What would it be like to have accurate information on the outcome of a battle before it even begins? As the battle commander you stand on a rocky outcropping overlooking the battlefield with binoculars in hand, stretching out your arm you survey the landscape. Your enemy resembles an immense swarm of locusts as they begin getting into position. Huge guns and tanks are being driven, and then pulled into place while foot soldiers sharpen swords and clean rifles. The floor of an enormous valley is being filled with row after row with soldiers who are more than ready for the first shell to be launched. You can feel your enemy’s presence as well as their tension; tension so thick you could almost cut it with a knife.
Both sides have devised a battle plan which has been repeatedly rehearsed for a very long time. Every man has been given his orders, knows his specific job and is ready to submit to the officer in charge. Trenches have been dug and supplies stockpiled as the men take up their positions for what is surely to be a bloodbath. Troop morale is flying high as each side truly believes that they will be the ones to emerge as conquerors.
The sun is being partially blocked out by passing clouds which cast long eerie shadows of darkness onto the battle field. Suddenly, as you stand weighing all possibilities an unfamiliar aid appears with new intelligence. As you open the communiqué, you are informed that you have already won the battle and that your enemy has already been defeated. Your orders go on to instruct you to engage the enemy and continue to fight to the death and not to let up during the heat of battle.
Does this story sound farfetched? Read what God inspired Paul to write in Romans 8:35,37 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written ‘For your sakes we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
What a blessing we have been given, victory over this great cosmic battle before it even commences. Not gambling on who’s going to emerge victorious, but rather we are told that followers of Christ are more than conquerors! To be more than a conqueror is to go into battle knowing that the battle has already been won! It’s important to note that we are not being withheld from the battle just because of the outcome. We are being told that we will be victorious no matter how dismal the day to day battle looks. Jesus encouraged us that in this world we will have trials and tribulation, but to be of good cheer because He has overcome the world!
From the cross, Jesus uttered these final words, “It is finished”. The work of redemption was absolutely completely finished on the cross forever. The blood of Jesus coupled with His willingness to lay down His life is the strongest binding force in the universe. The entire satanic rebellion was defeated with one final breath as The Lamb of God gave up His spirit. No greater love has any man that would lay down his life for a friend, however while we were yet sinners, enemies of the cross, Jesus died for us!
So now what? Well, we need to engage in the battle on a daily basis. Our chief weapon is the word of God, which is both living and active and sharp as a double edged sword. Out in front we hold our shield of faith which is able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked one. Our helmet of salvation protects our head and mind as we remember that we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ! Our feet are firmly planted on the foundation of the gospel where Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone.
Always remember that we are engaged in a battle that has already been won. And even though the sky may look dark for the moment, let us keep producing the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might and continue the fight until we cross the veil that separates us from our eternal victory.