Summary: To reign victorious in the kingdom of God is to understand the dynamics of this spiritual warfare that is before us.
In a football game, you are on one side or the other, not both. You do not play on one side in the first quarter and then switch sides for the next quarter. Your side is well defined.
Also, when playing football, you are playing football. What if one team was playing football and the other team was playing volleyball? How confusing would that be?
Or, what if half of your team was playing volleyball and the other half was playing football? Could you ever win a game doing that?
This seems to be what the majority of people are doing today. They really do not know which side they are on and they go back and forth not realizing they are compromising victory in their life.
Jesus made it very clear here in verse 23,
“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”
This is not a well-defined parable, and some commentators do not include it as a parable, but I believe there are parable like aspects of this passage enabling us to understand a little more about the kingdom of God.
An important aspect of this passage is the fact that many were trying to explain what Jesus was doing from a human standpoint.
Some said His power was from “Beelzebul, the prince of demons.” This really does not make sense, the devil casting out the devil! The people were desperate to explain from their viewpoint how Jesus was able to cast out a demon.
Others wanted to test Him by seeking some sign from heaven. We have no idea what they were really looking for, but they wanted Jesus to do something spectacular for their entertainment.
And the group was divided. Jesus knew exactly the root of their thinking. Look at verse 17.
“But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls.’”
Therefore, we have the parable of the divided Kingdom. The kingdom divided against itself, can never stand.
This brings us to the point that we are facing a great battle.
Some do not realize it.
Others do not understand the dynamics of this battle.
A few realize we are in a battle but are unprepared to face it.
The battle I am referring to is between Satan’s kingdom and the kingdom of God. You and I are hanging between heaven and hell.
As Christians, we can reign victoriously over the assault of the enemy. We have within us the ability to live above and contrary to the God of this world.
To reign victorious in the kingdom of God is to understand the dynamics of this spiritual warfare that is before us.
To begin with, we must decide which side we are on.
Gideon challenged Israel with this…
“Choose you this day whom ye will serve” (Joshua 24:15).
The emphasis here is choose who you are going to serve and do not turn back.
We are in a well-defined battle and consequently we need to acknowledge it and then we need to prepare ourselves for this battle. The assault against God’s kingdom is real and it is doing much damage. This is not something that we can be passive about.
Let me break this down into two parts for us to get a grasp as to what we are facing.
I. The Battle We Face
This is where we must start. We are facing a battle and we need to do some things to prepare ourselves for the battle. Some people ignore the fact that there is a battle out there. Some people minimize the battle and shrug it off. No matter how you try to shrug it off, it is still there in all its demonic power.
There are several things that we need to understand about the battle we are facing.
1. Who is behind this battle?
This is where we need to begin. If I know who is behind the battle, if I know who the enemy is, I then can properly prepare myself.
The person behind this battle and controlling and orchestrating this battle is none other than the devil. We need to have an appreciation of who this devil is.
Unfortunately, we have bought into Hollywood’s definition of the devil and have come out with all kinds of caricatures and misinformation. I wish the devil was like portrayed in Hollywood. He would be a lot easier to deal with.
The Bible has a lot to say about the devil.
He is the deceiver, the distracter, the discourager, the accuser of the brethren, the author of confusion along with a whole lot of other things. God is not the author of confusion.
A lot can be learned about the tactics of this devil by studying the book of Job.