When You Become a Sign

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“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ… not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God” (Phil. 1:27-28, ESV, emphasis mine).

An essential component of gospel-worthy living is fearlessness. In this passage of Philippians, Paul directly links the two: discipleship and courage go hand-in-hand. A genuine disciple of Jesus Christ will not bow the knee to fear. His perfect love drives fear out of the life of one who walks intimately with Him. Knowing Him, truly knowing Him, chases fear out of every corner of our hearts. (Breathe easy – this is a gradual process. No pressure to have this perfected, or even close to perfected! Check out yesterday’s post for more on that.)

Our Scripture today instructs us not to be frightened by our opponents. First of all, who are our opponents? Ephesians answers that for us. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12, ESV).

Let’s take a closer look at this. Contrary to what it may seem, your real opponent is not that difficult person in your life. It is not that power-tripping manager who seems to rub everyone in the department the wrong way. It’s not the crazy driver who cut you off on your ride to the grocery store. It’s not that domineering family member whom everyone secretly wishes won’t be able to make it to the birthday gathering.

Right now, the most serious opponent threatening the human race is the spirit of fear. And here, the Bible tells us plainly not to succumb to it. You know what, my dearly loved friend? If it’s in there, in His manual for our lives, it means it’s doable. Not in my strength, nor yours, but in His. Ephesians also provides amazing insight about this one: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might (Eph. 6:10, ESV, emphasis mine).

See that there? His might. He’s extending it to us, by His Spirit. Working on the inside of us, He is the provider of strength, of power, of might, and of courage. See how this verse is so close to the one about our real opponents? Look at that again – the connection between Ephesians 6:10 and Ephesians 6:12. We are not called to wrestle against the spirit of fear in our own might; but rather, in the mighty strength that God provides. In His strength, we can be truly strong. As we come to Him daily, He will generously supply the power we need to be courageous.

One more thing about today’s original Scripture, Philippians 1:28. Did you notice what happens when we stand up in the strength of God’s might – and refuse to give in to fear? This is a clear sign to them of their destruction…” We become a reminder to our invisible enemies that they are doomed. When they see us get up and begin to walk in the triumph that is ours, the tables get turned. They are the ones who become terrified.

Let’s make this our goal during the season our world is facing today. Let’s walk so closely with Jesus that His love is the only thing governing our hearts. Let’s walk so far forward into the victory our Savior made ours with His blood… that the darkness trembles just looking at us. Let’s live courageous lives worthy of His name.

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 4:6, ESV).

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During the current battle we are all facing, what strategy has helped you the most for finding victory over fear?

 

15 thoughts on “When You Become a Sign

  1. AMEN!! I have two strategies:
    1. No (spiritual) junk food. My husband and I both have carefully curated what is on any screen in our home. We don’t watch or read the news, in general. Maybe 1-2 times a week I’ll purposely seek out the news.

    2. WORSHIP! This is a time for releasing worship and words of praise and our victory in King Jesus. Outloud, sometimes really loud, lol. There’s maybe been some praise dancing going on here too. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Haha (a happy chuckle), it brings joy to my heart to read that, my sister! Absolute wisdom right here. Sounds like you are doing a beautiful job protecting the atmosphere of heaven in your home!

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  2. Jennifer, a most useful and practical strategy that has been effective for me in this season. As the spiritual battles continue around the world, and people who I encounter often express hopelessness in some form, I pursue the only solid foundation, whereby I can connect with God’s heart and perspective. May I also include the daily battles that take place within my mind, body and spirit. They enemy will use anything or one at his disposal to take our minds off Jesus. So, one remedy that has been most effective is using a gift I call Godly-Retrospect ! At my first opportunity, I will breakaway from distraction, open God’s Word and read, focus and meditate on what God “has done” in the lives of believers and followers that trusted in Him. What does this actually look like, some may say !? Intentionally act in obedience and DO what Spirit puts in our hearts. Not just think or consider it but DO IT ! Abraham, the father of faith, took his son to sacrifice him as the Lord instructed him. David did not “consider” but ran toward the giant and slayed him. Paul gives testimony of absolute obedience that we can not deny. What I am saying is we must act in accordance to what we claim to believe. The Word of God was given to us to know what is in the Father’s heart and what are His ways. Reading what is written is good, meditating is better and DOING is BEST. Blessing to all, I pray these words encourage and strengthen each of you. Len W.

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  3. “We become a reminder to our invisible enemies that they are doomed. When they see us get up and begin to walk in the triumph that is ours, the tables get turned. They are the ones who become terrified.”

    Great thought. Never thought of it that way. We know he flees when resisted (James 4:7), but never tied that back to their own fear.

    When you consider that these spirits once occupied Heaven and were at one time occupants in the Heavenly realm (Jude 6), they should be frightened as we have never “been there” as occupants, but are (as you point out) empowered by the One who occupies us. And that my friend makes them shake in their “combat boots”. Great words!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, David! I’m so glad you were blessed by it. You are right, they’ve been there and they know how infinitely mighty the One on the inside of us is! Isn’t it amazing to be on the winning side all the time?

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  4. Thank you Jennifer for your Blog of encouragement and Godly Wisdom. I also wanted to express appreciation for the folks who following your blog and make such comments also of rich Christian value and understanding. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

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