Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Fight to the end

March madness begins this week and, if it starts out like previous tournaments, there will be a few blowouts in the first round. Whenever you watch such a game, you can almost pinpoint the time in the game where the losing team gives up hope of winning and accepts defeat. In high school games you’ll often notice the coach start pulling his starters and giving his backup players an opportunity for game experience. The coach and team have accepted the fact that they will lose and simply want to get it over with.

However, on rare occasions, a team will still play as if they have a chance to win when in reality they don’t. I remember a basketball game where the losing team was down by about ten points with under ten seconds to play and they were still trying to pull off the win. They kept fouling and essentially making the deficit greater to overcome. But they did not want to accept that they were going to lose the game until the final buzzer sounded.

I wonder if that’s how Satan operates. Over the years I’ve heard many preachers and Bible teachers say, “Satan knows he’s defeated, but wants to take as many people with him.” I question that maxim. I don’t question that he wants to ruin the lives of people, but I do question the idea that he knows he has lost. Jesus referred to Satan as the father of lies in John 8:44. He is the master deceiver, and I believe he has even deceived himself. I think as the father of lies, Satan has believed his own lie that he can defeat God Almighty. He acts like that team scrapping till the very end hoping somehow to pull off a miraculous win when everyone knows they are going to lose.

So what difference does it make anyway? Does it really matter to us if Satan thinks he can win or knows he has lost? I think it does. When a winning team sees their opponent has accepted defeat, they often go into a coasting mode. They know they’ve got the win and can just ride the rest of the game out until the buzzer sounds. But when their opponent keeps fighting, it usually forces the winning team to play hard to the end.

The spiritual battle we’re in we know we will win. We know Jesus has won the victory. But we face an enemy that will fight to the end, thinking he can pull off an upset. We need to be on our guard and alert because we in a battle against an enemy who won’t give up. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” –I Peter 5:8 (NLT)

Now is not the time to coast to victory. Though we know our Savior Jesus is the Victor, we need to face every battle with full battle array and top form. Satan thinks he can still win and will keep coming after every believer with doubt, fear, discouragement, lust, greed, and a host of other weapons. Don’t let up. Don’t let your guard down. Battle until the final trumpet sounds.

The apostle Paul said it best in his letter to Timothy, “But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” –I Timothy 6:11-12

No comments:

Post a Comment