The Ultimate Parade of Victory!

images-47As far as you could see there was a sea of blue clothed fans packed in the streets. The atmosphere was filled with excitement and resounding shouts of victory as the crowds pressed in to see the oncoming parade. It was the fall of 2015 and the Kansas City Royals had just clinched the World Series pennant. The city couldn’t have been more committed in the celebration parade; schools were closed as well as some businesses and many took the day off to make a family day of it. The parade was filled with local marching bands, ticker tape and most important, the bigger than life team players.

After being involved in this city-shaking event it makes Paul’s words to the Colossians come alive more vividly. He says in Col. 2:14-15 concerning Jesus work on the cross, “…having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the


At the End of the Age we will be shocked at the devils weakly appearance!


cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it”. The word “triumphing” Paul uses here and also in 2 Cor. 2:14 is a figure of speech drawn from the ceremony that greeted a Roman general who had won a decisive victory over a enemy. This “Via Triumphalis” parade usually featured a display much like our “parade of champions” in our sports enthused societies.

The parade would wind through the most occupied places of the city. At the front would be musicians, dancers and maidens carrying perfumes and incense, throwing flower petals along the way, much like the flower girl at a wedding. The air and atmosphere would be filled with the smell and sounds of victory! Then in a chariot pulled by white horses, came with the conquering general wearing a crown on his head given by Caesar, and in his right hand a palm leaf symbolizing victory. Behind him came his son’s and officers sharing in the victory.

Yet there was one more group following and it was those captured. They were being displayed before the citizens of the city, stripped of weapons, armor, clothing, bound in chains and tied to the conquerors chariots. These defeated foes would be revealed as humiliated and powerless opponents in front of the cheering crowds.

The apostle Paul used this triumphal procession as an analogy of Christ’s victory at the cross. He was painting a picture for us so we could see that the enemy


 If the devil was defeated at the cross and we are victorious through Jesus why don’t we live like It!  


was totally defeated through Jesus’ work. Therefore, as a Christian we need to see the enemy of our souls as just that, a defeated foe! To often we still imagine the devil as a big bad threat in our lives instead of the humiliated spectacle beheld on the parade route!

Peter describes in his letter the devil as someone that roams around acting like a roaring lion. (1 Pet. 5:8) And if we look further at some other passages in scripture we can even paint a broader picture of satan being nothing more than a toothless fake lion on a leash with a bashed in head eating dirt! (Gen 3:14-15, Ps 3:7, Job 1:12) He is nothing that we should be intimidated by as sons and daughters of God. (Gal. 3:26) In Isa 14:12-17 it tells us concerning the devil at the “End of the Age” that we will “gaze at you, and consider you, saying: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms”. We will be shocked at his weakly appearance! So let’s not wait until then to get a right perspective. He is defeated and we are victorious through Jesus our Lord! So live like It!

 

Thoughts to Ponder:  

  1. Have you been one of those that have imagined wrongly the devil as a big bad scary enemy?   Why do you think you have believed that?
  2.  If the enemy of our souls is already defeated why do you think many people are in bondage by him?
  3. What must a person do to be included in the triumphant parade behind Jesus? In other words how do we become a son and daughter of God?

 

Quotes to Tweet:

At the End of the Age we will be shocked at the devils weakly appearance! www.billvirgin.com

If the devil was defeated at the cross and we are victorious through Jesus why don’t we live like It!    www.billvirgin.com

 

#TheDevilIsNothingButADeafeatedFoe        #WhyShouldIBeAfriadOfTheDevil

 

 

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When Hell Hears Your Prayers

The anticipation was building as we looked forward to Easter Sunday. The church had been praying and fasting for a harvest of souls. It was the night before and dusk was upon the community as I was walking through my neighborhood and praying for the upcoming service. I followed the Spirit’s leading as a burden for the unsaved in our community came upon me. I therefore contended for the inheritance of the believers. Rounding the corner of my usual path, I noticed a couple of men talking as they leaned on their cars. Continuing to pray under my breath, I greeted them with a friendly smile and tried to pursue a conversation, but to no avail. Fueling my fire of passion for a breakthrough in our city, I continued walking and remained focused for a harvest of souls.


Our prayers should intimidate Hell   (tweet)


The evening air once again was still and darkness was upon me as I walked outside the streetlight’s reach. Coming to the end of my walk just a block from my house, I turn into a cul-de-sac to extend my prayer time. Before I knew what was going on, the quiet evening was pierced by screeching tires and red and blue flashing lights coming toward me. “Sit here! Put your hands on your head!” an officer barked at me. I obeyed as I squinted into their spot light. By this time, armed police surrounded me with curious neighbors looking on. The lead officer spoke directly saying, “We got a report you were mumbling to yourself, ‘I’m sorry I killed my family.’” If it hadn’t been so embarrassing it would have seemed funny. I told them again that I was truly praying for those in my neighborhood who were hurting and in need of God. They looked at me as if I was a religious fanatic. I knew they weren’t convinced. But, thankfully, the Lord delivered me from the two men’s accusations, who were drinking by their car earlier.

Wanting to take this divine opportunity and share God’s love with them, I invited them to be my guests at church the next day. But, still unconvinced they let me go with a stern warning, “We know where to find you if we need you.” After an embarrassing thirty minutes of interrogation, I realized this was the enemy’s attempt to shut down my prayers. It became clear that the officers were being used in this situation as his pawns. I understood he would stop at nothing to hinder our prayers for God’s agenda.


We rattle Hell’s foundations when we pray in accordance to God’s will and promises.   (tweet)


As Christians we need to be aware that the enemy’s mission statement is to steal, kill and destroy the purposes of God (Jn. 10:10). He will stop at nothing to try and distract us from walking in God’s promises.  

Our prayers intimidated Hell. We had hit a cord in the realm of darkness that sent demons scrambling to hinder us. The police drama, the accusation along with the embarrassment, was only a manifestation of the agitation in the enemies’ kingdom. When the enemy hears our prayers, he is quick to try to foil them. It was a direct strategy of the enemy to disrupt the focused and tenacious declaring of God’s will. Let me ask you, when the enemy hears your prayers is he outraged? Only when we pray in accordance to God’s will and God’s promises will it rattle Hell’s foundations. It’s time to intimidate Hell with your prayers.

The Devil doesn’t Play Fair

There’s an old saying, “If you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen.” If we are going to engage the enemy on his territory and be vessels of deliverance to those that he holds in bondage, we must expect to have conflict from the kingdom of darkness. Even though the prince of darkness has been defeated, he is not going to roll over and play dead.

The curtains of the spirit realm are pulled back when Daniel burdened for the people of God, humbled himself in twenty-one days of prayer and fasting. God answered his enquiry in an angelic visitation—from the first day that he prayed the answer was dispatched. Yet, it was hindered by the Prince of Persia for twenty-one days until the angel Michael came to assist (Dan. 10:12-14).


Even though the prince of darkness has been defeated, he is not going to roll over and play dead.   (tweet) 


When Daniel began to intercede for his people and for their return to their land, the enemy resisted. Not knowing of the fight, Daniel continued to press in and pursue the welfare of his people. It wasn’t until the angel revealed a glimpse of the spiritual warfare that was going on did it bring hope and understanding to Daniel and all who read about it.

Though at times the fight might seem to be just in the temporal realm it is truly in the spiritual realm. The unseen is more real than the seen. Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Our battle is spiritual, yet it manifests in the natural in many ways. When we press in to the things of God, we will come face-to-face with the enemy who will always try and hinder us. He has many strategies, such as intimidation, affliction, persecution or other troubles that steal our attention away from God’s heart. The enemy will try to stop prayers that are liberating the captives and setting people free. Prayers that cry out for justice in our land bring an irritating reminder of the blood of the cross to the enemy’s camp. Have you ever seen a dog chase his tail? They never seem to get tired of the adventure of almost catching it. That is like the devil, he seems to never tire of trying to catch you and disrupt God’s plans in your life. He uses the same old tricks, just different names, faces and scenarios.


Prayers that cry out for justice in our land bring an irritating reminder of the blood of the cross to the enemy’s camp.   (tweet)  


But, thanks be to God who gives us the victory through the blood of Jesus. The enemy will fall into the very pit that he has dug for you. We are on the winning side and scripture declares, we are the head and not the tail (Deut. 28:13). The Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians, “Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God…” (II Cor. 10:3- 4). Paul also communicated to the Ephesians, “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places,” (Eph. 6:12). We are in a battle not with humankind but with demonic forces in the spirit realm. Therefore, we must remember our warfare must be in the spirit not in the flesh.    

Does the Devil Really Wear Red?

red devil 1How many times do we come across different co-workers or associates that say they are Christians yet live a lifestyle below the bar of God’s plan. They seemed to be caught in a red devil theology, blinding them from seeing or fulfilling God’s plan in the earth. Let me explain with a fun but true story.

Some years ago several ministers and I were doing a pastor’s conference in Tampico, Mexico. We would daily drive from the hotel to the location of the conference. On one morning in the midst of the rush hour traffic we came across a man dressed in a red devil costume in the center medium blowing fire out of his mouth. It was quite amusing to say the least. All of us being preachers thought it would be a fun photo opt so we stopped and proceeded to walk over to him.

When the man in the red costume saw us coming and before we could reach him he grabbed his belongings and bolted across traffic and flagged down an oncoming bus heading out of town. We stood in amazement as everything unfolded before us so quickly. Back in the van we chuckled about the way this humorous event had played out saying “we had chased the devil out of town”. Yet, he might have gotten the last laugh due to the fact that he had distracted and hindered us from fulfilling God’s purpose. We were late getting to the conference that we were speaking at.


Some people seem to be caught in a red devil theology, blinding them from seeing or fulfilling God’s plan in the earth       (tweet)


As humorous as this story is, many people if they were honest would say they basically go through their day-to-day journey thinking the devil is nothing more than a sideshow of a circus. I might be stretching it a little but I still believe many people view the devil in a far from accurate way. The fact is the devil is real, even though he doesn’t wear a red suit, carry a pitchfork and stand in plain view making a show for drive by traffic. But on the contrary in Matt 10:10 it says, he wants to steal, kill and destroy individuals.

Paul exhorts believers to not be ignorant and blinded of the devils devices in 2 Cor.2:11. The scriptures reveal he is self-seeking and will do anything to exalt himself. Which includes ravishing your life and stealing your inheritance as a child of God. In 1 Pet 5:8-9 we’re exhorted, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith…”.

God is unfolding His plan in the earth and desires us to be co-laborers with Him. Yet because of a lack of understanding many have made light of the schemes of the devil disqualifying or derailing them from fulfilling God’s purpose. They have swallowed the lie that the enemy of their soul is only a harmless figure dressed in a red devil’s costume blowing fire for entertainment, which has opened the door for deception.


Jesus has covered us in red through His blood calling us sons and daughters.   (tweet)


When we are aware of his tactics and grounded in who we are in Christ then we are able to oppose him. Jesus has covered us in red through His blood calling us sons and daughters. Therefore as the scripture says “greater is Christ in us then the deceptive devil. We must be rooted and solid in our understanding of who God is and who the devil is not!