(Today’s post is a continuation of yesterday’s. Check that out here if you missed it!)
4. No matter what the devil does, he can’t interfere with God’s plan. This is because God, in His limitless foreknowledge, saw ahead of time every single move the enemy would make… and skillfully worked each one into His masterful design.
My daughter has an Action Bible, and I thoroughly enjoy reading it to her. The illustrations often bring to my attention principles I might not have noticed otherwise. On the page vividly depicting the story of Herod sending his troops in to slaughter the babies of Bethlehem, the artist brings the story fully alive. In the foreground you see the soldiers’ angry snarls, carrying out their grisly duty (tamed down for children). In the background, the main point of the story is poignantly portrayed: Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus in silhouette, quietly on their way to Egypt. God’s purpose has once again prevailed, in spite of all His foe’s furious attempts to the contrary.
5. God takes responsibility for the safety of His children. An angelic messenger sent to alert Joseph of the need to evacuate. A divine dream warning the Wise Men of Herod’s wicked intentions. Further heavenly communication notifying Joseph to stay away from Archelaus upon the family’s return to Israel. At every turn, God kept His little Son safe from the devil’s hatred. In every battle, He will do the same for you, dear child!
6. Rejoicing is a violent act of spiritual warfare. “When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” (Matt. 2:10, ESV). There is a secret to winning every battle hidden in this verse. The Greek for exceedingly is sphodra, and it can also be translated “violently.” The Wise Men rejoiced violently when God’s traveling star led them right to the One they longed to worship.
Jesus told us that the violent take the Kingdom of Heaven by force (Matt. 11:12). He intends for us to be violent in spiritual battle. However, holy violence looks and feels and is entirely different from demonic violence. When you rejoice with all your might as the Wise Men did, the power of God is released through you into the atmosphere. Spiritual realities literally begin to shift as you lift up your voice in wholehearted worship.
When the devil has thrown his ugliest, most painful strategy against you – and you respond by bursting into praise for your Father – a blast of Heavenly power explodes through you. The enemy is thrown back with the immense force of it. Philippians 1:28 explains to us that this kind of response is a clear sign to him of his destruction, and of your victory. It petrifies him.
So, if you are in the midst of a battle today, lift up your voice! Refuse to be intimidated by the enemy’s losing tactics. Rather, rejoice boisterously on purpose. Set the eyes of your heart on Jesus and belt out praise to Him at the loudest volume you can muster! It’s time to get violent, soldier. Remember, God is always winning, and so are you!
Are you in the midst of battle right now? Are there some specific ways that the Christmas story is helping to encourage you in the midst of it? I’d love to hear about them?