Billy Graham recently passed away at the age of 99 and has been blessed to outlive everyone of his critics from the 70’s. As a dedicated servant of Jesus Christ, he prepared one final message for America before he went to be with the Lord.
In today’s culture virtually any kind of belief system is accepted. It’s where you move into Christianity that people start to give you pushback for the convictions of your heart. People are ok with believing there’s a God. A generalized God that somehow permeates everything, but isn’t personal. This God doesn’t answer your prayers, and certainly doesn’t have a son named Jesus.
People definitely don’t want to believe in the existence of a Devil, or Satan. The concept of sin, or evil, has so been eliminated in culture, that it’s virtually impossible to find someone on the street who actually believes that this being exists. This is the biggest lie there is.
Billy Graham’s last message to America is this: Beware of the Devil!
“But Satan really does exist-just as surely as God exists. And he isn’t just a vague, impersonal force; he is a real person-that is, he has a real personality. Just as you and I can think and make decisions and act, so Satan can think and make decisions and act. The difference is that everything he does is evil-without exception-because he is totally opposed to God.”
Scripture perfectly outlines this structure in Ephesians 6:12
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
It’s easy to stop there and allow oneself to be moved into fear regarding this fallen being. After all, how are you going to stand up to something you can’t see?
The great news is that scripture tells us that Satan, that old lying snake, has already been defeated, disarmed, and dethroned! Graham adds…
“The Bible says the most important fact you need to know about Satan, however, is that he is a defeated foe! By His death and resurrection Jesus Christ overcame all the powers of death and evil, and some day His victory will be complete. On whose side are you? Don’t turn your back on what Christ has done for you, but by faith put your life into His hands today.”
Colossians 2:13-15 perfectly explains how Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for our sins, actually destroyed all the works of the Devil!
“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you[d] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
The Devil actually doesn’t have any more authority in the life of a Christian. He only has power when we allow him to convince us that he does!
1 Peter 5:8 likens him to a “roaring lion, seeking whom he MAY devour.”
That word there, MAY, is very important to understanding of the verse. It doesn’t read “CAN” as in ability. It is says, MAY, as in , ‘Mother may I?” The Devil needs your permission to invade your life. But you don’t remember ever verbally giving him permission do you? You give the Devil permission when you ignore the Lord, and are content to live your life without Him.
The Devil is a bully. He knows he doesn’t have any power, and he prays you never find out that you do. All the victory power we’d ever need was paid for by Christ at his crucifixion. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” He meant exactly that. His mission was complete.
One of the names of God in the Bible is Jehovah Nissi, the Lord God our banner, or our victory. When Jesus defeated and disarmed the Devil and the fallen angels that chose to serve him, he secured our victory as believers in Jesus for every area of life, once and for all.
It’s up to us to see that victory and receive it! Christ doesn’t have to do one more thing for us, because He said, “it’s finished.”
The next time you have a challenge in your life tell it that you already have the victory because of what Jesus did, so its already over stayed its welcome.
1 John 4:17 says, “…because as he is so also are we in this world.”
Talk to problems and the Devil like Jesus would talk to them, and then you’ll see how little troubles actually come to bother you anymore.
Walk in victory!