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  • Pastor Nicholas

Under Our Feet


One of my favorite hymns is "This Is My Father's World." I am comforted when we sing the line from the third stanza, "Though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet." The same God who stood watch over the flood and preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, is the same God that stands watch over the deluge of anti-Christian sentiment today. The same God who delivered his people from Egypt and threw horse and rider into the sea (Ex. 15:22) is the same who calls upon his people to trust him today. He is the same God that delivered Daniel from the mouth of the lion, the three Hebrew boys from the fire of the furnace, Samson from the hand of the Philistines, David from Goliath, and Peter and John from prison.


What all these and so many other stories have in common is that the present circumstances always looked unfavorable for God's people, and yet, they weren't. Just as when Esther goes into the presence of the king to seek his favor, she can't possibly know that God has orchestrated so many other events to deliver his people from the hand of their enemies. Indeed, another thing all these stories have in common is that in spite of the circumstances, these men and women remained faithful to God in their calling.


It is enough for Christians to believe that, in the end, God will prevail over his enemies. But have you ever stopped to ask how he intends to do this? Another striking feature of the stories above is that God worked the victory for his people through his people. One of the most remarkable verses in the Bible is found at the end of Romans. Paul tells his readers, "Your obedience is known to all, and thus I rejoice over you. But I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. The God of peace will quickly crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you" (Rom. 16:19–20). You might think that Paul would have said that the God of peace would soon crush Satan under Jesus' feet, but he said that he would crush Satan under our feet. That is a most remarkable promise. And, as it turns out, both things can be true at the same time. He can crush the devil under the feet of the Son of God and under his people's feet because we are his body in this world. God leaves his people here for the times in which we live so that he might work his will in the world through us. So, when we sing, "Though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet," we add the great truth that he indents to rule in and through us in this world, too.


How does God intend to do this? Revelation 12:11 tells us that the saints overcame the dragon (=Satan) "by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die" (NET). It is both by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony. In other words, the gospel is the greatest "weapon" of our warfare because it alone converts enemies into friends and subdues the rebel heart, making it subject to King Jesus. But together with the gospel is our testimony, that is, our faithful living out of God's word in this world. As individuals, we often wonder what kind of an impact we can have on the world. That's the wrong way to think about it. As individuals, our impact is quite muted. But we are not merely individuals. We are part of Christ's glorious body. If each of us determines in his heart to sanctify Christ Jesus as Lord (1 Peter. 3:15), the combined effect of Christian faithfulness can and will be felt in the world. Therefore, let us endeavor to live each day for Christ, putting him on full display in this world. Satan will not have the last word; neither will sin or the world. God is the ruler, yet. And he is ruling in and through his people through his mighty Word and Holy Spirit.


"Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." —1 Corinthians 15:58
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