“A great and wondrous sign” is the opening phrase of Revelation 12. This first sign is a woman ready to give birth. The second sign is a red dragon. The dragon stands before the woman, ready to devour the woman’s child when it is born. Clearly, the dragon is the enemy of the woman and her offspring. The woman’s male child is born and snatched up to God and His throne while the woman flees to a desert and is protected there. Clearly, God favors the woman and her offspring and intends to protect them.
A war breaks out in heaven between Michael and the angels of God and the dragon and his angels. The dragon (Satan) and his angels are defeated and flung down to earth. A voice in heaven proclaims that “the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God” has now come because the accuser, Satan, has been cast down to earth. The voice says that Satan was defeated by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony and by the fact that they (the angels fighting the dragon) “did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death”.
Furious at their defeat, the dragon is determined to hunt down the woman in the desert. The dragon spews forth great waters from his mouth to wash the woman away, but the earth opens up to consume the waters. Then, the furious dragon, goes off to rage against the rest of the woman’s offspring described as “those that obey God’s command and hold to the testimony of Jesus”.
This fierce pursuit of those who hold to the testimony of Jesus by Satan and his angels is the application I am focusing on, because in the midst of it we see a clear definition of the power, purpose and priority that God intends for our lives. The voice in heaven says “Woe to the earth because the devil has gone down to you” which points to the present day when Satan still roams the earth and has some power to rage against us. Yet, the voice in heaven laid out power, purpose and priority for our lives that brings Satan’s defeat on earth just as it is in heaven.
The power is the blood of the Lamb. That is the only power for salvation and is our means to redemption and inclusion in the kingdom of God. Our first response is to accept the atoning and saving sacrifice accomplished in the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God.
The purpose is the word of our testimony. It was the angels’ testimony (of Jesus) that was the weapon that defeated Satan. On earth likewise, Satan has no power against the testimony we share of Jesus Christ our Lord. Our second response to share what we know of Jesus. It’s our weapon!
The priority is not loving life so much as to shrink from death. In our realm, it means not valuing the pleasures, activities, comforts and distractions of life so much that we shrink away from sharing our faith, our testimony and our hope. “Death” in some countries today could even be literal!
God our father, you desire for us offspring to find our place with you in your eternal Kingdom. Until that day comes, would you (by the faith you enable me to have) give me confidence in the face of any doubts I may have in the blood of Jesus, give me boldness to share my testimony of Jesus with my family and friends, and help me to hold life’s comforts loosely so I right be ready and willing to be used by you to battle against and defeat Satan in this world until the day of your return. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen
Posted on Wed, December 16, 2015
by Brian Landers