Greater Than the World
Read 1 John 4:4-6
"Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error."
What qualities are we to demonstrate in our lives? How did God demonstrate those qualities?
Every soul is involved in a spiritual battle. It started the day God expelled Satan from heaven and will end the day God casts him into the lake of fire. In the meantime, there's us; the men and women of God's creation in the crossfire caught between declarations of God's love and the subtle seductions of Satan. To understand this battle, we need to go back to the beginning.
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth," (Genesis 1:1, ESV) and soon after He created mankind. "And God blessed them. And God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth'" (Genesis 1:28, ESV).
God made Eden a perfect place. Usually, when people talk about Eden, they focus on how God met Adam and Eve's physical needs. He gave them delicious food, pure water, and even work that was deeply satisfying. But more than that, God also met their relational needs. God had a relationship with Adam and Eve; He loved them completely, and they loved Him.
And it's this relationship, more than anything, that Satan hates.
Satan convinced Eve to sin and Eve convinced Adam. And ever since, Satan has used the same tactics of temptation and doubt to drive a wedge between God and us. Maybe Satan thought that if Adam and Eve sinned all of humanity would belong to him forever; but he didn't count on God's mercy and forgiveness.
We've all sinned just like Adam and Eve. We've disobeyed clear commands given by God. But that doesn't mean Satan has won in your life. To every person who has sinned, God offers to forgive that sin. To every person who has rebelled, God offers mercy. We can be free from the penalty of sin; God can save us.
But Satan is petty. He won't let you alone just because you've given your life to God. If he can't destroy the relationship we have with Christ, he'll still try to damage it. And this is the heart of what we call spiritual warfare. It is the active resistance against the schemes and temptations of the devil. Without a relationship with God, all we can ever be are spiritual casualties--slaves to the dark things in life. But when we accept the forgiveness of Jesus--when we begin a relationship with Him--we are freed.
We become spiritual warriors, enabled by God to resist the temptation and corruption of Satan.
Lord, protect me from the enemy. Help me to grow closer to You. Amen.