Love's Conquering Power
As news channels continue to shock us with the latest on Russia’s efforts to conquer Ukraine and Ukraine’s valiant resistance to being conquered, I can’t help but think about war strategies. Russia’s strategy isn’t something new. Cut off supplies, isolate cities, separate families, conquer Ukraine. It dates back to Satan’s diabolical tactics in the Garden. Divide and conquer—convince Adam and Eve to buck God’s rule, separate them from their Life source and from each other through accusation. As a result, sin conquers hearts and controls destinies. [i]
Russia uses military force to conquer and control; Satan uses subtlety. Both are cutting lives short and perhaps costing people their eternal destinies. People were not created to be conquered. No person should be stripped of the dignity to make their own choices. No one should be tricked into submission or forced to their knees. None should ever be isolated, or their destiny dictated by someone else. Those are surefire recipes for war, both in the natural and in the spirit.
Sadly, in the spiritual war for freedom, people tend to lump God in with other dastardly foes out to conquer them. They try and cast off His Word, believing it’s a ball and chain. They resist His lordship, thinking He’s out to control them. [ii] Not realizing that embracing God’s authority is what restricts sin’s authority and power over their hearts. [iii] Instead of gaining freedom, they cheat themselves out of their one and only weapon against being conquered by sin—the love of Christ. [iv]
Romans 8 presents an intimidating list of foes looking to bring us all to our knees and conquer us. If the charges brought against us—which are too many to number—and the resulting sentence of condemnation we deserve aren’t enough to utterly defeat us, then tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, and peril will finish the job if permitted. [v]
Their goal is to separate us from Christ’s love, to divide and isolate the body of Christ. To conquer us.
“These things can separate us from much. They can separate us from joy, from hope, from almost all that makes life desirable. They can strip us to the very quick, but the quick they cannot touch. The frost comes and kills the flowers, browns the leaves, cuts off the stems, binds the sweet music of the flowing rivers in silent chains, casts mists and darkness over the face of the solitary grey world . . .” [vi]
Yet, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. [vii] Our foes, no matter their tactics or their strengths, "cannot touch in the smallest degree the secret bond that binds the heart to Jesus, nor in any measure affect the flow of His love to us. The great love of Jesus Christ, from which nothing can separate us, will use the very things that seem to threaten our separation, as a means of coming nearer to us in its depth and in its preciousness.” [viii]
Natural and spiritual wars will continue through the end of the age. World powers will rise and fall, evil powers will increase. [ix] Behind it all, Satan’s desire is—and will always be—to have us, to sift us as wheat, to go forth conquering and to conquer. [x] But Jesus already conquered sin and death. [xi] For those who follow Him, no weapon formed against them will prosper. His powerful love rules in our hearts and defies all other powers. [xii]
We were not created to be conquered. We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
[i] Genesis 3 [ii] Psalm 2:1–3 [iii] Romans 8:31; Psalm 3:1–3; Psalm 91; Psalm 18:30; Psalm 119:114 [iv] Romans 8:38–39 [v] Romans 8:33–35 [vi] MacLaren’s Expositions on Romans 8:37 [vii] Romans 8:37 NKJ [viii] MacLaren’s Expositions on Romans 8:37 [ix] Matthew 24:7; Job 12:23; Psalm 46:6; Matthew 24:12; Ezekiel 8:13 [x] Genesis 4:7; Luke 22:31; Revelation 6:2 [xi] 2 Timothy 1:10; Revelation 1:18; 2 Corinthians 5;21; 1 Corinthians 15:55–57/ 1 John 2:2; 1 John 1:7 [xii] Isaiah 54:17