The Christian life is not about you trying to do your best to live for God. It's about Him living in you and Him living through you. And even when it comes to overcoming sin, overcoming attacks of the enemy, living in victory, reigning and ruling in life - you can't do it through your self-discipline or best efforts or anything like that. You do it by relying on His grace, by being empowered by His grace. He's given you authority to be able to reign and rule. We've been talking about that the last couple of episodes, and we're going to continue looking at it in this episode today.
I want to start off in Colossians 2:15. It says in the King James Version, “and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it”. The Passion translation says, “then Jesus made a public spectacle of all the powers and principalities of darkness, stripping away from them every weapon and all day spiritual authority and power to accuse us. And by the power of the cross, Jesus led them around as prisoners in a procession of triumph. He was not their prisoner; they were his!” The purpose of me reading that verse is really just to expose the enemy for who he really is. I want you to see who he really is, because a lot of believers are not living in victory because they think the devil is so big.
In the last episode we looked at how small the devil really is. I said: Jesus has defeated him through the cross, which means he doesn't have a foot to stand on. That means he's just a pushover! Jesus disarmed him – “disarm” means to take off arms. So he has no legs to stand on. He has no arms. That means the enemy is just a torso, which means you really have absolutely nothing to fear.
The devil is nothing against Christ inside of you. In 1 Peter 5:8 it says, “be well balanced and alert always because your enemy, the devil”. So you have got an enemy, and it's the devil. But it says that “he roams around incessantly as a roaring lion, like a roaring lion looking for its prey to devour”. The King James puts it as “the enemy comes as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour”. It’s not saying that he IS a roaring lion. He is like a roaring lion and he's seeking whom he may devour. That means he can't devour everyone, but he's looking for someone who's going to allow him to devour them. So it's up to you whether you allow the enemy to devour you or not.
And I would recommend that you don't - because, you know, that's just dumb. You don't want to allow the enemy to devour you. And he can if you're allowing them to, but you don't have to - because you're bigger than him, as I've already shown you. He's disarmed. He's also a defeated, so he doesn't have a leg to stand on. And so you have nothing to worry about. All you need to do is realize what you have and who you are in Christ and start to live in it. Colossians 2:15 says “and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it”. This shows that He has disarmed the enemy.
Historically, as far as we know, when a Roman general had a notable victory, he marched through the streets of Rome, followed by the kings and leaders and people that he had defeated. They were basically shown as spoils of his victory. They would sometimes even cut off their thumbs. They couldn't hold another sword. They were stripped naked. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, the enemy was made an open show of, and although people still think he's something powerful, he was exposed as completely defeated.
The word “exhibit” also gives us the picture of an insect impaled and framed for study – the enemy has been impaled and he's now made an open show of, rendered useless. His only power over you is deception. The Passion puts it like this: “Then Jesus made a public spectacle of all the powers and principalities of darkness, not just some of them, but all of them, stripping away from them every weapon and all their spiritual authority and power”. So if all spiritual authority and power has been taken away from them, there's nothing left, except the authority that you give them over you.
At the cross, it seemed like Jesus was the enemy's prisoner but the enemy was actually His prisoner, because God had a plan. He was redeeming mankind through His sacrifice. The enemy didn't control him and put him on the cross. Jesus laid down his life for us. When you realise that the enemy has been defeated, stripped of all of his spiritual power and authority, and that the only power he has over you is deception, you’ll realize that you can reign over any attack of the devil. 1 John 4:4 tells you that the Greater One lives in you, and now you are seated with Christ in heavenly places above all principality, power, and rulers of the darkness and of this world. And you can rule and reign in life because of who you now are in Christ.