Revelation 12:11 -They gained the victory over him on account of the blood of the Lamb and the word of their witness. Love for their own lives didn’t make them afraid to die. CEB
I’ve been blogging on the spiritual weapons given to us to overcome the devil. This week will be my last week dealing with the subject. What I am realizing is that Jesus gave us so many ways to be victorious, that to live a life of defeat would be a slap in His face!
Today I want to look at the phrase, “the word of their witness” as our spiritual weapon against the enemy. When I think about this phrase, it brings to mind, “what are we saying about Jesus?” Have you thought about the fact that what you say about Jesus can cause you to be either victorious or defeated?
John wrote that they overcame the devil by the word of their testimony, or in this version, by the word of their witness. One commentator wrote that every single time we say no to sin, to temptations, to the lies of the devil, we are overcoming him! That’s what the end of this verse is reflective of when it says we overcome by the word of our testimony.
The way we live as Christians, going back to holiness, will determine how adept we are at overcoming the devil. In the Bible we have two great men of God, who were totally different in their walk with the Lord, yet alike! Peter and Paul!
Paul is one of my favorite people in the Bible, outside of Jesus! His life, speaks to me. He was a persecutor of the disciples of Jesus, arresting them and consenting to their deaths. Paul was zealous for the Law he had given his life to learn about, but ignorant of the God who sent His Son to die for him. I believe that every time he arrested one of the disciples their lives were a witness to him. He just couldn’t understand why they were so passionate, and some times, so willing to die for this Jesus! After watching Stephen die, I believe his life was changed. This young man had just used the very Law Paul had studied to explain his devotion to Jesus, and as Stephen dies, he cries “Lord, forgive them!” This was on his mind as he traveled on the road to Damascus. Now he was ready to encounter Jesus, and when he did, Paul recognized Him and called Him Lord. The same energy that Paul used to persecute the believers, was the same energy that he used to serve the Lord. He was strong in faith, strong in power, and strong in his teachings. There is no record of him ever straying from Jesus. He was passionate about his faith in Jesus, and he loved not his life, even to the death. Paul’s witness is an encouragement to me to live for Jesus. His life demonstrates that we can live a devoted, separated, victorious life with the Messiah.
Peter was so enthusiastic in his service for Jesus that he sometimes got ahead of himself! When Jesus asked His disciples what were they saying about who He was, Peter spoke up, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!” Yet, Jesus rebuked Peter on several occasions, and Peter denied knowing Jesus three times. But Jesus saw Peter’s heart, and restored him, and Peter went on to be used mightily of God. Peter then stumbled in his relationship with the Gentiles, not wanting to eat with them when the Jews were around. It wasn’t that he was a flaky Christian, he just showed a more human side, a fear for what people thought of him. His enthusiasm and passion, sometimes got the best of him, trying to block out his godliness. Yet he still remains a powerful witness that we can all look up to! God knows we aren’t perfect, that we will stumble, and through Peter’s life we have a witness that we can overcome, even when we don’t always get it right!
Can you imagine the impact these men lives had on the people they came into contact with? By his witness, Paul overcame the devil, and God used him to write most of the New Testament and to take the gospel to the Gentiles! By his witness, Peter impacted the Jewish community for Jesus every time he preached, winning thousands of souls to Jesus at a time. Their witness, in their life, and with their words, caused them to overcome the devil, time and time again!
I think of the Voice of the Martyrs magazine at this time. The powerful testimonies I have read over the years of these same type of Christians who, in spite of intense persecution, continue, even in the midst of trials to deepen their relationship with Jesus. One such man comes to mind that I read about. I don’t remember his name, but I remember his witness. He was arrested for his faith in the Lord Jesus while living under a communist regime. During his arrest he would witness to the prisoners. One day, the guards took him outside in the wintry weather, naked, as a means of torturing him. However, each time he was brought back inside, he was without sickness, frost bite, or even pain. I believe I also read that the Lord clothed him in warmth while he was outside. His witness was even stronger after the intense persecution and he led many to Christ. I don’t remember the end of his life, but he overcame the devil and his attacks, with his witness!
We won’t all be a Peter or a Paul, but we can all be a witness. The devil will constantly do things to try and tempt us from our faith in Christ Jesus, but we must be determined that nothing will separate us from God. He will lie to us about God’s character, but we must be diligent in letting our words speak of God’s faithfulness, His goodness, His mercy, and His love. Even in these challenging times with the coronavirus, we must remain true to Him, remembering always, that people are listening to our words and watching our lives.
We overcome the devil! Jesus made it clear that we do so! He gave His Blood as an overcoming weapon. We have praise to silence the enemy. We have the word of our testimony to testify that God is good and the devil is a liar! We have our holy, consecrated lives that give no place to him. We must live free of any fear of the devil! And now, we just have to live like we know these truths, believe these truths, and operate in these truths. Can I get a witness? Wonderful Jesus!