How to Defeat the Fiery Red Dragon (satan)
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. (Revelation 12:11 NKJV)
The Apostle John, once one of the youngest of Jesus’ disciples, now having outlived them all, had been banished to the Isle of Patmos for his ongoing proclamation that Jesus was the Messiah. While on that island, which on clear days would allow him to see his homeland of Ephesus in the distance, Jesus revealed Himself to John in unique and powerful visions and words. Parts of that revelation John was forbidden to even write about; but the rest he scribed and distributed to the seven churches under his pastoral care. This was “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Chapter 12 gives an overview of all of time and history, as it relates to mankind. Satan is portrayed as a fiery red dragon, whose rebellion and pride caused war to break out in heaven. He and one third of the angels were cast from heaven to earth, where he remains to this day, “roaming about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
The first part of the chapter tells of a woman who had “on her head a garland of twelve stars” – the woman represents Israel (12 tribes). In much pain, the woman gave birth to a Child (Jesus), whom the dragon sought to kill. The Child, however, was destined to rule the nations, lived out that purpose, and was caught up to heaven (death, burial, resurrection, ascension).
The dragon continued to persecute the woman (now “spiritual Israel,” which includes the Church) for many generations.
There are two lessons that I take away from my reading today:
1. Like it or not, I am at war. War is not merely an interruption to life, it is the norm of life. Satan does not rest, nor does he have any level of compassion. He ruthlessly and mercilessly persecutes God’s people.
2. Jesus has provided for my victory. Like young David, who faced and conquered Goliath, I can and will triumph over the enemy in my life.
Here’s how we fight and win:
1. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb. Jesus’ blood eradicated sin’s grip on me. My past does not hold me in bondage. Satan cannot condemn me where God has redeemed me.
2. They overcame him by the word of their testimony. When I declare the good works of God to others, I am defeating the enemy. And when I declare THE WORD of God (the greatest testimony), I am wielding the Sword of the Spirit and causing demons to flee!
We don’t hear this one taught on very often.
3. They overcame him by being willing to lay down their lives for their Savior. It’s one thing to live for Jesus; it’s another thing to die for Him. None of us knows exactly what we would do if faced with such persecution that our lives were at stake. However, the more I realize what Jesus did for me, the more I want to give my all to Him, including my life, if necessary.
Sure, we face difficulty, hardship, and persecution in this life. We are, after all, in a war. But we overcome.
Earthly life is a fleeting breath. Eternal life is our reward.
Grant your people boldness, courage, and peace as we fight the fight of faith.
In Jesus’ name,