Just imagine how having the knowledge of certain victory would change the attitude of professional athletes. They would always do their best taking their bumps and bruises never being discouraged because they would know they were already victorious and nothing they experienced during the game could ever change that fact. Unfortunately, those types of certainties don’t happen in this world, at least not honestly, not in our physical realm. However, things are NOT uncertain in God’s Kingdom!
There is a war going on that’s for sure and we are right in the thick of it, yet we are not fighting for a victory. Our outcome is certain it has already been determined our victory was sealed when Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, Jesus Christ defeated sin while paralyzing death removing its sting all the while trampling over and crushing our enemy, satan. But even still as Christians we rage on in the battle, but the victory is already confirmed Jesus made certain of that. Then why must we continue to battle in a war that we have already won?
Because we are in a war much like the war Joshua was asked to fight, claiming the occupied Promised Land that God had already given him. God told him in Joshua Chapter 1 “The land is yours,” “You own it, and My word is the title deed. I promised it to Abraham; I will give it to you. But you must fight.” He led the nation of Israel in some fierce battles, but Joshua owned the dirt everywhere his foot landed. He had the title deed. He was fighting not for victory against the Amalekites, the Amorites and others—he was fighting from a position of victory already made certain by God Himself.
That’s where we are today. Our battles are not against flesh and blood, but they are very real just the same. We go head to head against the wiles of satan, but we are fighting from a position of victory, of a battle already won, because God has already done it. “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” Ephesians 2:6. We are positionally placed, but not practically there yet. When Jesus endured the cross and conquered the grave, we became soldiers whose ultimate conquest is assured. As Christians we already have the certainty of the resurrection and eternal life with God! But even though Christ has already won the war, we still have to fight the battle in this world where we are practically placed and physically remain. That’s why the Apostle Paul writes these words: “…be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Okay, you may be saying I understand or at least I am beginning to see why we must continue to fight but why is the fight so difficult. There is a story often told of how a mental hospital determined if their patients were ready to be released to cope with the many challenges of society. The hospital developed an unusual method for testing the candidates where they would bring the patient who was a candidate for release to a small room where a water faucet was left on so that the sink overflowed and was pouring water all over the floor. The orderly would hand the patient who was a candidate for release a mop and a bucket instructing the patient to mop up the water. If the patient had the presence of mind to turn off the water before mopping, they were released. However, unfortunately as in the case of many, if the patient began mopping while the water was still flowing, the patient would be held for additional treatment.
As Christians, all of us face the world in which we live and are confronted with the need to do battle with the evil that dominates it. Much, like the patients in the mental hospital, until we realize where the true source of that evil is, we are unable to make any real contributions to the cause. To see less evil in the world means that we must first conquer the evil that is pouring forth from our own heart . This is where the conversion must take place. Before we can even begin to deal with the evil around us, we need to turn of our own faucet from which the likes of bitterness, wrath, anger, rage, malice, slander, evil speaking, and filthy language, lust, etc. pour out and get a “mop and bucket,” of our own.