I originally wrote this article a few months ago, but it fits the prompt today so perfectly, I decided it was worth taking a second look at as we enter this new year.
Did you ever face a situation as a kid where one of your antagonists drew a line in the sand and said that line represented a boundary you were not to cross? You were required to stay on your own side of the line, and if you didn’t, there would be serious negative repercussions? “Don’t cross that line, or I’ll beat you up.”
Well, you know what? That’s still happening to the Body of Christ in this world. The devil is consistently drawing lines in the sand, and we’re afraid to cross over them. To use a more Biblical analogy, we can say that the enemy establishes his gates of authority in our lives, and we’re afraid to break through them.
During the time of Jesus’ ministry, the gates of a city represented, not only the places of entrance and exit, but also the place of legal authority. Major decisions and legal transactions were commonly made at the “gates of the city.” And certainly the gates, being part of a protective wall, were the main elements in the security of the city.
When the devil sets up his “gates” – his places of entrance into our lives — he does so in order to set up his own “seat of authority” and to try to be in control of those areas. The gates may be in the form of disease in our bodies, drug addiction in our children, pornography in a spouse, loss of a job or source of income, unsaved loved ones. Those gates may be political or legal actions that change the tenets of our cities or nations. They may be roots of strife and jealously that spring up in the midst of a congregation of believers.
But whatever form those “gates” take, the Lord has instructed us that we are to overrun those gates and demolish them in His name. His intention is very clear when He speaks in Matthew 16:18 : “Upon this rock, I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” That promise actually goes all the way back to Abraham. And just as Jesus came to fulfill all the rest of the Old Covenant – ushering in the New – so He fulfilled that part of the covenant promise as well. God told Abraham that he would “possess the gates of his enemies.” (Genesis 22:17 ). He repeated that promise to Isaac as well, because the promise is part and parcel of the Covenant as a whole.
Jesus came to provide the avenue through which all those promises would be passed down to everyone who would follow Him. And under this new Covenant, now that we have been born again into a new species and are actively members of the Kingdom of God, the power to execute those promises is far superior to what Abraham had. He was constrained to the natural world, with intermittent help from the spirit realm. We, on the other hand, have our life in the spirit Kingdom of God on a constant basis and can make use of the powers from that realm at will.
So how do we find ourselves so often in the position of standing there looking at a line drawn in the sand (disease, addiction, poverty, etc), feeling that we are imprisoned by that line and required to suffer behind it – not being able to cross over it into victory? The Word of God provides the answer. First of all, it tells us clearly that we can submit to God and resist the devil, and he will most assuredly flee from us. The Word also tells us that “greater is He that is in us than he that is in the word. It further guarantees that faith overcomes the world (and all the world throws at us.) The word “salvation” alone covers every possible need we could have, and Jesus has already done all the work of providing that complete salvation for every man, woman, and child on the earth who will believe.
But right there is the root of the problem, beloved: it’s with that word “believe.” The simple truth is that we – the Church – do not truly believe God’s Word. And one of the main reasons we don’t believe it is that we don’t know what it says – because we don’t read and study it for ourselves. We don’t spend hours reading, meditation, and praying over the Word to receive revelation. If we did, and we truly believed what it says, we would speak and act accordingly. And our first action would be to step across that line the devil has drawn at our feet.
Are you tired of living in the prison behind that line? Most of us are facing a number of those lines in our lives. It’s past time we got fed up with being in prison and, instead, got “fed-up” (filled) with God’s Word. Once we get enough Word activated in us that we are willing to pick up our feet and march over those lines, we will live our lives in victory on every level. Because after crossing one of the devil’s lines and realizing that we really are free, and he truly is defeated, we will find that crossing over the rest of those lines is much easier.
Are you ready? Here’s the battle plan:
1. Fill up on God’s Word. Toss out everything that contradicts it.
2. Concentrate on that Word until it is the most real thing in your life.
3. Then Step Over the Line into your victory through the name of Jesus Christ.