Daniel Fast Day 21

The Bullies Got Whipped

Life in the day and hour that we are living seems chaotic and out of control. It seems that the odds are stacked against us, especially for people of faith. The tide has turned and is turning to a greater extent in the direction of worldviews that are directly contrary to Christ. Even in religious circles, the Word of God is being undermined and viewpoints that are contradicting Scripture are being accepted. Believers all over the world are facing greater persecution and more relentless opposition. Christ followers are being bullied to embrace ideologies that are not Biblical. All of this can create a desire for us to want to escape. We want to be raptured out of here because we feel helpless. It seems that other people are creating the rules and we have to live by them. The world system and the evil supernatural forces behind it seem to be marching on with no slowing down of its agenda. The bullies are brass and crass with seemingly no end in sight.

If that’s how it seems to you, then allow me to tell you some good news. Are you ready? The bullies got whipped. You read that right! The bullies are not going to be whipped, they are already defeated. Paul writes: “In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.” Colossians 2:15(NLT) Jesus took care of all the bullies on the cross. He defeated every spiritual ruler and every natural authority. Meaning that both the supernatural powers and the natural authorities (mankind) that derive their inspiration from the supernatural powers, were defeated at Calvary’s Cross. He triumphed over all and every enemy, both spiritual and natural. Every throne, every power, every authority in every realm has been subjected by Christ our Lord!

Stop thinking and believing that you are part of a losing team. You are not! God, in His wisdom, used the enemies’ own plan for their defeat. They were in essence planning their own demise when they conspired to crucify Jesus. If they knew what they were doing, they would not have done it. “Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord.”  1 Corinthians 2:6-8(NLT) The rulers of this world thought that they were smart by hanging Jesus on the cross, not realizing that their kind of wisdom was being used by God to bring about their ultimate defeat. God’s plan was hidden from them, but it was in place before the world began. God’s plan was in place for our ultimate glory. Yes, for you! For me! For every believer who trusts in His sacrifice on the cross. Their plan for Christ’s demise was them digging their own grave and getting in it.

The cross pronounced the enemies’ defeat, but it announces our victory through Christ Jesus. The foolishness of the message of the cross has become the very power that saves us. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18(NIV) The cross might seem foolish to the world, but it actually displays the very power of God. Nature reflects the glory of our Creator. We look at the beautiful oceans and the vastness of life in the seas. We see beautiful landscapes and snow-capped mountains and our hearts are captured by its grandeur. We listen to the thunderous roars of a waterfall, or the raging of a river in full stream. We gaze upwards at the immense expanse of the universe and are awestruck by the sheer size of it. All these things are beautiful and awe inspiring. And although God’s power is reflected in nature, His power for us is revealed in the Cross of Christ.

God is the only One who can take a symbol of shame, a method of ultimate punishment, a sign of total defeat, and a way of an excruciatingly painful death and turn it into the greatest triumph! No one would’ve thought that a method of punishment that was reserved for the most despised would become the greatest symbol of victory. All the planning and plotting of men will end up accomplishing what God desires. Don’t for a moment believe that any conspiring by the world’s so-called smartest and richest will somehow defeat God’s plan. The most powerful and most influential in Jesus’ day came together to plot His demise. The great Roman Empire, the religious rulers of the day, and the political influencers all conspired, but God planned. “You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: ‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed one.’ Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.” Acts 4:25-28(NIV)

Listen, child of God, cheer up! We might face some challenges, but Jesus has already overcome. God’s enemies are not going to be defeated, they are already defeated. They are just out on bail but the Judge and the Highest Court are coming and their forever incarceration is secured. They can try to run and hide. They can plot and scheme and plan. They can rage and act with all arrogance. They can threaten and assault. They can conspire and call summits. They can abuse and mock. But the verdict has already been announced. The Judge has already ruled and their destiny is sealed. We have nothing to fear. When you see the rage against our God and hear of all the plans to strip away the foundation of faith, do not fear. It is nothing but powers and authorities that have already been stripped and defeated. They are just like our family dog Duncan. Duncan is 17 years old. He is blind, he is deaf, and has lost most of his teeth. When you try to pick him up, he bites, but his bite has lost all its power or ability to really hurt. He will nip at you but it has no effect, he can only try to gum you. Some of us are afraid of things that can only gum us, but not ultimately hurt us. Even if we lose our lives, we win! 

God turns the devil’s plot into His plan. They plot, God plans. They rage, God smiles. They storm, God laughs. Rest assured the bullies got whipped and the present bullies are only playing into God’s hands. How futile of man to think that he can rage against the Son. How foolish of man to think that he can outsmart Christ, who is Wisdom. How devastatingly arrogant of man to think he can put God in a grave. How deftly inept that man would think that to place Christ on the cross would mean the end. How vain the plans of man. How inadequate his rage to affect the Ancient of Days. The nefarious plans of men, driven by the inspiration of unholy spiritual wickedness will not succeed. Under the cover of darkness, all laid out plans seem destined for success. But when the Light of the world shines, He exposes these plans as nothing but folly. The bullies have not just been punched in the face; they have been stripped of all power. 

It is no wonder then, that the devil will use any and all means to obscure Christ’s cross. Because he does not want to be reminded of the place of his ultimate defeat. Hiding the cross from our view is nothing but deception and only proves the power and the reality of Jesus’ victory! When you feel your courage slipping, look at the cross. When your mind is racing, look at the cross. When fear is building, look at the cross. When faith is waning, look at the cross. When the enemy is raging, look at the cross. The cross, once the symbol of defeat, has now become our victory! “As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died.” Galatians 6:14(NLT)

We can live our lives in the boldness and confidence of Christ. Jesus is our Champion and in Him we have already overcome. So let us boast in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus triumphed over all His enemies and enforced their defeat at the cross. The bullies got whipped and soon it will be evident to all!

Prayer and Reflection:
  • What does it mean for you to live your life in light of Christ’s cross? Are you practicing it?
  • Christ’s cross means victory not defeat. How focused are you to live your life from the perspective of the cross of Christ? 
  • Where are you allowing the voices of negativity to obscure the message of Christ’s cross?
  • When you see all the plotting and planning of the world, does it cause fear or does it make you eager to live your life more purposeful? 
  • Knowing that in the end we win, how bold should we be in our witness?

Father, I thank You that You have used that which is foolish and despised and confounded the wisdom of the world. I rejoice today in Your victory on the cross, Lord Jesus. I pray that you help me to boast in nothing but Your victory on the cross. I glory in Your cross Lord Jesus. Thank You that this mystery that has been hidden from the beginning has now been revealed and it has been revealed for my benefit.

Holy Spirit, I ask that You would daily remind me of the victory I have in Jesus, through His cross. Let nothing obscure the cross from my spiritual view and let me live in the freedom I have in You. I pray the same prayer that the early church prayed, “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.  Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus. After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” Acts 4:29-31(NIV)

I ask that You would use Your church to build Your kingdom! May we also experience the filling of Your Spirit and the boldness to speak Your Word!

Thank You Jesus for the victory and that victory is mine! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

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