When we give our complete “yes” to God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth, the creator of all who inhabit the earth, the One who loved us so much He sent His Son to save us from our own sins, we enter into battle—of a war that has already be won! Wait, what?!
Yes! God has already won this war! God has complete power over evil. God sent His Son to save us from evil’s grip by defeating death, rising again from death and then appearing to men and women to prove it. All humans created by God, “in the image of God”, have the opportunity to set things right with God and enjoy all the benefits of living a life in relationship to God.
God, mighty and gentle, faithful forever, powerful and passionate, wants us to love Him back. From beginning to end, Genesis to Revelation, that is The Message. Love God. Love Each Other. Love God because He first loved us, sent His Son to save us, restoring a beautiful, intimate loving relationship with Him.
Evil wants the opposite of all God is to us. God wants eternal life for us. Satan, the fallen angel who was kicked out of heaven for rising up in rebellion against God, who wanted to take over and be God, now wants revenge. Satan’s goal is death to all who believe in God, worship God and are committed wholly to God. The more committed you are the greater the daily battle will be for our souls.
This is what Paul is warning us about with encouragement to “stay at your post” of belief and behavior. I’m reminded of what John, inspired by his time with Jesus and then inspired by God to write about this ongoing battle;
“This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. 1 John 4:2-6, NIV)
Yes—“greater is He that is in us that he that is in the world.” In our worst times, when people attack us for what we are doing for God, when others slander us as we’re doing the work because they want power and recognition, when all seems to be going wrong; know GOD knows our hearts, knows the way through it, with the bonus of teaching us valuable character-building lessons that will later help others go through it! God is amazing like that!
God grows His character in us, teaching us who He is and what He does using HIS great power and strength. As His children, “joint heirs with Christ”, He comes to our rescue time after time because He is compassionate. There is no situation or circumstance that God will not help us through. All we have to do is ask. We lay down our independence for sheer, unadulterated dependence on God, our Father. The One and Only who loves us unconditionally. Forever.
He sent His Best at our worst so we could have life forever with Him.
Bottom line: God wants us to love Him back. God wants the very best for us. From beginning to end, Genesis to Revelation, that is The Message. Love God. Love Each Other. In Jesus Name, For His Glory, Amen.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:4-7, NIV
“Jesus replied: ’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” Matthew 22:37
So, Stay at Your Post, says Paul, in belief and behavior, with a heart for God, developing the mind of Christ, with a Holy Spirit filled soul. This is how we win the daily skirmishes with evil who wants to gain more territory in our lives. But, how foolish of evil. We know Jesus has already won the war! He is our Victor forever! Be encouraged!
CORINTHIANS—CALLED AND SENT
2 Corinthians 5, The Message
Staying at Our Post
1-10 Companions as we are in this work with you, we beg you, please don’t squander one bit of this marvelous life God has given us. God reminds us,
I heard your call in the nick of time;
The day you needed me, I was there to help.
Well, now is the right time to listen, the day to be helped. Don’t put it off; don’t frustrate God’s work by showing up late, throwing a question mark over everything we’re doing. Our work as God’s servants gets validated—or not—in the details. People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly . . . in hard times, tough times, bad times; when we’re beaten up, jailed, and mobbed; working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love; when we’re telling the truth, and when God’s showing his power; when we’re doing our best setting things right; when we’re praised, and when we’re blamed; slandered, and honored; true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognized by God; terrifically alive, though rumored to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die; immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all.
11-13 Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!
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14-18 Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God’s holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives. God himself put it this way:
“I’ll live in them, move into them;
I’ll be their God and they’ll be my people.
So leave the corruption and compromise;
leave it for good,” says God.
“Don’t link up with those who will pollute you.
I want you all for myself.
I’ll be a Father to you;
you’ll be sons and daughters to me.”
The Word of the Master, God.
Greater are you in me that he that is in the world who opposes you. Bring me closer still into Your Holy Presence to hear you, follow and obey you in all the details of my life. I love you with all my heart, mind and soul. I praise you for all you have done, are doing and will do to protect me, fight for me and provide all that I need. Thank you for equipping us for daily battle with Your Word and Holy Spirit. Fit me for battle in the war you have already claimed victory.
In Jesus Name, Amen