Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Joyful and Triumphant

You may not see it or hear it, but there is a war raging. It is the longest and most ferocious battle the world has ever seen, with more casualties than can be counted. On one side are the forces of darkness, Satan and his minions, and on the other is God, all His angels and everything that is good. They’re fighting over you.

God Almighty is madly, passionately in love with you. He has been since He first conceived of you, since He breathed life into you and arranged every particle of your body just so. You were made to love Him. But as it is, there is one who despises Him- Lucifer, that first fallen angel, Satan. As everyone knows, the best way to hurt someone is to take away that which is most precious to him. And thus, you have become the target of Satan’s sweetest lies and cruelest affections. His goal is to seduce you, to lure you away from God and to himself because he knows that you are what God loves most. It is here that the battle begins.

Time and again, God warned you of Satan’s schemes. Oh, did He warn you. But you didn’t heed the warnings of the Most High, and you ran straight into the arms of evil. In fact, you even enjoyed it. You relished every rendezvous, savored each moment of spiritual death, and told yourself that nothing that felt so good could be wrong. And every time, each illicit meeting ended the same way, with you at God’s feet begging Him to take you back. In His mercy, He said yes. Because He is a God of justice, He said a price had to be paid. For centuries, countless sacrifices were made for your sake. Satan is persistent though, and you were weak. And so the cycle continued, with you continually forsaking the One who loved you beyond comprehension for a tawdry affair with evil.

He is relentless. His love for you is so great that despite your sordid betrayal, He was still unwilling to hand you over to the enemy. He fought for you, often in a battle you were oblivious to. And as this battle wore on, your love of treason grew greater. Finally the time came. The King set into motion the breathtaking battle tactic that would bring a sure and final victory. This tactic had been prepared since the first time you let Satan have his way with you, because He knew you could not fight the battle for yourself. And on a cold night in Bethlehem, God Himself marched quietly and solemnly down to the frontlines.

Thirty-some years later, Satan thought he had won. There was the King, betrayed yet again, naked on a cross, beat and bloodied beyond recognition. But he hadn’t won, not at all. For as any soldier knows, to draw the blood of a king brings grave consequences. And when the blood of the Most High King is willingly shed, it’s enough to alter eternity. Your price was paid, your relationship restored, your debauchery eliminated. It is not that your unfaithfulness was masked by His death, or that His death allowed your sin to be overlooked. No, He obliterated everything that stood between you and Himself. When you were choosing to dabble in darkness, you had unknowingly become a prisoner of war. His sacrifice broke the bounds of the natural world, surpassed time and space and the devil himself to wrench the chains of death from about your neck. He paid your ransom by offering Himself, and in the purest display of love that has no limits, He offered you the greatest gift- His life for you to share in for eternity.

He has fought for you, He has died for you, and He has risen for you. There may be more battles, but the war has been won. Nothing- not death, not life, not your past, not your future, not the greatest powers of evil- can ever separate you from Him. That victory is a gift great enough to last for eternity.

The King is triumphant, and you have reason to be joyful.

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