Scripture: John 14: (Jesus said) 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us be on our way.
Observation: This passage is toward the end of the gospel of John, which means Jesus’ time is short. He refers to “the ruler of this world” who is Satan – the personification of that which is evil and opposed to God. Jesus would be apprehended, even put to death, but God the Father would raise him up on the third day.
An interesting element to this story is the “form” in which Satan would do his dirty work. Jesus wouldn’t be confronted by a red devil with horns on his head and a pitchfork. Instead Satan would use human beings, religious authorities and the traitor Judas, as vehicles for his purposes. It’s as the apostle Paul would later describe in Ephesians 6:12
12 For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Application: The book of Hebrews tells us that we are “ambassadors for Christ”. We are not Christ himself, of course, but we are utilized by him to accomplish his purposes in the world. Well, the enemy of God also has ambassadors of sorts. There are people under the influence of the enemy who are used to oppose the will and ways of God. Why is this important to point out?
When we understand there is a kingdom of this world that opposes the Kingdom of God, we will not be surprised when opposition stands in our way, especially when that opposition takes the form of other people. Granted, your obstacle may appear human (“flesh and blood” as Paul describes) but the person is not your problem.
This means we can expect to face opposition when we’re going about the Father’s business. There will be troubles. Problems will appear as if from nowhere. Christian believers should not be surprised by this because the bible makes it plain. So what should we do about this?
The good news is that the One who is for us is far more powerful than the one who opposes us. When we face opposition as we represent the Kingdom of God, we need to seek the Lord in prayer. After all, the battle fundamentally belongs to the Lord, not to us. As we call on the name of the Lord, the power of the Kingdom of God is made available to us.
Does it seem like you might be engaged in a battle of this nature?
Prayer: Gracious Lord, spiritual warfare is very real. Your Kingdom is opposed by another kingdom and we sometimes get caught in the middle. Give us grace to recognize this reality and to make use of the spiritual resources available to us. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.