Blog, Transformed,

This is War. We are Soldiers. Part 2

A Winning Strategy Against Our Enemy

We Were Soldiers (2002)

Last week, I shared my love of war movies. Read that post, here. In general, I’m captivated by movies or novels that highlight courage and bravery in the face of overwhelming odds. I can’t resist the tension-filled moment when the hero faces certain destruction, just before reinforcements arrive to rescue and invigorate him.

Watch one of my favorite movie moments in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002). This clip (3:26 minutes) shows the hopeless fight at Helm’s Deep until Gandalf arrives.

In our spiritual battle against Satan’s angels, we face certain defeat except for one difference: Jesus. He stands in authority over our enemy. He’s the boss. In every New Testament encounter between a demon and Jesus, the demon recognized Jesus as the Son of the Most High God and submitted to His authority. Before He left the earth, Jesus reassured His followers,

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”

Matthew 28:18

ALL Authority.

He was given all authority when he died for sin and rose from the dead. So, while your enemy may harass and lie to you, his authority is limited. In the years that I have battled my enemy and stood with other people in their battle, I have learned that submitting to authority commands a powerful protection.

Here’s how it works. Picture an umbrella. Written on that umbrella are Jesus’s words, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Christians who have believed that Jesus is the Son of God who died for sin and rose from the dead live under His authority. When we live under His umbrella of authority, our enemy may “rattle our cage,” but Jesus limits his access to us. However, we may choose to step outside of His authority.

Stepping Outside of our Protection

6 Ways We Step Out From Under Jesus’s Authority:

  • Embrace a false idea. These false ideas aren’t limited to cults or false religions like Jehovah’s Witnesses. They creep in and sound self-serving. “I deserve to be happy.” “My rights are important.”
  • Refuse to forgive.
  • Believe a lie about God. “God won’t come through for me.” “My enemy is too strong to be defeated.” (I believed both of these lies!)
  • Indulge our sensual desires. Our sexual appetite creates a strong pull. Our enemy knows how vulnerable we are in this area. For women, romance novels with explicit sensuality or sexuality can create a fantasy world or fuel unexpressed desires.
  • Misdirect our love. When we love or value someone or something more than we love Jesus, we create an idol. These idols don’t look like golden statues; they are our children, our home, money, clothes, and even our happiness.
  • Rebel against an authority that God has established for our good. Think parent-child, husband-wife, church leaders.

When we step outside of Jesus’s authority, we become vulnerable to enemy attacks. Our rebellion makes us vulnerable. Living outside of Jesus’s authority creates bondage.

Stepping Back Under Our Protection

But, what loving parent wouldn’t respond to a child’s desperate cry for help? Our Father God is a loving parent who hears our cries reaches out to rescue us. Just like that movie scene when reinforcements rescue the hero, our Father waits for us to cry out to Him. Then, He will move heaven and earth to get to you. Read Psalm 18 for the full movie, here. Picture the moment of rescue here–

He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemies,
    from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress,
    but the Lord supported me.
He led me to a place of safety;
    he rescued me because he delights in me.

Psalm 18:16-19

Jesus often reminds me, “Stay near Me, child.” I’m learning to stay at His feet, under His protective presence.

Roots that grow deep into Jesus. Lives built on Him.

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

Colossians 2:7 NLT
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Daily, the power of stories amazes me–moves me, shapes me–an ordinary wife, mom, teacher, writer, Jesus-follower.

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