The Bare Soul - February 13, 2011
Our Victorious Heritage

Jeremiah 15:11- The LORD said, "Surely I will set you free for purposes of good; Surely I will cause the enemy to make supplication to you in a time of disaster and a time of distress."

Most humans desire a peaceful existence -- to live a life free from dread or uncertainty. Someone has candidly said, "Freedom isn't free". Oftentimes, the best way to keep and maintain our respective freedoms is by maintaining a forceful opposition to all that would desire to relinquish us of these precious liberties. Probably no one believed this more passionately than General George Patton. While it is questionable whether Patton had any credible spiritual beliefs, he did understand that the best defense is often a good offense. Through his life, he displayed a courage and a tenacity toward his beliefs regarding a victorious outcome, no matter the price! As a leader of men in Europe during some of the most critical battles of World War II, he understood his responsibility as a commander and he rose to the occasion. Patton characteristically spoke about being a leader and stepping up to the challenge at hand at various times. One of his quotes is as follows:   A man must know his destiny ... if he does not recognize it, then he is lost. By this I mean, once, twice, or at the very most, three times, fate will reach out and tap a man on the shoulder… if he has the imagination, he will turn around and fate will point out to him what fork in the road he should take, if he has the guts, he will take it.

We are all responsible for our respective destinies. For those of us who know Christ, we all have a heritage given to us regarding how we should live in this present world. The Apostle Paul, in many regards, gives us insight in how to live like "Christ's Commanders" here on earth as we meet and defeat our enemy on a daily basis. Paul tells us in the book of Romans that we are "more than conquerors" as we live surrendered to Christ (Romans 8:37). He told his beloved Timothy that ... God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline (II Timothy 1:7). As our lead verse states, the Lord has set us free to complete and fulfill destinies of "good purpose". The spiritual dynamic of surrendering to God will inevitably set in motion the paradox of victory through Him against our enemies. Jesus, of course, is the supreme example of how a surrendered, obedient life caused hell's minions to shake and tremble in His presence. Jesus' understanding of who He was in the Godhead allowed Him to rule over the enemy with a powerful assurance. When Christ encountered the demoniacs in all three of the synoptic gospels (see Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-17; Luke 8:26-39), they were distraught to see the Son of God (to say the least). In Mark and Luke's gospel, we are told that the demon-possessed men came and knelt before the Savior, entreating Him not to torment them "before their time". Jesus did not have to state His authority to the enemy. Nonetheless, they recognized his total submission to the Father and therefore made supplication to Him. Jesus was totally assured of His destiny and who he was, and the demons knew likewise regarding both Christ's and their own futures. They knew that they were the defeated and He was the Victor, and there was no compromise in their fallen situation.

As Jeremiah points out in verse 11, there are times of disaster and times of distress for all men. However, these "times" should not be relevant for those who choose to walk as Jesus walked. We possess a stated heritage as victorious conquerors, if we will but submit to the One who first submitted Himself to His Father. While we may never encounter a demon-possessed person as our Lord did, there will be numerous times when we will be confronted by the "enemy" in our lives. Our foes can take on much different forms than just demonic manifestations. The majority of the time, the enemy moves in much subtler ways. People, places, and things will often work as detractors to get our eyes off our position in Christ as a victor. They often work as instruments of this world that attempt to vanquish our faith and to rob us of our birthright. However, our heritage is always intact, if we are children of God. It will always be the goal of our flesh, the world, and the devil to dissuade us from that certainty. Once we give in to the aforementioned, then we begin to "make supplication" and to bend the knee in obeisance to the enemies of our soul. However, if we will but keep our eyes on Jesus, then every circumstance, every ill-willed person, or any worldly situation must bow the knee in surrender to the Lord within us. This will be the case not only in good times, when our soul is full of God's presence, but in those previously mentioned times of darkness and distress that we all go through.

It takes "spiritual guts" to walk out the destiny that the Lord has prescribed for all who know Him. He has given us a heritage of goodness to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to our respective world. While we may never experience a demon-possessed person bowing down to us and entreating us not to torment them, nonetheless there will be instances in our lives where we command our subtle enemies to be exorcised from our circumstances. And, if we are walking with Jesus, it will not be a struggle. As we abide in the Lord, our heritage is to watch the enemy destroy himself all around us. For truly, Christ has given us the victory if we will but accept that reality. His heritage as "more than a conqueror" has become ours as we rest in the Beloved. The battle is the Lord's and the victory is ours!

Lord God Almighty, thank You for Your victory. Thank You for our inheritance as sons of the Most High God. Thank You that enemy is defeated and that they must bow the knee to the Risen Lord who lives within us. You are mighty to save, O God! Help us to live in the revelation of this truth. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

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