(Talk about being saved from the Enemy in the Dark!)
ADVENT DEVOTIONAL, 2017
REIGNING WITH CHRIST
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins. Colossians 1:9-14 NIV
The world in which we live has many beautiful, lovely, and good aspects; but it is laced with suffering, selfishness, and cynicism. The world is prey to wickedness, held hostage to those who employ might, wealth, and terror to get their way without regard to the lives of others. Reigning with Christ means that God has rescued us from this hopeless evil and has brought us into the light of His presence—a light from which evil cannot hide. It is a light that is profoundly uncomfortable for us, whose blemishes are still evident. For this reason, evil continues to call to us to abandon the light.
FJ HUEGEL: The Christian has been freed from the position of oppression as one under the world-wide thralldom (domination) of Satan and his hierarchy. The universal sway, the global authority of the prince of this world stemming from man’s having made common cause with “that old serpent the devil” through sin, the fruit of deception, was shattered at Calvary. . . John in his first epistle declares that this was the real purpose of the Savior’s coming: “For this purpose was the Son of God manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil.” . . . Because of Redemption, which meant, among other things of immeasurable significance for man, the overthrow of the Satanic dominion, man is declared according to God’s Word . . ., free from the thralldom (allegiance to) of the evil one. The Christian has been delivered from the power of darkness and has been translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son (see Colossians 1:13). The whole world is under the power of the evil one, which is the thought of 1 John 5:19 as we have it in the Greek. And never was this awful fact more in evidence than in this present hour of the world’s history. And there is every reason to believe that pressure from the pit, the rage of hell’s prince, will increase as the time of his consignment to the lake of fire draws increasingly near. . . the foe contests every inch of ground that he must give up. The Israelites in the days of Joshua had to take the promised land by means of war, though it had been given to them by a divine decree. And so the Christian must fight for freedom, though it is already his by divine decree in Christ.
PRAYER: Dear God, Jesus died a victim of evil to set us free from evil. Bring me into the light where you can see clearly the stains on my life that need cleaning. Show me how desperately I need to be free from the evil that governs this world, and grant me to fight the fight of grace, claiming for myself a freedom that is already mine in Christ. In his name I pray. Amen.