It’s natural to recognize and prepare for fights and battles we face on a daily basis, but often we forget there’s another battle we’re dealing with — an unseen battle. If you are a Christ-follower, you have an enemy that does not sleep; he’s relentless and unseen.
If you look all throughout the Bible where Jesus deals with Satan and the spiritual forces of darkness, there’s a theme. In a sense, Jesus acted as a bully would. In order to win the fight He picked when He chose to be faithful to God, He had to bully the bully. He was aggressive, not passive.
We too — when we accept Jesus Christ into our lives — join a fight. We’ve picked a side and with that comes a fight.
In 1 Peter 4:12, Peter brings a sobering message to Christ-followers as it pertains to the spiritual battle we’re in. If we don’t realize the battle we’re in, the bully we’re facing, and don’t figure out how to fight back, we’re going to get pummeled. We cannot cower, offering no resistance in the face of adversity.
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test you [that is, to test the quality of your faith], as though something strange or unusual were happening to you.”
Peter is pointing out the fact that most Christians do, in fact, forget that we’re in a fight! We complain about the ordeal we face, we become amazed at what is happening to or around us, and we question the reason why.
Our team this year is facing another type of fight — a new challenge for the year ahead. We are the Super Bowl champions, with a target on our backs in the eyes of all the other teams. But not only did we win the Super Bowl, the dominant message — all the way from the coach to the players — was that Christ did this. We gave Him all the glory, and guess what that means … we’ve picked a fight with the enemy!
We have to be prepared and stand firm, having the mindset Jesus had. In order to overcome the spiritual battle ahead, we have to renew our minds, and as it relates to Satan, we have to become a bully. A spiritual bully is someone who has supernatural strength of power, creating an unfair advantage to intimidate and defeat Satan in order to bring glory to God and His Kingdom.
In 1 Peter 4, Peter tells us that we can’t be surprised at what’s happening to us. In the position we’ve been given through Christ, we are more than conquerors. In our everyday lives, we have to be willing to demonstrate that our enemy has been defeated. We have to bully him, fighting the spiritual fight of faith, being armed with the power and authority given to us by God Himself. Jesus demonstrated for us that all God’s people who know His Word are commanded to deal aggressively with Satan and his works.
“But insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, keep on rejoicing, so that when His glory [fulfilled with His radiance and splendor] is revealed, you may rejoice with great joy. If you are insulted and reviled for [bearing] the name of Christ, you are blessed [happy, with life-joy and comfort in God’s salvations regardless of your circumstances], because the Spirit of glory and of God is resting on you [and indwelling you — He whom they curse and glorify].” — 1 Peter 4:13-14 (AMP)
— Ted Winsley, Philadelphia Eagles chaplain
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