I’ve read it hundreds of time over the years, but I truly hadn’t paid much attention to it. It’s a little sentence in the Bible that is surrounded by some incredibly well-known and well-loved verses, and it just gets lost in the rush to move from power-verse to power-verse – I guess. I absolutely adore John’s epistles. Especially the first. I truly think it’s meat for the mature and simplicity for the overly scholarly. John defines, faith, godly living, and the purpose of the church in one word – love. Love for one another is the proof of our relationship with God, it’s how we see God, and it’s how we keep his commands! It’s that simple – and that profound!
In the middle of that love feast, John tells us that love was behind what God did in creating and saving us. In fact, God and Jesus show us what love is and how it’s given! Because of His great love for us, He destroyed sin’s control and power over us – unless, of course, we choose it over God. We get to choose who we belong to because love must always be a choice. We can choose God or we can reject Him and choose to live for the devil. This is were the little ignored verse appears that I mentioned at the beginning. It’s part of 1 John 3:8, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” (NIV) The Message says, “The Son of God entered the scene to abolish the Devil’s ways.” We often ignore the fact that the single most import quality that shows we don’t belong to the Devil is love. Love is how we fight the Devil. Love is how we choose to live rather than practice sin.
If that doesn’t remind us that there is a battle going on, I don’t know what does. The part we see and participate in, is the battle for control of our hearts. Paul tells us the battle is much bigger. We arm ourselves by putting on the armor of God, but he let’s us know that the struggle is far bigger. He said, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph. 6:12) We all know what it means to fight the temptation to sin. It’s a daily – hourly battle – but we learn to develop a spirit of godliness that guides and help us have a life-style pattern that isn’t controlled by it. But what about that battle “against spiritual forces in the heavenly realms”? We know there are angels fighting for both good and evil. In the Bible we read about battles and swords and armies! What must be going one that we can’t see?
I don’t think my imagination is THAT far off in The Judas Sword or the new book, The Perspicacious Quandary. God’s providential servants are not always called angels – but they are all His Agents of Light!