Romans 8:37-39 (NLT)
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Remission. I keep saying it but still cannot fathom that we have reached such a place. The doctors have confirmed it. The tests show it. His body is living proof that there is a Healer and He is faithful in delivering us from sickness and disease, yet I still have a wariness in my spirit that is undeniable. Oh don’t get me wrong, I am celebrating our son’s victory over cancer. He has triumphed over death and the grave be carried in the Arms of Jesus. God is faithful. His Word is true. It will not return void if we will just hang on. Why this trepidation? The need to maintain this stance. We have won this battle but we have not won the war.
What is remission? In Biblical terms, it means pardon, forgiveness as of sins or offense. Through the Blood of Jesus Christ, we are given these precious gifts in salvation. He renews and restores us so that death no longer can put a claim on our life and the grave is not our future. In medical terms, remission is a temporary or permanent decrease or subsidence of manifestations of disease. There is no guarantee according to the medical world when it comes to this conclusion. As I try to make this word sink in, I think that the two means are converging in my life to form a sound platform on which I stand. We have celebrations, victories and may triumph in every single day. But we will never be free of adversarial opposition until Jesus returns one day or we have the privilege of standing before Him.
“No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” Despite all these things, it is plural. We don’t want to think about such “things” once we come to Jesus. He is supposed to fix it all. Christians don’t have problems. Faithful people do not encounter opposition. They thrive and flourish in the Love of God without a care in the world, right? “No, despite all these things…” Remission is simply a re-mission in life. It is foolish to surrender our sword, put down our shield and live blissfully in ignorance. A battle is coming. Warfare is real. There are giants in the land. How do I know? Look at the list of things that cannot separate us from the Love of God, these apply to believers and nonbelievers. Just because you enlist in the Lord’s Army does not exempt you from battle, it only changes your cause. Soldiers rest between engagements but they are ready to go when the order comes. A lot of preachers don’t preach about this anymore because it is not what people want to hear. The good news is that those who read it and believe it will overcome in every situation that is faced because nothing can separate us from the Love of God that is revealed to us in Christ Jesus.
I Samuel 17:45-47 (NLT)
David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!”
The story of David and Goliath has been read, taught and preached more ways than can be counted. (I Samuel 17:32-51) I was thinking about David yesterday. I have heard at least a dozen messages on the five smooth stones that David selected and their meaning. (Verse 40) But as I began to think about it again, I wondered why five stones. David did not exude a lack of confidence. Did he always pick five when he prepared to protect his father’s sheep? What is the significance of five stones? It is significant enough to be included in the Word of God. I think one reason among many is that there was more than one giant.
When our son was diagnosed with cancer, his only real question is how did I get it? What made it choose me? His doctor told him that everyone has something in life they go through and this must be his “thing”. I wish that were true, but it’s not. In our son’s case, a diagnosis of cancer led to four relapses and a bone marrow transplant. He is healed of cancer but his body has taken a toll in the war. Warfare in the life of the believer is inevitable. You have something the enemy wants. He wants to steal, kill and destroy our faith. It is our faith and confident hope in the Love of God and His Power that leads us from victory to victory and glory to glory. It doesn’t mean we won’t experience more of God’s Goodness than ever before because it will pour out into every orifice of a life that is surrendered to God but you will still have giants in the land and an enemy to fight so we can never be without our weapon of warfare, ready for battle and standing on a firm platform of faith.
Saul offered David his armor but wisely the boy said, “No thanks!” He strode out to that giant because his faith in God told him that he would win and that’s exactly what he did. But David’s woes with the giants did not end there. Oh no, they kept coming. (2 Samuel 21; I Chronicles 20) But David defeated the giants every single time. I am with you! I get tired of fighting for my faith. I am weary in well-doing just like the next guy. We just have to keep telling ourselves it’s worth it and keep moving toward Christ. More faith is our mission and confident hope is our cause. Trusting the Lord is the true manifestation of such things in our life. Winning or losing is the issue but overcoming all that stands between us and God’s Glory.
Deuteronomy 1:28-33 (NLT)
Where can we go? Our brothers have demoralized us with their report. They tell us, “The people of the land are taller and more powerful than we are, and their towns are large, with walls rising high into the sky! We even saw giants there—the descendants of Anak!”’ “But I said to you, ‘Don’t be shocked or afraid of them! The Lord your God is going ahead of you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt. And you saw how the Lord your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place.’ “But even after all he did, you refused to trust the Lord your God, who goes before you looking for the best places to camp, guiding you with a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day.
Giants are those things that are bigger than us. The only way that we overcome “giants” in our life is by trusting God. But most people would rather run away, then face the giants. It’s easier, less painful and relieves pressure. Of course, it does. The enemy is not going to fight those who are on his side. He is coming against the Kingdom of God. We have to take it back by force. It might seem in today’s society that he is winning. But need I remind you (and me some days) that GREATER is He that is in us than he that is in the world. The Lord goes before us preparing a way for us leaving everything we need to not just make it but live victoriously and thrive in every situation, but we choose our own way or not to go at all. Refusing to trust God – we give up on faith and try to fight these things in our own strength and power regaining control of our life. Suddenly void of God’s Power we fall face down in the dirt and the enemy tramples us. Thank you God for your mercy each morning that picks me up, dusts me off and starts me back on my way to follow You! No matter how many battles we win with the Lord, faith will always be our struggle. It is human nature. God has equipped us for every battle. He is our Strength!
Psalm 24:7-8 (NLT)
Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors and let the King of glory enter. Who is the King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty; the Lord, invincible in battle.
Invincible means incapable of being conquered, defeated or subdued. That is the God we serve and His Son, Jesus Christ. This is the One who lives inside of us. Why do we want control when we contain such super powers? No clue but we do all the time. When we decide that the Lord is bigger than any giant that we face, His Power takes over our life because we trust Him. We allow God to fight our battles. Therefore we choose to win!
Isaiah 45:5-8 (NLT)
I am the Lord; there is no other God. I have equipped you for battle, though you don’t even know me, so all the world from east to west will know there is no other God. I am the Lord, and there is no other. I create the light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the Lord, am the one who does these things. “Open up, O heavens, and pour out your righteousness. Let the earth open wide so salvation and righteousness can sprout up together. I, the Lord, created them.
Am I reading this right? There tucked between verses of power and might. How can this be? “I send good times and bad times. I, the Lord, am the One who does these things. God sends good times. Yay! God sends bad times…hold on… how can this be true? Of course He does. Righteousness is not something we can achieve outside of Jesus Christ. We sin. Sin produces judgment. Jesus Christ is our Salvation that saves, heals and delivers us from such things. Without salvation, righteousness has to deal with our disobedience otherwise God has changed His Character and we are all headed to hell in a handbasket. The only hope we have is that despite all these “things” we have overwhelming victory in Christ Jesus. Remove sin from the world completely and it would be void of problems. Since that is not the case, we remove ourselves from sinful disobedience to seek and serve God choosing to trust Him above every circumstance and salvation changes the outcome for us from death to life and defeat to victory.
Psalm 144:1-2 (NLT)
Praise the Lord, who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle. He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my rescuer. He is my shield, and I take refuge in him. He makes the nations submit to me.
There is coming a day when every knees will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Until that day, be prepared to fight. There will continue to be giants in the land. There will be problems, trials and troubles along the way. Hold tight to your shield of faith – go nowhere without it. Keep the sword of the Spirit in your other hand and wield it in your life with total trust and confidence that it will make its mark every single time you speak it. Do not let your guard down ever or you will get knocked down every time. If you have chosen to seek the Lord and serve Him with all your heart – you have become prime enemy number one on the enemy’s hit list. Your faith has not only changed you but if allowed to continue will change the world. God has given you everything you need to win. Jesus handed you the victory and power to always overcome. By faith, we stand and deliver no matter what the odds look like to the world. Our confidence is not in us but the fact that Jesus in us is greater than any other power in the world. Do you believe it today? He is training you for war today so pay attention. He is developing the skills in you for your next assignment. His Presence is your refuge so run there as often as you can and despite all these things – you will overcome!
I John 4:4 (NKJV)
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.