TEST OF STRENGTH by Pastor Paul Locke for loxland.com 30/10/2015
Weightlifters vie against each other to see who is best in competition and is a test of strength. Apostle Paul describes the test as a race and the winner gets the victor’s crown. (2Tim 2:5) His focus really is on finishing the race or completing the work we begin in the Lord. We are to emulate God who “began a good work in you will bring it to completion.” (Php 1:6) Our strength is in the Lord and His mighty power and not relying on ourselves.
Predators focus on the easy kill, the weakest animal in a herd, and so does the devil. Demons jump on pre-teen children the weakest in the human herd that are protected by dispensation of Grace to those below the age of understanding. Their demonic behaviour can be quickly averted by applying the anointing oil on them in a manner described by Apostle James. (Jas 5:13-14) The anointed power is in the oil by faith and can be applied by a believer. (Ex 30:29)
Devil paints a target on Christians and attacks more relentlessly the ones whose strength is in great faith. Comfortable Christians are those with little faith and are no threat to the devil. The test of strength of Jesus in the wilderness is a lesson for us to fight with Scripture. (Mtt 4:14) Personally I come under attack very often and say “It is written…” I quote from Jas 4:7 and Revelation 20:10 that send the devil away with his tail between his legs.
Attack is the best form of defence so worship of God brings the presence of God powerfully into the situation, “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies; to silence the foe and the avenger.” (Ps 8:2) A time is coming when the identity of the devil is revealed as a diminutive being, “Is this the man?” (Isa 14:16) Size and demeanour is not a yardstick to measure power and strength, but by the Spirit, “For God has not given a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind.”
Jesus laid down his life that we may live and has given us power over the devil through his blood. (1Jhn 3:8) Jesus was born without sin for only the blood of God touched him and when the devil killed him on the cross; it was illegal; and caused the Judge of the Universe to make judgment against him. The devil’s power was broken over those who believe in forgiveness of sin through the shed blood of Jesus and are released from the curse of sin and death. (Rom 3:25)