Daniel 11:2-12; 1 John 3:7-13; Psalms 121:1-4; Proverbs 27:1-2
Proverbs: “Don’t boast about tomorrow, for you don’t know what a day might bring. Let another praise you, and not your own mouth — a stranger, and not your own lips.” (Proverbs 27:1-2 CSB)
Jesus Christ was one with God, yet set aside His unlimited divinity to become the servant of all. He made no plans of His own and submitted fully to the will of the Father. Instead of making a name for Himself, He glorified the name of His Father – and because of that, God the Father exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above all names. On the other hand, Satan was a servant of God who desired to be God. He rebelled against God’s will, and continues to rebel against God’s will – boasting of his own plans and purposes. Satan lifted himself up and praised his own name, attempting to make himself equal with God. Because of that, God resisted him and continues to resist him – and will eventually bring about his destruction. As people of the Lord God, who should we emulate? Should we emulate Satan by boasting of our tomorrows and attempting to make a name for ourselves, or should we emulate the Lord Jesus Christ by submitting to God’s tomorrows and trusting Him to lift us up in due time?
NT: “Little children, let no one deceive you. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who commits sin is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the devil’s works. Everyone who has been born of God does not sin, because his seed remains in him; he is not able to sin, because he has been born of God. This is how God’s children and the devil’s children become obvious. Whoever does not do what is right is not of God, especially the one who does not love his brother or sister. For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another, unlike Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.” (1 John 3:7-13 CSB)
In this passage, when John wrote about sinning verses not sinning, he wasn’t talking about never committing a sin – he was talking about making a practice of sin, where sinning continues to be a habitual way of life. The devil is the original sinner, and all he ever does is sin. Those who continue to make sin the practice of their life instead of being born again as instruments of righteousness, show that they are not children of God, but are instead of the devil.
One of the primary reasons the Son of God was manifested and revealed on earth was to destroy the works of the devil. If that was one of Christ’s primary purposes, how then could someone who is in Christ by faith and inhabited by the Holy Spirit continue a life of blatant sin with a disregard for righteousness? The answer is, they can’t. If we have been born again into God’s family through faith in Jesus Christ and made alive by His indwelling Holy Spirit, then habitual sin is going to be completely foreign and extremely uncomfortable to our new nature. The Holy Spirit within us will convict us of sin and convict us of what is righteous. A truly born-again disciple of Christ will not continue to make sin a practice of their life, and will progressively become more and more holy and righteous as they respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the work of God’s grace.
Those who are no longer comfortable with sin and grow more and more committed to God’s righteousness are going to discover that they have enemies in the world. The primary enemy is the devil, who is opposed to everything that is of God. Those who are of the devil and are committed to their ways of sin will also make themselves enemies of the righteous in Christ. Hatred for the things of God is inevitable in this world, and many times the people of God are on the receiving end of that hatred. But Jesus told His disciples to take heart, for He had overcome the world. His purpose was to destroy the works of the devil. The devil is indeed a defeated foe who keeps on fighting… until that day when he is destroyed forever.
Psalms: “I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber. Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep.” (Psalms 121:1-4 CSB)
Psalm 121 is categorized as a song of ascent. Songs of ascent were sung by Jewish pilgrims as they made the journey to Jerusalem to take part in the festivals that were required by law. Jerusalem is situated on a higher elevation than the surrounding area, with the temple itself on the top of a mountain. As pilgrims traveled toward Jerusalem, they would ascend, with the Temple Mount as their ultimate destination.
As the people of God who lived according to God’s righteous laws, the Jews were often hated and attacked for their beliefs and faithfulness to the Lord God. As they traveled to Jerusalem and ascended toward the temple, they lifted their eyes to the mountains. Specifically, their eyes were on the temple. They were the sanctified people of God. They knew that if they remained faithful to the Lord God, He would help them in all of their times of trial. He would protect them, He would deliver them, and He would save them. Seeing the temple sitting atop the Temple Mount in glorious splendor was a reminder of their privileged and protected existence. Now, as we keep our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Finisher of our faith, we can be assured that our help for every trial and tribulation comes from the throne of grace, which we are able to approach with boldness and confidence through faith.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that You came to destroy the works of the devil, and as I place my faith in You, the works of the devil in my life are indeed destroyed. Help me, as I keep my eyes on You and walk by faith in Your grace, to live a life of righteousness that is no longer given over to sin. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.