If there was one theme that was true for the three of us who went to my cabin this past weekend, it would be the proclamation that the enemy has already been defeated. From the text message that one got from his wife about one of their children getting sick to the fact that something goes wrong at work any time I am away for a weekend, it seemed as though the enemy did not want us to accomplish our goal of seeking God.
The enemy has been defeated
And death couldn’t hold You down
We’re gonna lift our voice in victory
We’re gonna make Your praises loud
Shout Unto God – Joel Houston | Marty Sampson © 2004 Hillsong Music Publishing (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)
After driving through heavy fog that would have stopped the faint of heart, we arrived at the cabin in the middle of the night. Our plan was to fast through saturday as we prayed for our pastors and the leadership around us as well as seeking God for direction in our own lives.
Fasting for a day might not sound like a big deal to some people, but for the three of us it was. As we all woke up saturday morning, I pulled out my guitar and we read through Scripture. At one point, I began singing the chorus of Shout Unto God (quoted above). Between the text messages that came from spouses, the relational situations, and the fact that we knew we headed into spiritual battlegrounds, we knew that this proclamation would be important all weekend.
I began to say that the enemy has already been defeated, he just didn’t get the memo. Even though the enemy was defeated by the resurrection of Christ from the grave, he still does everything he can to drag us down. He hates it when we seek God with all of our mind, strength, heart, and soul. He seeks to distract us from our Savior, and he tried this past weekend.
Early saturday evening, I received a call that one of our main pieces of equipment that ties all of our video aspects together had malfunctioned and died. This was not only an attack on me being away, but an attack on our entire team. While God does not need technology to further His Kingdom through us, we do leverage technology as a tool to do His work. Without the technology that we have, our current multi-campus strategy is not as efficient.
I sent a text to my boss, proclaiming to him that the enemy has already been defeated, and an equipment failure will not stop the Word of God from being spread. They were able to patch what they needed to get most things operational, and the congregation worshiped. Pastor Scott preached his sermon and even mentioned the fact that the enemy has already been defeated.
On sunday morning, I woke up to another text message from my team. Ten minutes into the 9:00 service in Wexford, the power went out. Yet again, the enemy was on attack. He wanted to distract me from my business with God and he wanted to stop the people of God from worshipping and hearing God’s Word. Yet again, he failed. At the cabin, we turned our focus towards praying for each other, just as planned. At church, many people commented on how they felt the presence of God in that service. Worship happened. Prayer happened. Preaching happened. The enemy cannot stop the will of God.
If you are feeling discouraged and it seems as though nothing is going right in your life, take heart. Turn your eyes to The Savior, Jesus Christ, and know that He has already defeated the enemy. Lift your voice in victory, for God has already won.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:31-39 (ESV)