Playing in the Sand

“ . . . But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” Revelation 12:12

In case this is news to you, let me make something very clear: Satan knows he has been defeated. You should know it too.

In the great battle between good and evil, victory has already been declared in heaven. Satan and his demons have been cast down to the earth and rendered powerless by the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 12:7-11).

You and I aren’t waiting to see who wins this thing, dear one. It’s been decided. Now we wait to see the victory God accomplished in heaven realized on this earth.

Perhaps this is a good time to remind you how Jesus taught us to pray.

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10

The enemy knows full well that one day his defeat will become abundantly evident here on earth as well. So in the meantime, he has set his fury on the one thing that can hinder his movement and power here. He comes with a vengeance against Christ’s bride, the church.

Why? Because of what Jesus declared in Matthew 16:18.

“ . . . and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Notice that Jesus didn’t say that hell would not prevail against Him. He clearly states that His church will secure the victory, a church built on this rock.

It seems appropriate to ask a significant question: Upon what rock will Christ build His prevailing church?

Let’s check the context of Jesus’ statement. He had just asked His disciples a question.

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:15-16

Look carefully at Jesus’ next words.

And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:17-18

Peter had only one way of knowing Jesus was the Christ, the same way we do today. God revealed the truth to him. Jesus called Peter blessed because he had discerned and trusted what the Father had spoken to his heart about Jesus.

Peter heard and believed, and Jesus proclaimed,on this rock I will build my church.” Only a church founded and built on believing God’s words will prevail against our enemy.

Jesus gave a similar message in Matthew 7:24-25.

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.”

Only the house established and built on hearing and living the words of God prevails.

You might be interested to read how Revelation 12:15 describes the enemy’s attack on Christ’s bride.

The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood.

What pours from the mouth, dear one? Words. The ancient serpent, the deceiver of the whole world (Revelation 12:9), spews lies at the bride of Christ to carry her away like a flood.

And he isn’t passive about it. Verse 17 reveals he is furiously making war on all who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. But the ESV, heralded to be one of the more literal translations from the original Greek, adds these words about Satan.

And he stood on the sand of the sea.

Several other translations put the phrase at the beginning of chapter 13 as if John, the writer of Revelation, were the one standing on the sand. But when I read it in the ESV, something stirred in my heart.

You see, Jesus didn’t only teach about the strength and safety that comes from building on the rock in Matthew 7. He also warned of the dangers that come when we establish our foundation on the sand.

“And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:26-27

The torrents of lies flowing from the mouth of the serpent have one agenda: to convince us to stand with him on the sand.

When we believe his words over the Word of God we willingly step from our secure position onto his ground. As we move onto his turf, we give up all authority Christ provides.

But when we stand on the Word of truth, refusing to believe the enemy’s deceptions no matter what our eyes might see, we invite the supernatural power of the Word to reveal itself.

Only believers standing on truth and living the Word of God can defeat our enemy and reveal Christ’s victory on this earth. So Satan’s plan is simple: keep us from actively believing God’s words.

Know the power you wield, dear one. It comes from aligning your life with truth.

Let’s quit playing in the sand—and crashing in the surf.

Instead, let’s stand on the Word. Let’s feed on it. Live it. Believe it. Wield it.

It’s time we tossed our enemy in his own waves.

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