8 The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. 1 John 3:8-10
Does any of this sound familiar from yesterday?
“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”
So why is it we find ourselves agreeing, shaking hands with the enemy so often?
I think that on some level, we don’t understand the power that we have within us. God destroyed the works of the devil with Jesus, and that same power lives inside of me and you. (Romans 8:11)
Let's think of it a different way: Maybe we can imagine ourselves going through life as if we were walking in a forest with Jesus, hand in hand, when we encounter a dragon, or some kind of other evil monster clearly set against us.
Although we might be nervous, Jesus is unphased. “Follow me,” he says, going right up to the dragon, and though the monster thrashes and breathes fire, Jesus remains unscathed by this beast. So we move closely behind and stand beside him, finding that we too are unharmed.
It’s as if there is some kind of protective coating around believers, something that we only have as long as we are standing with him. To approach a dragon alone, to fight the enemy and sin without the help of God will lead to discouragement and failure, but to do it with him will lead to a victory that is meant to be evidence to the world that we are children of God.
The power that rose Jesus from the dead is living in me, and yet, I forget that I no longer need to just crumble and bow before sin. I wonder how much of our agreeing with the enemy, our giving into sin has more to do with a struggle against long-built habits, rather than any lack of power inside of us.
John says that we cannot keep on sinning when we have been born of God, and I want to believe that statement, instead of automatically dismissing it for it's difficulty. I want to be a practicer of the righteousness that John speaks of, and the first step is believing that it is possible for me to be someone like that. To believe that to make me into a person who lives without sin is within God's realm of possibility.
I pray that this month we would have courage, and we would recognize that God’s seed, the power that rose his son from the dead, lives in us. I pray that we would remember that we have the power, through God, to push back against sin, and that by this victory we are the evidence to the world of his Glory.