11.28.12 "The Battle"

Today’s Scripture is Revelation 12: 10-12 (NIV) 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven(A) say: “Now have come the salvation(B) and the power and the kingdom of our God,  and the authority of his Messiah.   For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,(C)  who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.  11 They triumphed over(D) him by the blood of the Lamb(E) and by the word of their testimony;(F) they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.(G) 12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens(H) and you who dwell in them! But woe(I) to the earth and the sea,(J) because the devil has gone down to you!  He is filled with fury,  because he knows that his time is short.”

I love this passage in Revelation, and I loved Pastor’s message on Sunday.  He gave me a perspective change and reminded me that the sweet story of Jesus being born shouldn’t just bring me joy and peace and fuzzy feelings of anticipation and gifts... but should also be a reminder that Jesus was born to declare WAR on evil and we are still in a battle!  Jesus coming to earth was God’s intervention plan for our long term survival in the battle.  Victory over the devil and salvation for all of us!  So to think of Jesus just as a sweet baby in a manger misses the mark, if I don’t see Him as a Warrior as well.

I feel so humbled and grateful that my accuser has been hurled down and triumphed over by Jesus.  I see the desperate attempt of an already beaten devil, grasping for every ounce of control he can get until his time is over.   Why should I think that life here on earth should be easy or peaceful or good?  God has given me life for a short period of time, not to revel in the earthly enjoyments (although He allows me many moments of that), but to be uncomfortable enough that I long for heaven.   Every once in a while heaven breaks through and I get glimpses of His glory, His peace, His goodness which wets my appetite for life in heaven with Him.  So why should I think that my life and earthly journey should be easy.  Why not change my lenses to “expect” the evil, the challenges and the pain - and to accept my Warrior’s call to be a piece of heaven through HIM, into those situations and battles.  That should be my goal and purpose... not to escape the evil or pain (or shrink back from it) - because there is no escaping it as long as I am living here on earth - but in the midst of it,  to give testimony of salvation, healing, and the life to come to those who don’t yet believe.    That’s what the blood of the Lamb and word of my testimony does...  it says that even in a fallen world, I believe that Jesus has saved me and I can give witness to that fact  even when... or especially when...evil surrounds me.

The devil is furious because he knows he has a short amount of time to wreak havoc.  I see evidence every day that he is desperately trying to pull people away from the salvation and freedom that awaits them -  but for me, some key, hopeful words are “short time” and “overcome”.   He has a short time of rule on earth... and we have already overcome through Jesus - so even though I’m fighting the battle every day, and I see and experience the bruises, the cuts, the carnage that the devil leaves behind, there is hope....light at the end of the tunnel... FREEDOM and VICTORY for all of us who believe.  Now that’s a gift... that's Christmas!   I will rejoice that Jesus is my Warrior Savior and focus on the end result of Jesus’ victory for me and for the world.  This will sustain me in the battle!

Lord, give me fresh perspective about Jesus’ birth - new lenses to see through.  Renew me, refresh me, empower me, and strengthen me for battle and help me to be a full receiver of your love that came down for me -  Amen.

What are your thoughts on this passage?  What do you think God wants to reveal to you through this picture of Christmas from a battle perspective?   I would love some discussion!