Living In Victory

by Sheri Schofield

Snow fell unexpectedly here in Montana’s Rocky Mountains. It was over a foot deep at our house and very wet. Then came a freezing rain and rapidly dropping temperatures during the night. The next morning as I worked around the house, I could hear the sound of great bundles of ice-covered snow falling from the trees. Many of the trees’ branches were broken under the excessive weight, and some trees in our forest fell. The burden was crushing.

Sometimes the enemy of our souls drops a crushing burden on our hearts, much like that heavy snowfall. How do we get through such times, when our hearts are broken?

Many push God away, angry that he has allowed such suffering. They ask, “If God is good, how could he allow this?”

We tend to forget that we are living in a world still ruled by Satan. The Bible calls him “the god of this world”. The Apostle Paul wrote: “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 4:4 NIV).

But you thought that when Jesus paid the price for our sins at Calvary, he defeated Satan! So why then do we still suffer under Satan’s rule? Why does the devil still have the power to hurt us? Where is the freedom from our enemy?

Yes, Christ defeated Satan at Calvary. But this deliverance works a lot like an election. In the United States, the votes are cast in November, but the new officials do not take office until the middle of January. Those who were defeated still rule until the new leaders are sworn in to office.

In the same way, Satan has been defeated, but he has not yet lost his position. He can still kill, steal and destroy— for Jesus has not yet returned to earth to claim his kingdom. However, while we await Jesus, we have been given the Holy Spirit to help us combat the devil. Our King Jesus has given us a great weapon, power in prayer, to overcome the devil’s works. We may not always stop our enemy if he takes us by surprise, but many times we are able to reverse his injuries and intentions by the power of prayer. It is our greatest weapon. Through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit, we bring God’s might against the evils of this world and the devil.

But there is a day coming when heaven will declare, “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down” (Revelation 12:10 NIV).

Are you struggling with a crushing burden? Remember that you are part of an army! You have a team of other believers! Call your Christian friends and have them do battle for you in prayer! We are not to fight the enemy alone.

If you are not struggling at the moment, remember that you have brothers and sisters who are. Let’s not let them down by neglecting to pray for them in this time between Calvary and the return of Jesus! Let us hold each other up so that the great burdens we sometimes have to bear do not crush us. In this way, we can live in victory.

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

sheri schofield

About the author: Sheri Schofield is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator. She was named Arise Daily Writer of the Year in 2020, and Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Sheri also writes devotions for children at her website: www.sherischofield.com in “Campfire”, and is in the process of developing a children’s program on her YouTube site. Questions welcomed!

Read Sheri and her husband’s amazing story in One Step Ahead of the Devil: A Powerful Love Story. Thrust into national politics because of her husband’s work, Lissa McCloud struggles to save the life of the man she loves from those who are bent on his destruction. Based on true events, the reader is taken deep into the heart of national politics –all the way to Congress and the President of the United States.

Join the conversation: Are you shouldering a burden that we can pray about on your behalf? Please share!

The Accusation

by Linda Evans Shepherd @LindaShepherd

I once arrived at the scene of a tragic car accident to pick up my friend, one of the victim-survivors.  As I waited for my friend to take an onsite blood test, the traffic detective begin to make small talk.  “What were you doing when your friend called you?”

“I was at home.”

“And your husband, he was there?”

“He was out running errands.”

Suddenly the detective asked for my driver’s license.  When I handed it to him, he stared at it, then lifted his head and narrowed his eyes. “You were here,” he said.

“What?”

“You were the one driving your friend’s car.”

My mouth fell open, my voice rose an octave.  “No!  I only just got here.”

That’s when I realized that I’d suddenly become a suspect in the deadly crash, and I’d just given up my alibi, admitting I was home alone.

I don’t fault the detective for his accusation.  I’ve seen that episode on detective shows where the real driver that causes a deadly crash switches places with a friend to avoid a jail sentence.

Maybe the detective had seen those episodes too, or maybe he’d seen people try to play this switch in real life.  Regardless, it was the detective’s job to investigate all possibilities.

Because there was no evidence from witnesses or the camera in the intersection that I had been the driver, the accusation was dropped.  I wasn’t arrested or given a ticket.

This story reminds me of our enemy, Satan, who loves to accuse us before the throne of God.  Revelation 12:10 describes Satan as, “the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night” (NIV).

But we have a defender, also before the throne of God.  Romans 8:34 says, “Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us” (NLT).

So though Satan may accuse us, and though we may even be guilty of the sins Satan announces before the throne of God, we are in Christ.  This means we are covered by the righteousness of Christ.  Because God sees us through Christ, He sees us as sinless.

Think of it like this: suppose you were invited to walk with a great king, but you were wearing a jacket so filthy that it disqualified you from this privilege.  But when the king’s son gave you his own clean jacket in exchange for your dirty one, you became spotless enough to walk with the king.

If you’re ready to trade your sins for the righteousness of Christ, pray this simple prayer.

Lord, I am a sinner.  Your son Jesus came to earth and lived a sinless life.  He died on the cross for my sins, paying my punishment for me.  I say ‘Yes’ to Jesus.  I say ‘Yes’ to his gift of righteousness.  Therefore Lord, I give you my whole life.  May your Holy Spirit live inside of me, may I always walk with you. In Jesus’s name, Amen

TWEETABLE
Recognizing the source of the accusation – @LindaShepher on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Linda ShepherdAbout the author: Linda Evans Shepherd is the author of 34 books including Praying God’s Promises and The God You Need to Know.  She is the CEO of Right to the Heart Ministries and the founder of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.  She’s the publisher
of Leading Hearts Magazine and Arise Daily.

Linda has been married over thirty years and has two grown kids.  She loves to travel and bring the word to groups and events across North America.  You can read more about Linda at Arise Speakers.

Join the conversation: Have you felt the accuser working to destroy your peace? What thoughts do you struggle to overcome?