PERSECUTION FOR THE WORD’S SAKEFrom The Heart
Publish date: 07/11/2010
So the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:14-15 NKJV
The devil hates God. He tried to exalt his throne above God’s throne. He is rebellious and full of pride and iniquity. Because he hates God, he also hates man—who was made in God’s image. He tried—and succeeded—in corrupting man and cutting him off from God through sin and disobedience, but God has a Master Plan and the devil will not win the war in the end!
When the devil tempted Adam and Eve, and they ate the fruit and sinned against God, God told the devil that One (Jesus) was coming—the Seed of the woman—who would bruise his head. After that, the devil was watching out and trying to kill anyone he thought might be the One. When he saw that Abel pleased God, he thought he was the one and influenced Cain to murder his own flesh and blood brother. He continued through the generations to try to destroy all mankind in general, and those who pleased God, in particular.
When Jesus was born, the devil realized that He was the One. He stirred the religious leaders to hate and kill Jesus, but he had no idea that he was signing his own death warrant! This was God’s plan all along, that Jesus would be crucified, die, rise again and, in the process, strip the devil of the keys of death and hell and his authority over man. The devil thought he was getting rid of Jesus, but he did not realize that God’s plan was to make many more little “Jesus’”! On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit filled 120 with the power and the fire of God, and ever since then He has filled an innumerable number of God’s children with this same power! They are running around the earth preaching the Good News of the Word of God and doing the works of Jesus. What a nightmare for the devil!
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
1 John 5:3-5 NKJV
Everyone who is full of God’s Word is dangerous to the devil. Whoever gets hold of God’s Word and gets God’s Word in them is victorious over the devil! The Word of God is the devil’s defeat! He has to stop the Word. Mark 4:17 says that trouble and persecution arises on account of the Word. All persecution comes for the sake of the Word of God—to hinder and or stop it.
Jesus is the Word of God, made flesh, who dwelt among us (John 1:1-14). He was manifested to destroy the works of the devil (Acts 10:38). The devil persecuted Jesus. He tried to tempt Jesus to sin, but was unsuccessful, so his next plan was to stir men up against Jesus to stop Him and/or kill Him. He tries to do the same with you and me to try to stop God’s powerful Word!
The Word of God is the power of God. The Word of God created all of creation. Hebrews 11:3 says, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” Hebrews 4:12 AMP says that, “the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.”
James 1:21 says that the Word of God—implanted and rooted in your heart—contains the power to save your soul and Romans 1:16 says that the gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes. The devil knows the power of the Word of God and his plan is to shut the Word up and keep it from bringing life and freedom. Those who are full of, and submitted to, the Word of God are devil-defeaters so his attack is directed at the Word of God in their heart and life.
Persecution arises to steal the Truth from you—to try to stop you from walking in life and freedom and to try to stop you from sharing the Truth with others and seeing them saved and set free. If you are going to be a doer of the Word, then you will be persecuted. Don’t get offended when you are persecuted—it’s nothing personal. You are being persecuted for the Word’s sake—not because you are so special. Don’t focus on the people, or what they are doing or saying, either. Recognize that the devil is behind it. Don’t allow him to pull you down to his level; don’t allow him to tempt you into a dog-fight where you are punching at shadows instead of preaching the Gospel, doing the works of Jesus, and destroying the devil’s works; don’t allow him to distract you from the plans and purposes
Keep preaching the Word of God, keep your heart pure and your hands clean, walk in love and do the works of Jesus. The devil may try his best to stop the Word of
God, but will always fail. God’s Word will eternally endure and prevail!