Philippians 4:7 – And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
One of the biggest challenges for Christians is keeping their joy when things are not going the way that a Christian thought it would or believes that it should according to his or her carnal mind. If a Christian is coveting, jealous, selfish, angry, or bitter, then it can be very difficult to serve God. Even if a Christian somehow manages to do God’s will while lacking joy and carrying around negative emotions (spirits), the Christian will not be doing God’s will. Others may be blessed by the Christian’s works, but God will not accept the labor of the one doing the work, because it was not given freely in the right spirit. It will become an unacceptable sacrifice. Satan and his demons will try to bring about the former, so neither you or God’s people will be helped by your hand, but he will settle for the latter, which is having you work to benefit others while you receive no benefit at all. If you fall into that trap, it can quickly become a quicksand from which you will never escape! Not only were you operating without joy in your life when the day started, but you will be unable to take pleasure in helping others. Instead, you will resent others for getting blessed by your labors while you are being frowned upon by God like Cain. That could lead to your becoming very bitter against the Body of Christ, yourself, and God, and renouncing God’s will and authority over you altogether.
Even if it never gets to that extreme, you will go through your Christian life – the only life that you should have – on an emotional roller coaster whose ups and downs are based on your temporary conditions and whether or not you choose to interpret them as pleasing or displeasing to you. Such a person will be a worldly Christian who constantly seeks happiness and pleasure outside of Christ! You will indulge in drugs, alcohol, sexual immorality, amoral music and other forms of entertainment, trips to the psychiatrist, being mean or controlling to people, and all sorts of sinful, harmful, and unedifying behavior to try to get some sort of temporary happiness or stimulation through the flesh. You will be righteous by accepting being bought by Christ, but you will have the lifestyle and appearance of a sinner and powerless against every little (or big) thing that Satan and his army of devils, witches, etc. throw at you, and punish you they will because they hate you, love to cause you pain, and attacking a powerless Christian is much more fun than going after one who has rejected Christ – whom Satan owns already – or a faithful Christian who can resist until Satan has to flee. Your life will be a wretched one until it mercilessly ends and you go into your rest in Heaven.
Yes, I know that life is hard. That is the fate given to us by Adam’s fall. We are redeemed from original sin by the blood of Jesus Christ, but that does not give us everlasting joy and peace. That does not liberate us from hardship, trials, grief, sadness, disappointments, strivings, and temptations. Our victory on earth is the PROMISE of such eternal liberation in Heaven. Meanwhile, we can overcome such things on earth, but doing so requires first obedience and submission to God, then patience, and even then you still have to fight for it! That’s right, spiritual warfare baby!
Your inheritance of being heir and co – heir with Christ Jesus is valid, but for a time Satan is going to contest it. He has brought a lawsuit against your inheritance in the earthly AND spiritual courts, and even though the suit is totally without merit and will be thrown out of court, you still have to do something. You have to put on your clothes (meaning the whole armor of God), remind yourself of your deed (which is your confession of salvation through Christ), get your law book (meaning the Bible plus the Holy Spirit of God which is within you), and go to the courthouse (meaning the presence of God) and fight Satan’s invalid claim on your inheritance until you are declared the victor. You are going to have to fight to get your joy, your peace, your happiness, your sense and assurance of victory back. And when you do that, you know what is going to happen? Satan is going to file another false claim. So you will have to fight it again. And then Satan is going to file another false claim. And you will have to fight it again. And so on. And so on. And so on. Do not deceive yourself or be deceived by anyone else! It is never going to stop until you get to Heaven! But that is not the important part. The important part is that you will win every single time. Why? The battle has already been won! It was won when Jesus Christ died for your sins on the cross, overcame sin, hell, and death by resurrecting, and ascended into Heaven so he could come back and be with everyone who accepts God through Him on earth through the Holy Spirit. But it still has to be fought! Why does a battle that has already been won still have to be fought? That is just one of the mysteries of God just has to be accepted. God does not live in time and space with our limitations, but we do. Things that have already happened for him are still in the present and future for us.
But to give you a worldly example, imagine that a professional sports team plays an elementary school sports team. Now, the elementary school team has no concept of a chance even if they try their best, the professional team goes through the motions, and there is severe malfeasance to aid the cause of the 8 year olds. But before they can be declared the victors, they must play the game, no matter how much a foolish cursory waste of time it is! And that is how it is with Satan. He is a defeated foe who has no power over a Christian who has been washed clean in the blood of Jesus Christ, has already superseded this corrupt and soon to pass away world and all that is in it on the spiritual plane, and has all power in the Name of Jesus Christ. So all Satan has is a limited bag of tricks. His only real weapons are perseverance and ignorance, some combination of trying over and over again until the Christian gives up, and doing his best to make sure that the Christian is unaware that a battle is going on or fights the wrong way (using carnal rather than spiritual means, or resists with his or her own will rather than with the Name and aid of Christ Jesus, or merely praying to cope with the attacks than rising and commanding the attacks and the attacker to go in the Name and by the Blood of the Christ Jesus). Like the professional team against the 8 year olds, if Satan can trick you into forfeiting or by showing up to play baseball when the contest is soccer, the he wins. Now he doesn’t win the war over your soul, because you are still saved and going to Heaven! But he wins the battle over your earthly peace and joy, which is what is required to obey and serve God in the manner that he chooses and receive the fullness of the power and blessings of Christ. But when you overcome and show up on the playing field with your spiritual equipment, the game is already over for Satan! And just as any professional team will beat any elementary school team 100,000 times out of 100,000, you will always beat Satan just by showing up properly equipped because not only is God on your side and God is greater than Satan in any form, but God has already beaten him for you!
Now just like the 8 year olds will keep showing up to lose so long as they get cheeseburgers and ice cream after the game, Satan will keep fighting you until God comes for your soul. But the more you fight, the stronger and more battle tested you will become. Pretty soon, you will immediately know what is going on and how to fight it, and will have complete and total faith in God for your victory no matter what happens! You will get to where you will keep your joy and peace no matter what happens! Indeed, you will learn to count all of your trials for joy as said in James 1:2 even as you are going through the very worst that one can experience in this world, and you will be the opposite of the clockwatching Christian described in paragraph 2.
My next devotional will tell you how to reclaim your joy through the Power and Name of Christ Jesus when Satan tries to take it away in detail.
Prayer:Father God in the name of Jesus Christ, please make me one who lives for you and not myself. Please through the Holy Spirit inform me when Satan is trying to take away my joy and peace, and please spur and drive me on to fight to retain it and get it back and everything else that you have stored up for me. Please lead and guide me to and provide for me the knowledge of how to fight correctly, and give me a burning will and desire to fight whenever it is required. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!
Deliverance:The demons that operate in this area are impatience, fear, doubt, selfishness, pride, self – will, selfishness, rejection, bitterness, worldliness, fantasy, and coveting. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!