April 9, 2009

Sitting higher and lighter

Occasionally I wish I knew the future. If I did, would I worry less? Plan better? Perhaps, but God, in His infinite wisdom, tells me only a little of what I can expect for me personally. He tells me much more of what will happen on a global scale.

However, the book of Revelation, where most future prophecies are written, is difficult to both read and interpret. Various possibilities have been debated for hundreds of years. One thing is obvious; it describes a great cosmic battle between God and His people and the enemy, Satan. As powerful as this enemy is, there is also one thing certain about the result; Jesus wins!

I wasn’t aware of the stresses I was feeling this morning over a busy day ahead, a weekend of travel, events to attend, and lots on my to-do list. However, as soon as I read this passage of Scripture, I felt lighter. The burdens of the day are nothing compared to the glory to come. John, the writer of Revelation, says:
Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” (Revelation 12:10-12)
I feel lighter because the one who continually tries to defeat me with accusations and lies is cast down and is himself defeated. It happened when Jesus shed His blood on the cross and paid the penalty for all sin for all time. No matter what I do or do not do, when Satan points his finger at me before God, Jesus smiles and says, “I’ve got that covered.”

I feel lighter because I also have something to do with Satan’s defeat. Every time that I give testimony to the wonder of God’s grace and my salvation, he is overcome. Every time I suffer temptation but refuse to sin, he is overcome. Should I die for my faith rather than sin, he is overcome.

Whether the last part of this verse talks about the present time or the future, the Bible says that I am already seated at the right hand of Christ in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6) and heaven is my home. For that reason, I can consider myself a part of “Rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them” rather than being one those woeful “inhabitants of the earth and the sea” who are suffering or will suffer under the wrath of the devil. My position is secure. Even though I may experience some of the whiplash from his evil wrath, I am safe; my status is “brethren” and “overcomer” and “seated in heavenly places.”

Also, whether Revelation is about now or the future, I am lighter because my enemy’s time is short. Soon this evil fiend will be tossed into the bottomless pit while I will be lifted to eternal glory and forever be in the kingdom of God with Jesus Christ — who overcame death so I could have life.

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