Jesus is our Model for Victory in Spiritual Warfare
For those of us seeking to conform our lives to Jesus, it is imperative that we know who we are and what our mission is. This concept is reinforced by looking at the life of Jesus and discovering that He definitely knew the answers to these questions. In fact, Jesus so believed in them that He even went to His death rather than deny them.
This was not an act of faith on His part but rather a resounding knowing that came from hearing the words of the Father. Therefore, it is imperative that we hear the Fathers voice and that we live and act on it in accord to what we hear.
As we have discussed in our prior postings, Jesus was immediately led into confrontation with the devil (spiritual warfare) after His baptism in the Jordan by John the Baptist, where He heard the Father proclaim Him to be His beloved Son.
And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17)
In a like manner we must also be ready to enter into the battle that will erupt when we initiate our God given purpose and mission.
Since Jesus used scripture in defeating the devil it is critical that we also know the scriptures and can leverage them in response to any attack against us. For most people this requires a substantial investment of time. It also requires time in prayer to find the answers to the questions: “Who did God create me to be and what does He want me to accomplish in my life time?” While the details will vary from person to person, the answers will fall inside the following two general categories: Firstly, you are a son or daughter of God. Secondly, your mission is the mission of Jesus.
Through out the ministry of Jesus which started with His baptism in the Holy Spirit, and completed with His crucifixion on the cross, the devil continually tried to trick Jesus into denying that He was the Son of God and therein, defeat His mission on this earth. Why should we think that it will be any different with us?
Here is a scripture that presents the last temptation of Christ, the one that occurred as he hung on the cross:
And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’“ Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing. (Matthew 27:39-44)
Sounds like more of the same temptations from the devil to me. Deny who you are and give up the reason you came and we will believe you. Right!
In fact, isn’t this exactly what the crucifixion was all about? If Jesus would only change His mind about who He said He was, then everything would have been fine. I suspect that at any point on His way to crucifixion that the Jews may have relented, if He would have only lied and said, “I am not the Son of God.”
But Jesus would not deny the truth about who He was and He would not abort what the Father had given Him to accomplish. The crucifixion was all about getting Jesus, the Savior of the World, to give in to the pressures of crucifixion.
Those who crucified Him tried everything to get Him to recant but they failed. They could not trick it out of Him by way of integration and false witnesses.
Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.'” And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Matthew 26:59 -64)
They could not beat it out of Him with forty lashes with a Cat of Nine Tales.
Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified. (Matthew 27:26)
They could not embarrass it out of Him by dressing Him up in royal clothing and mocking Him as a false God. They could not shame it out of Him by having a legion of men spit into His open wounds.
And they clothed Him with purple; and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head, and began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and bowing the knee, they worshiped Him. And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him. (Mark15:17 – 20)
They could not exhaust it out of Him by forcing Him to carrying His cross until total exhaustion.
Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus. (Luke23:26)
They could not disgrace it out of Him by nailing Him to His cross, or by taking His close or by hanging Him openly with criminals.
They could not get Him to change His mind about who He was or His mission on earth even under the threat of death on the cross. For Jesus knew the scripture. He knew what the Father said about Him and He knew why He came to earth. Nothing, not even death, humiliation or suffering was going to overcome that, and nothing did.
What does all of this teach us who seek to conform ourselves to the life model that Jesus left us? Know who you are in God and what He wants you to accomplish on this earth (be like Jesus) and never compromise it, no matter what testing comes your way. This blog is designed to help you get insight into these things but I will tell you that the answers to this question are already inside of you. You were born with them. God created you with a purpose in mind. Learn to hear the voice of God through the Holy Spirit and be obedient to His voice and never compromise.
Secondly, know that the devil is here to defeat us. He hates us and wants to have dominion over us forever. His weapons are lying and deceiving. He will try to trick you into denying your true identity in God and your true purpose. Never let the lies and trickery of the devil deceive you into denying your true destiny. Choose the calling of the Holy Spirit and reject the call of the world.
If you seek to model your life after Jesus you should know that the devil will pull out all the stops in getting you to deny your identity, purpose and mission. In addition, the devil will use the things of this world to attract you away form the leading of the Spirit. To defeat the devil you will have to turn you back on money, power, fame, recognition, influence, appetites, adultery and the lust for all the things of the world. Those that can will recieve the victory of Jesus.