Christ's Offer of Victory

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.
-2 Corinthians 2:14, emphasis added

Not only did the church at Ephesus struggle with worldliness all around them, but they also had to be on constant alert to strong satanic influence. AsActs 19 records, there were many who used and followed occultist books and their witchcraft powers of Satan--just as is occurring more and more in our age. Maybe your weakness is not immorality or materialism; maybe you are spiritually sensitive and are oppressed by demonic powers. How do you handle that? The letter of Jesus to Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7) is best understood when you read Paul's epistle to the Ephesians.

How did the Ephesian saints resist strong Satanism? They saw that their victory was in Christ. We can learn much from these principles Paul taught about being an overcomer. First, know that Jesus is above all others: He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named. . . . And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church (Ephesians 1:20-22).

Next, acknowledge that Satan was our old master: You once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2). That was in the past; Satan and his demons do not have a hold on us anymore. We must destroy the things of the past so that they do not tempt us to fall back into sin.

Resist Satan: don't let Satan have a foothold. Ephesians 4:27 tells us to not "give place to the devil." Take a moment to look at the more than a dozen sins that surround that verse. Paul seems to imply that any of those sins left unattended can grow into a beachhead for the world, the flesh, and the devil to get a place to defeat us.

Finally, don't relax around Satan's cronies: Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them (Ephesians 5:11). Do not let Satan expose you to his trash through the pipeline of entertainment: TV, movies, inappropriate material on the Internet, music, the arts, and so forth. Do not let Satan's lusts get into your mind. If you listen to music simply because it is beautiful, but its words are ungodly, then you are allowing Satan to fellowship with you. Reprove him instead; keep a guard on your ear gate, eye gate, and other senses.

Make a choice to live in hope: Jesus jealously longs for you to love Him supremely--like His faithful saints did in the early church. If you have left your first love, I exhort you to go back to where you departed. Repent; change your will. Simply tell Jesus: "I know that I have left that fervency, warmth, and longing for You. I'm starting to worship my ‘net' and get my security in something other than You. Help me to repent, and remember where I came from. Help me to again do those works I did in the beginning for You."

As a worshiper of the true God, you need to come into His presence alone as well as in a group. God wants you to gather together with other believers to magnify Him as His family. Although this will cost you time and resources, He will draw you so close that at times the things of earth will grow strangely dim. As you become very involved in such worship, you will receive joy unspeakable and full of glory!

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