Now look at Verse 15.  Notice it starts with the word “and” thus including another finished work of  the cross.  Jesus spoiled, disarmed the principalities and powers, and publicly displayed their defeat triumphing over them on the cross.  Another area that victory has already been provided for us is over the enemy and its schemes and powers.
The first questions that arise out of that statement is, “Then why do I feel defeated?”.  “Why are there moments I do not feel victorious?”  One explanation is that as long as we are alive on Earth, the battle will rage on with the world, our flesh, and the enemy.  But understand that just because we face these battles, it does not mean that we are defeated.  In fact, it is just the opposite.  It means the enemy knows we are walking in victory and he desires to take it from us.

In 2nd Corinthians 5:1-7, Paul is sharing how in times of battle we have a groaning within us to just go to our eternal home.  My dad used to sing the song, “I’ve Never Been This Homesick Before.”  Have you ever felt that within you?  Of course you have.  And that is not necessarily wrong because there is no place like home.  Paul experienced one battle after another with the world, the religious people of his day, his own flesh, and the enemy.  His resume’ of battles and sufferings surpasses virtually anyone other than Jesus Himself.  But in the midst of this desire to leave Earth, these words are recorded in Verse 7: “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”  The Amplified Translation quotes it this way: “For we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our belief in ,and our relationship with , God with a trust and holy fervor, thus we walk by faith and not by sight or appearance.”
So what does this have to do with my victory over the enemy?  It may appear at times that the enemy is winning but he is defeated.  He thought he was winning when Jesus died and was buried, but the Resurrection sealed his defeat and our victory no matter what it looks like.  Let me explain it this way.  When Ohio State played Oregon for the 2014 National Championship in football, I recorded the  game.  As I watched the game a week later, I would get anxious when Oregon looked as if they would come back and win the game, but the Buckeyes already won.  Are you getting this?  The victory has already been won.  The Book has been written.  The end has been determined.  We need not be anxious.
Let me give you a key to remaining in victory and living in victory.  It is a point that confirms that we must be in Christ.  In Ephesians 4:27, Paul gives simple yet critical instruction, “Neither give place to the devil.”  The Amplified Translation is, “Leave no room or foothold for the devil and give no opportunity to him.”  1st Thessalonians 5:21,22 (Amp.) states, “Test and prove all things until you can recognize what is good.  To that hold fast.  Abstain from evil, shrink from it and keep aloof from it, in whatever form or whatever kind it may be.”
So how important is this advice when living in victory over the enemy?  John 14:30 (Amp.),  in the words of Jesus Himself, “I will not talk with you much more, for the prince of the world is coming and he has no claim on Me.  He has nothing in common with Me.  There is nothing in Me that belongs to him.  He has no power over Me.”  Jesus gave no room to the devil.  Jesus remained pure and sinless because He gave no opportunity to the devil.  Thus He was the Lamb of God that was sacrificed for our victory over sin and the devil. This steadfastness to resist evil led to the final victory for Christ and will lead to our victory as well.
So does that mean I will never sin?  No.  But it means I must remain in Christ, buried with Him in His death, walking in newness of life, to experience the victory He has provided for me.  It says in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”  Then in 1st John 1:7, “But if we walk in the Light  (in Christ) as He is in the light, the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

The key to victory is explained over and over in Paul’s writings. The foundation of his victory is that he remained in Christ. As we are steadfast in Christ we are steadfast in praise, worship, prayer, the Word, and in Godly associations. These basic principles, that you hear me repeat quite often , are diciplines that bring us to victory and keep us in victory. The enemy cannot dwell in the atmosphere of praise and worship of Almighty God. He cannot stay in our place of prayer. He certainly does not want to hear the Word that proclaims his defeat. And he will not remain in an atmosphere of two or more believers praising God, praying or reading the Word. These essential activities above will fulfill James 4:7. We are submitting ourselves to God and resisting the devil , thus the enemy must flee. Settle this truth deep within your heart that the devil is a defeated foe.  He may attempt to steal, kill, and destroy us, but when we are in Christ, we have life and life more abundantly, to the full and overflowing. Every day let us be determined to walk in Christ, walk in His Light, and walk in victory. When we stumble, rise back up in grace , stand up and walk in victory with more determination than before to walk in Christ.

My desire is the same for you as Christ’s desire, that you would live each day of your life in victory.  I have been speaking over you the words that God led Ezekiel to speak in Chapter 37.  “Come oh Wind and Breath of God and breathe life into all who are dry.”  As the Breath of the Spirit comes into you, stand up and know that you are a member of the victorious army of Christ.  Let us rejoice and live in victory in Christ.

Pastor Wes

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