b   "They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb." Revelation 12:11......."Every ministry that is a true ministry of revelation will be surrounded by conflict before, during, and after."  T. Austin-Sparks
      We tend to think life, especially ministry life, should go smoothly if we truly have the presence and favor of the Lord.  The fact that just about everything in His Word shows how erroneous this thought is, we continue to buy into it.  If problems do come about, our general reaction is that we either complain to Him, try to find a way to manipulate the circumstances so that we get past them, or pray and ask Him to remove the difficulty.  The reality that He intends to use the opposition to bring us more deeply into Himself is so often lost on us.  
      A great part of our problem is that we are so locked into earthbound thinking, that we're unaware to a dangerous degree that if we are truly following, living, and ministering for the Living God, we will be opposed by a living devil.  If we are aware, too often we make the mistake of so emphasizing the enemy and his activity that we have enlarged him and minimized the Father.  We end up thinking that it is our purpose to take him on one on one, rebuking him, binding him, and so on.  Spending so much of our time and energy focused on him, and not on the One who is greater, infinitely greater than he could ever or will ever be.  Here's the best news; we have, in Christ, already defeated the enemy by His shed blood.  We have overcome.  We do overcome.  We will overcome......by the blood of the Lamb.  
     His Word says that we'll not live by bread alone, "but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God."  These are not just words to be memorized, but they are words that are literally alive.  God breathed.  The enemy doesn't care how much of the word we have stored in our head.  He's not threatened by that.  When that word is lodged in our heart, than it has become part of our lives.  It is a part of who we are.  We then live and minister by way of revelation from and in Him.  We speak and live in His spirit and life.  This the enemy of our souls does care about, and he will oppose us with every step we take.  This was the meaning in His word when we're told to "count it all joy" when we meet opposition, persecution, for witnessing of the truth we live in.  We're living lives that really matter.  Participating in ministries that have eternal, not temporal worth.  Threatening the kingdom of darkness, advancing His Kingdom of light and life.  Our confidence lies in the truth that this opposition has already been met, and conquered by the blood of Christ.  How that works out in time is in His hands, but the battle has already been fought and won on the cross and in His resurrection.  We live in overcoming victory by His blood.
     Beth Moore had some wonderful insight into Luke 11, which tells of Jesus and his disciples sailing over to the other side of the lake.  Once there, Jesus would deliver a demon possessed man, heal a woman 12 years sick, and a girl 12 years old. But, before they arrive, a terrible storm comes and the disciples are sure they will drown.  Jesus, who'd been asleep, awakens and with a word, the storm ceases.  We usually see this as a lesson in faith, and the disciples lack of it, and in a way, it is.  Yet Moore gave it a twist I'd not thought of.  She said she believed the storm arose in the first place because the devil knew Jesus was coming and unleashed hell to stop Him.  He couldn't.  He never can.  Neither can he stop us when we are fully living, ministering in His Life and Spirit.  Yes, the enemy will unleash hell on us.  Expect such.  The One who put us "in the boat" means to and will get us to the other side, to complete what He has called us to and for.  Jesus is coming.  Jesus has come.  And we overcome by the blood of the Lamb.  Christ the sacrificial Lamb overcame by His shed blood all the power of hell.  If He does that in a form that appears to be weakness, a lamb, as Sparks says, what can He, will He not do for us as Almighty King and Savior?  Is this the reality you and I are living and ministering in?  Will it be now?

Blessings,
Pastor O
 
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