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04
Sep
2022

Stay True

by Susie Larson

You’re standing on the battlefield, in an arena. You look to the left and right and see several arched doorways with their gates open. Though you don’t see them yet, you hear hungry lions roaring in the shadows. You sense they’re about to be unleashed into the arena to attack you for sport. In the far distance, you see the enemy himself coming toward you. He’s smirking, confident, and headed straight for you. Your breathing becomes shallow. Prickles crawl up your spine. You notice that over each of the arched doorways are words: Worry. Fear. Abandonment, What if? And others.

You’re outnumbered and immediately feel overwhelmed.

But then you remember Jesus’ words.

Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. (Luke 10:19)

Suddenly a holy surge of confidence shoots through you. You look over at the first doorway, where you hear the lion roar. You point to it, and with the authority God has given you say, “I say NO to worry! I close that door, in Jesus’ name!” The gate thunders down and shakes the ground. The lion slinks back in the shadows and loses his roar. Then you look at the Fear doorway and do the same: “I say NO to fear. I close that door, in Jesus’ name!” One by one, you use your authority to bring down each gate. And with every doorway that closes, the lions’ roars fade. Something else happens too. You notice that as the enemy gets closer, he’s also shrinking. He’s losing steam.

When the enemy’s weapons of fear, intimidation, and deception no longer work on us, he loses power over us.

Still, he keeps coming toward you, holding a notebook crammed with information about you. He’s studied you your whole life. He knows what makes you weak, sad, frightened, and discouraged. And he’s headed your way.

But suddenly, you feel a warmth on your face and turn your eyes toward the glow coming from your right. You look over to see a beautiful, glimmering gate, and the words from Scripture come to mind: “Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter!” Faith rises up in you, and you shout, “Open up, ancient gates! And let the King of glory enter!” To your pure delight, in comes Jesus with eyes of fire, face aglow, and clothes as white as snow. His smile reaches up to His eyes. He’s not stressed over this battle. He’s thrilled to see you.

He steps in front of you and prepares a table for you in the presence of your enemy (see Psalm 23:5). He seats you at the table, a place of honor. He brings out the bread, the wine, and the fruit. You look at the bread, and right away, you remember that He was broken that you might be made whole. You recall Jesus’ words when He said, My food is to do the will of the One who sent me. And you remember how He multiplied the loaves and the fishes. You find great significance in this sacred gift of bread on the battlefield.

Then you look at the chalice of wine. By His stripes, you are healed. Because of His shed blood and victory on the cross, you are saved. You will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony, and you will learn to love Him more than you love your very life. Perfect love casts out fear. The more you’re acquainted with God’s love, the less you’re derailed by your fears.

You look into your Savior’s eyes and find yourself strengthened by the divine confidence that emanates from Him. You realize there’s more power in one drop of the Savior’s blood than in all of hell’s evil combined. And His blood courses through your veins! You are alive in Christ. His resurrection power is active in you! Oh, to walk and even battle in the God-given power entrusted to you! You determine never to let fear win the day again.

The bountiful fruit reminds you of Jesus’ words to His disciples and to you: I’ve appointed you to bear fruit that lasts. It’s to My Father’s glory that you bear much fruit. You were made for the abiding life. Fruit comes from intimacy with God. He wants to nourish the world through your beautiful life.

Bread. Wine. Fruit. Wholeness. Ministry. Multiplication. You are part of an otherworldly Kingdom. It‘s no wonder that the enemy works so hard to keep you living an earthbound life. If he can keep your gaze on the fears of this life, unloving people, and the stresses of your circumstance, you’ll forget that there’s so much more going on than meets the eye.

 But when your spiritual eyes open, you realize that you’ve been given the power to actually do something about the circumstances in your midst. You’re onto the enemy’s schemes and his continual attempt to pull your gaze downward. You are part of the conquering army of the kingdom of heaven. You decide to look up and find your help and strength in Christ Jesus.

I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself. (Ephesians 1:19-23)

Strongholds are broken. Captives are set free. The lost are found. You have work to do. You’re recovering your roar. You refuse to be constantly kicked around by your enemy. You suddenly know and believe that this King you serve is far more powerful than you once thought. This means you now have the divine capacity to be mighty in battle.

Yes, the enemy can be a formidable foe. Yes, we sometimes have to engage in hand-to-hand combat when it feels as though our circumstances might crush us. But overwhelming victory belongs to us because we belong to Jesus, our King. Our Defender. Our Deliverer. Our Strong Tower.

The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10, NIV)

Picture yourself running into the strong, fortified tower and the door disappearing behind you. There’s no opening for the enemy to enter. Only God’s children have access to this protected stronghold. You are safe in His care.

 

Susie Larson joins Randy and Sheila this Tuesday and Thursday on LIFE TODAY. Excerpted from Strong In Battle by Susie Larson. Copyright ©2022 by Susie Larson. Published by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Used by permission.