“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
What if Jesus didn’t say this; what if He didn’t overcome the world?
For many, at least in their minds, He hasn’t overcome the world. Many people are stumbling through life trying to figure it all out on their own. Sadly, many are failing. They wake up, and with good intentions for them and their family, they head out into the world to make a few more dollars or to learn a few more things that might propel them into better living. Except, instead of success and happiness, it’s failure and sorrow and emptiness.
Welcome to Satan’s world. Failure, sorrow, defeat, and emptiness are the habitat of the devil. It’s where he lives; it’s his playground. He is going around messing up the lives of many. He doesn’t come to us with a full display of his plans for us, rather, he comes to us in subtle thoughts that opens a door to him and closes a door to Jesus.
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We needed Jesus to overcome the world
Without Christ, we would be still trying to fight the enemy on our own. Without Christ, we wouldn’t have the Holy Spirit to live in us and guide us and help us. God knew this and He did something about it. Sure, He had the Ten Commandments and there were various sacrifices and offerings that the people could give, but even with all these and attempting to perfectly adherence to His laws, the people were still perishing.
So, God the Father sent God the Son to come and live on earth among us. By doing this, Jesus could create a new way and a new covenant with us. Because of this, we can now share in the same power that Jesus has. This power is what is needed to stand firm against the enemy, Satan.
We are sinful people by nature. We were born this way. If Jesus didn’t come to earth 2000 years ago, we’d still be trying to find a way to get right with God under our own power and righteousness. Thankfully, God in His infinite Wisdom, sent the Son to become the final atonement for all of our sins of past and to come. Through Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection three days later, we can now be made right with God.
This means no more sacrifices to God for our sins. It means that the sins that we were supposed to be punished for by God have been dealt with. Jesus, who never sinned, said something like this to God the Father: “I will take all of their sins upon myself, as if I committed them, and I will take the complete and full weight of the punishment in their place.” This means, God will never punish His children (followers of Christ) for their sins ever again because He has already dealt with them through Christ, His Son.
Without Jesus, we are weak
So now, we have the Holy Spirit on earth, and we have Satan’s spirit on earth. There is a difference in how they both do business here. The Holy Spirit comes into us as our Helper, sent by God, when we accept Jesus into our lives as Lord and Savior. Instantly, He is sent to us. But first, we need to ask Jesus into our hearts and lives. If we don’t do this, He won’t come in and live with us.
Satan, on the other hand, will climb through any open doorway or window he can find. What do I mean by doorway or window? Anytime we get a bad or evil thought (first, a temptation), and then give into it (becomes a sin through action), we open a doorway or window for Satan to come in. It’s like we unknowingly lay down a welcome mat to the devil.
He can’t just come in without an invitation. Fortunately for the devil, unprotected unbelievers are steadily sending him invitations to come into their lives. By doing this, each and every person is giving the enemy full authority and permission to do as much damage in their lives as he wishes.
When we don’t have the Holy Spirit living in us, we are weak to the devil’s attacks on us. The Holy Spirit is more powerful than any spirit of the enemy but can only help us if He is sent to us. As long as we refuse to accept Jesus, we will continue to be victimized by Satan. As soon as we realize our need for Jesus and accept Him, we will gain His power in us. In this moment, Jesus can start cleaning up the mess and repairing the damage the devil did in us.
Accepting Jesus doesn’t stop the attacks of the enemy
Jesus says, I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.
When we take on the Spirit of God in our lives through the acceptance of the Son, we become as powerful as He is. However, we don’t become exempt from the attacks of the enemy. Satan will still come to us daily, and even momentarily, and try to tempt us and trick us and convince us to sin. Although we are forgiven for our sins when we confess and ask forgiveness, we can still choose to sin.
Remaining in sin after accepting Jesus grieves the Holy Spirit. God wants us to walk in freedom and victory over our old sinful lives. Every time we give into temptation and sin, we are causing interference in our communication with God. When we walk only with God and live according to His Will, the relationship will be strong, and we will hear God.
However, when we try to live with the Holy Spirit in us and still engage in our old sinful way of living, we start to grow distant from God as we don’t hear Him as well and we don’t have a clean conscience. As soon as Satan gets us to sin, he shows back up and starts to make us feel bad for it. This is called condemnation. When we are engaging in sin, in the moment, and we get a feeling that this isn’t right, this is called conviction. God is letting us know that this isn’t right and that we must stop immediately.
If we choose to carry on in the sin, we must take full responsibility for the action. Most sin comes with negative consequence to some degree. The Holy Spirit will prompt us and tell us before we are about to do something wrong that we need to abort the mission. We need to run through the exit and not look back. Because, if we don’t, Satan is right there about ready to come in through the doorway or window and start destroying, again.
Jesus will be coming back to judge each one of us for the good or evil we’ve done
“For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.”
For those who follow Jesus and are obedient to Him during their lives, they will receive a crown of glory and a place in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. For those who live to please themselves and who do the work of Satan, knowingly and unknowingly, they will receive eternal punishment along with Satan in the lake of fire.
We all have a need for Jesus, folks!
Many people don’t like to hear this kind of stuff and some call it “fear mongering.” However, these same people will have a completely different attitude on Judgment Day. Unfortunately, it will be way too late for them. Now is the time to get right and to live right according to God. This means accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior and doing His work.
“Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’”
Jesus is the only way. We must recognize our need for Jesus in our lives. We must understand that this whole Heaven and Hell and God and Satan thing is real and make a stand in our lives for who we want to side with. As we can see throughout this article, if we make no stand, we default to living for Satan. Because this is so easy to do, many will perish on the Day of Judgment.
Following Jesus takes commitment and discipline. But when we hear “Well done good and faithful servant” on the Day of Judgment, we will then see that it was all worth it.
We can try to juggle our faith, but the enemy will win
“But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”
This verse helps us to see that when we try to live with good and evil in our life, that we won’t find stable ground. God is stable ground. This means, when we try to balance both, God will leave us to our desires, and He will also leave us to the consequences.
Finding stability in God comes from putting our whole trust and faith in Him alone. It means that we must resist the devil.
“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.”
God is telling us directly that if, we choose to juggle between Him, which is our new life, and sin, which is our old life, that we will experience much grief. Ever wonder why we pray to God to lift us up out of the mess we get ourselves into only to find more hardship and grief comes along? Ever wonder where God is and why He won’t help?
Find the sin and deal with it
We must search ourselves and find out where we are divided. Romans 3:23 says: “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”
We are all susceptible to sin. As long as we live among the enemy and in our mortal bodies, we will sin periodically. This is different then choosing to hang on to the old life, or parts of it. For example; If we want to follow God, but we still want to go out for drinks on Friday nights, just understand that alcohol is called “spirits” for a reason. When we drink, we forfeit control of our mind. When we aren’t in our right mind, we can’t make right choices. We also open a door for Satan’s spirit to come in.
If we want to walk upright with God, without negative consequence, and with a clean conscience, then we need to maintain complete control of our thoughts and mind. As we surrender to Jesus, He will start showing us the sin in our life that must be dealt with, areas in our life where we either need to forgive or be forgiven, and He will show us a new way of living.
I know that each and every one of us has a need for Christ. The devil’s plan is to convince us that we don’t, and he has been very successful in this. However, if you are reading this and have never accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, just know that you can right now. Understand that no matter how much wrong you have done or how many people you have hurt or how many people have hurt you, there is nothing that can prevent you from finding freedom in Christ right now if you ask Jesus to take control of your life.
In doing this, you can make a choice to turn from the old ways and to choose to spend the rest of your life following God’s Way and living in His provision and blessing. If you are tired of Satan having control in your life, then take it back from Him by inviting Jesus into your life.
I spent almost twenty years juggling between God and Satan in my life. I tried to manage both. I wanted everything that Jesus was offering, but I also wanted to have the things of the world in my life. I lived divided in faith for so many years, even after accepting Christ. What I did find out is that there is no freedom in Christ until it’s “only” Christ. Until Jesus is the only Spirit living in us, we will experience all the grief and sorrow that comes with the spirit of Satan.
I know so many people who are good people who want a good life for them and their family. However, I also know that they are struggling to accomplish this because they aren’t willing to fully surrender to Jesus. If you are struggling in the same way, I encourage you to take back the power from Satan in your life and give it to Jesus. He is a faithful God. He will come in and start healing and helping. It will take time. But with Jesus, you will be on a winning team that only knows Victory!
If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can follow this link (Prayer for Salvation) to find out how. Also, if you need prayer for your life or your family, click here to send in your prayer request. My wife and I would love to pray for you.