It is there, abiding above, that we fellowship and grow; and it is from there that we minister here in this lost and needy world. Although we are in this world, we are not of it; we are primarily here in order for God to be glorified in us and the Lord Jesus to be manifested through us for the sake of others. “Conduct yourselves properly (honorably, righteously) among the Gentiles, so that although they may slander you as evil doers, [yet] they may by witnessing your good deeds [come to] glorify God” (1 Pet. 2:12
To escape from the reign and corroding influence of the world we must count on the work of the Cross, by which we were crucified unto the world, and the world crucified unto us. (Galatians 6:14
“But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”) The source of our Christian life is neither in the worldly nature, nor the worldly system; we are to look to another world for all our resources. “If [since] then ye were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are upon the earth. For ye died, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:1–3).
Both the Cross and the risen Lord Jesus separate us from the reign of Satan. At Calvary we died out of his kingdom of darkness and death; in the resurrection we were born into the Son’s kingdom of light and life. “Giving thanks unto the Father, who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Col. 1:12
Satan would seek to bluff us out of our position of safety. But we are to “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour; whom resist steadfast in the faith…” “Neither give place to the devil.” “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”(1 Pet. 5:8, 9; Eph. 4:27
; James 4:7).
Our resistance to the Enemy is on the basis of faith, faith in the work of the Cross in which he was doomed and his power broken. Through our reckoning, his defeat at Calvary is applied and we are made to triumph.
Satan, although dangerous, has been defeated. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy [make of no effect] him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” (1 John 3:8; Heb. 2:14
We are to stand in our position, “hid with Christ in God,” that we may be “strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Col. 3:3; Eph. 6:10
). We do not have to wage war with the devil to obtain our position, nor do we have to fight him either to maintain it or to retain it. We simply stand where we have been placed, abiding above, resisting his assaults and fiery darts through faith in the Victor who defeated him and all his cohorts. At the Cross the Lord Jesus “spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Col. 2:15
). We humbly walk in the train of His triumph.
Many believers, not knowing of, nor abiding in, their position in the triumphant Lord Jesus, attempt to war against and defeat the devil and his demons. Before long Satan looms larger and stronger in their eyes, while the Lord Jesus seems to become smaller and weaker.
Soon they imagine there are demons on every hand, possessing nearly everything and everybody. They become obsessed with their “warfare,” and before long begin to experience defeat and breakdown in the physical, mental, moral, and spiritual realms.
If Satan can get the believer to become more aware of him than of the Lord Jesus, the inevitable result is a triumphant foe and a defeated Christian. Our responsibility is to steadfastly resist the Enemy by quietly resting in our impregnable position in Christ. “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.” “Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light” (Col. 2:9, 10; Rom. 13:12
Our Father often uses the Enemy as a foil, to teach us to handle our weapons of defense. We are told to “put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:11
). Actually, the Lord Jesus is our armor—“put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh” (Rom. 13:14
). Satan cannot touch Him, nor can he touch us in Him.
Even when our Father chooses to let out Satan’s chain a bit, the Enemy’s worst only proves to be God’s best for the believer who stands his ground in Christ. Satan thought he was destroying the Lord Jesus on the Cross, and now he attempts to do the same with the believer. But all he gets is a mouthful of ashes, his Calvary defeat. All he gets is judgment, “because the prince of this world is judged” (John 16:11
I am thankful that the Cross has closed my history as related to the world and its prince. I was a slave to the world, but now it is crucified to me, and I to it.
14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. I was a slave to Satan, but now my Father has made me a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light, and delivered me from the power of darkness.
12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.
13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,