Though a warrior is often asked to perform an assignment or fight in a place that takes him out of sight of his commander, they remain in contact. Contact provides direction, support, supplies, and perhaps even the ability to return from the field. But if contact is lost because the all the commanders are dead, then any war is all for naught.
The Captain of our salvation is very much alive, more than able to sustain us as we remain in contact with Him.
Jesus said to [Mary], "Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.' "
~ John 20:17 (NKJV)
It is possible that Jesus' disciples rejoiced in a risen Lord with a newfound view of Him as invincible King, Who would remain to establish His kingdom with power. While Jesus allowed them to touch Him and thereby believe His bodily resurrection (Matthew 28:9, John 20:27), He bid them not cling to Him, for He would soon depart again.
He nonetheless remains very much in contact with us, even as He institutes a new kingdom with power, establishing His spiritual rule in the hearts of men and women. Jesus has secured the penultimate victory over the penalty of sin, and we now jointly fight spiritual battles over the power of sin, until the final victory defeats all presence of sin—and death itself:
And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! … If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead … He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
~ from 1 Corinthians 15:17-26
Paul concludes his depiction of our spiritual armor with the admonishment to be "praying always … being watchful to this end with all perseverance" (Ephesians 6:18). He knows flesh and blood cannot win spiritual battles such as the combat with temper / lust / pride, or the war against fear, or the struggle when evil words pierce, or the conquering of outrageous offenses with forgiveness.
But if we are willing to fight, these opportunities to advance our Lord's spiritual kingdom can be won with spiritual perseverance—and all else available through constant communication with the Living God in prayer.
As Your kingdom is established in Heaven, Your kingdom come, Lord, through us, by Your power. Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus, reign in us!
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Copyright 2012, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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