Luke 11:14-23 Jesus Conquers Over Spiritual Darkness
Recently, we looked at the seven churches in Revelation 2-3.
Each church faced challenges within the churches and in the cities in which they lived.
Each church faced a battles in the world in which Satan roams.
When Jesus addressed these churches He typically disclosed four things to them.
Jesus revealed Himself to them
Jesus commended most of the churches for something good He had seen in them.
Jesus address some sin that the church needed to repent of.
Jesus then gives a promise to those who will hear, repent and respond in faith.
Jesus calls these people ‘overcomers’.
Jesus promises many things to those who overcome. For example,
To the church in Ephesus, Jesus promises that the one who conquers will eat of the tree of life which is in the paradise of God.
To the church in Smyrna, Jesus promises that the one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.
To the church in Pergamum, Jesus promises that they will receive the hidden manna, a white stone with a new name that has been written upon it.
To the church in Thyatira, Jesus promises that those who conquer will receive authority to rule over the nations and they will receive the morning star.
To the church in Sardis, Jesus promises that they will be clothed in white garments and their name will not be blotted out of the book of life. Jesus will confess them before His Father.
To the church in Philidelphia who conquerors Jesus will make them a pillar in the temple of God. He write upon them the name of God, the city of God, and a new name.
To the church of Laodicea who conquerors, Jesus promises that He will grant them to sit with Him on his throne.
All of us want to be conquerors.
All of us want to receive these promises.
We want to crush the enemy.
We want to rout the adversary.
We want to oppose the enemy.
We want to advance against our foe with courage.
Yet, when we are called to the front lines of battle and when we are about to engage the enemy we may find that our hearts fail us, our courage collapses and our spirits begin to cower. We want to be worthy disciples but we don’t always want to be soldiers for Christ.
This is what happened to the Israelites. When Goliath would come down to the battle line and begin to speak to the armies of Israel they would hide and cower.
“Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us…I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together. When Saul and all Israel heard theses words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.” (1 Samuel 17:8-11)
William Gurnall speaks of such things in his classic book, “The Christian In Complete Armor”. He says,
Every duty in the Christian’s whole course of walking with God is lined with many difficulties which shoot at him through the hedges on his march toward heaven. He must fight the enemy for every inch of ground along the way. Only those noble-spirited souls who dare to take heaven by force are fit for this calling. This warfare analogy reveals why there are so many who profess Christ and so few who are in fact Christians; so many who go into the field against Satan, and so few who come out conquerors. All may have the desire to be successful soldiers, but few have the courage and determination to grapple with the difficulties that accost them on the way to victory. (p.25)
Jesus has promised so many GRACES to those who conquer.
And yet, I wonder if the promise of such things is enough to motivate me to make it to the end, to endure, to fight, to not give in, to not compromise?
Saul made promises to Israel. And yet, no one stepped up to fight. He promised that the man who could defeat Goliath would have:
his father’s house would be free from taxes
and he would be given the kings daughter in marriage
And yet, when Goliath came out the men of Israel fled from him and were very much afraid? (1 Samuel 17:24-27)