And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. Romans 16:20
The apostle Paul ended his letter to the Romans by warning them against false teachers. He wrote, “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them” (Romans 16:17). He accused the deceivers of using smooth speech and flattering words, but, he said, “Be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil” (verse 19). Then he assured them the God of peace would shortly crush Satan under their feet.
Paul must have been thinking of the first prophecy in the Bible about the coming Messiah when we’re told Christ will bruise the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15).
The devil is sowing his lies everywhere, and false teachers show up in classrooms, videos, books, websites, slogans, cable channels, and political campaigns. Sometimes they even climb into the pulpit. But Satan’s lies cannot deceive those who are growing in the knowledge of God, and his attacks can’t destroy those kept by the power of God.
There is nothing Satan can throw at you that you cannot overcome, nor any stronghold he can build that Jesus can’t overthrow.
You don’t have to be the victim because you can choose to live in the victory that God promises you as an overcomer. Sheila Walsh
Romans 16:17-20, The Pastor’s Powerful Warning
On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Psalm 63:6
During my college days, my summers were spent working at a guest ranch in the stunningly beautiful mountains of Colorado. On a rotating basis, staff members were assigned “night watch” duty—to keep an eye out for forest fires in order to protect the guests as they slept. What initially seemed to be an exhausting and thankless task became a unique opportunity for me to be still, reflect, and find solace in the majesty of God’s presence.
King David earnestly sought and thirsted for the presence of God (Psalm 63:1), even from his bed and through the “watches of the night” (v. 6). The psalm makes it clear David was troubled. It’s possible the words contained in it reflect his deep sadness over the rebellion of his son Absalom. Yet the night became a time for David to find help and restoration in the “shadow of [God’s] wings” (v. 7)—in His power and presence.
Perhaps you’re dealing with some crisis or difficulty in your life, and the night watches have been anything but comforting. Perhaps your own “Absalom” weighs heavy on your heart and soul. Or other burdens of family, work, or finances plague your times of rest. If so, consider these sleepless moments to be opportunities to call out and cling to God—allowing His loving hand to uphold you (v. 8).
Reflect & Pray
How do God’s promises encourage you when you face challenges that keep you awake at night? How can the night watches draw you closer to Him?
Dear God, thank You for always being awake and present with me in every night watch.
Much of Christianity has a distorted view of discipleship. In our desire to see more people come to Christ, we may be guilty of offering a gospel that emphasizes the benefits of following Jesus while avoiding any mention of the cost involved.
However, Jesus didn’t shy away from speaking truth. He let people know that being His disciple would not be easy, because they’d be following in His footsteps. Since Christ didn’t sail through life without challenges, why should we? Our goal should be to become like our Savior, and that means we must be willing to suffer to one degree or another.
Contrary to what many contemporary sermons suggest, following Jesus may not make your relationships better. It could become a source of contention because a true disciple’s love, devotion, and loyalty to Christ supersedes every other relationship. If what a friend or family member desires contradicts what the Lord has commanded, then the choice must be to follow Christ rather than a loved one.
As Christians, we’ll frequently be tempted to compromise in order to avoid misunderstanding, criticism, rejection, or persecution. But as Christ’s followers, we are called to live a crucified life—and compromise undercuts the wholehearted nature of crucifixion. We cannot pursue the acceptance of the world and at the same time follow the Lord. Until we stand with both feet on the side of obedience, we forfeit assurance of God’s peace and blessings.
Although discipleship is costly, the reward is great. Jesus promises to confess us as His own before God when we enter our heavenly home.
“When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” (Matthew 8:16-17)
The earthly healing ministries of Jesus are here said to have fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 53:4: “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.” The Hebrew words used do allow this New Testament application, so this passage does, indeed, predict the healing work of the Messiah in His earthly ministry. Isaiah 53:5-6 then predicts the substitutionary atoning work of the Messiah, concluding with the statement: “The LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
The order is important. The healing ministry preceded the atonement, just as the prophecy of healing preceded the prophecy of Christ’s atoning work. This means that particular healings cannot be a part of the atonement itself. The reason for the earthly healing work of Christ was “that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins” (Matthew 9:6).
The saving work of Christ includes deliverance from the death penalty for sin in one’s past life, the power of sin in this present life, and the very presence of sin in the future life. Our great salvation has already delivered us from the eternal torments of the second death (Revelation 20:14; 21:8), from the defeating power of physical infirmities in our present bodies, and from the very presence of sickness and pain in the future. In any case, there is no question that God is well able in particular situations right now either to provide direct healing in answer to prayer or sufficient grace to meet whatever physical need we have in a way that honors Him (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). HMM
O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
What are we going to do about this awesome, beautiful worship that God calls for? I would rather worship God than do any other thing I know of in all this wide world.
I would not even attempt to tell you how many hymnbooks are piled up in my study. I cannot sing a lick, but that is nobody’s business. God thinks I am an opera star!
God listens while I sing to Him the old French hymns in translation, the old Latin hymns in translation. God listens while I sing the old Greek hymns from the Eastern church as well as the beautiful psalms done in meter and some of the simpler songs of Watts and Wesley and the rest.
I mean it when I say that I would rather worship God than to do anything else. WHT018
Lord, may that be my testimony as well—“I would rather worship God than do any other thing I know of in all this wide world.” Amen.
All things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.—1 Corinthians 3:21, 23.
For those who worship Thee there is no death,
For all they do is but with Thee to dwell;
Now while I take from Thee this passing breath,
It is but of Thy glorious name to tell.
Mark those men whose life is hidden in God, so that of themselves they make no account. Thus can they delight themselves fully and freely in all that which God is doing, apart from the thought of themselves; and to them therefore it is true that heaven and earth are theirs, and all things are theirs, and fulfill their will, because the will of God is their will. And their cup overfloweth with joy even here below, because in all things they have a joy and delight that is steadfast and full. Whilst they walk with God, all is peace. For in Him sorrow is not sorrow, and pain is not pain, but all is peace and rest, all that God willeth, to them is sweet and pleasant. Nor is it only that to them the will of God is sweet. It is more than this. For to them He gives the fair sunshine of His comfort, and the blessed joy of heaven, even here below. So that they live already as it were in heaven.
“The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hind’s feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.” Hab. 3:19
This confidence of the man of God is tantamount to a promise; for that which faith is persuaded of is the purpose of God. The prophet had to traverse the deep places of poverty and famine, but he went down hill without slipping, for the Lord gave him standing. By-and-by he was called to the high places of the hills of conflict; and he was no more afraid to go up than to go down.
See! the Lord lent him strength. Nay, Jehovah Himself was his strength. Think of that: the Almighty God Himself becomes our strength!
Note, that the Lord also gave him sure-footedness. The hinds leap over rock and crag, never missing their foothold. Our Lord will give us grace to follow the most difficult paths of duty without a stumble. He can fit our foot for the crags, so that we shall be at home where apart from God we should perish.
One of these days we shall be called to higher places still Up yonder we shall climb, even to the mount of God, the high places where the shining ones are gathered. Oh, what feet are the feet of faith, by which, following the Hind of the Morning, we shall ascend into the hill of the Lord!