“His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:10–11).
In the Bible, the phrase “principalities and powers”, though some versions translate it as “rulers and authorities,” “forces and authorities,” and “rulers and powers” refer to the principalities and powers of Satan; a vast array of malevolent spirits at war with the people of God. Invisible, yet present, this unseen realm of angelic entities wield significant influence over the course of nations as well as individuals. Considering that resisting these forces is a principle calling of the Church, I find the naivety, ignorance, and indifference, among believers, startling. “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:10–11). Is it any wonder we so often feel helpless in times of tragedy? Is it any wonder we so often feel that our prayers are going unanswered, or that God is distant in some way?
I am convinced that this life is all about revelation; sheep are being distinguished from the goats; wheat is being cultivated amidst the weeds. I am also convinced that the elect were ordained long ago to bear witness to the glory of God in Christ Jesus; this is why we proclaim the Good News. Although scripture is clear that God knows who belongs to him, we can’t seem to bring ourselves to trust God quite enough to fully embrace his sovereignty; so we stumble in our walk. God is calling us to step out into the chasm, and trust that he has already sustained our steps, but we prefer, instead, to build our own bridge, and then ask God to bless the work of our hands. If we don’t fully submit to God’s sovereignty, no matter how hidden our rebellion, it’s no wonder that we would also not accept the full reality of Satan. I mean, how could we accept something like that? Unseen principalities and powers of darkness, malicious spirits, bent on our destruction; it would be too much for anyone to bear! And in our rebellion, we unwittingly embrace the powers that mean us harm, and reject the One who saves.
I’ll leave everyone with a quote my mother shared with me from a daily devotional she’s reading. Chris Tiegreen writes: “An encounter with Jesus at his judgement seat will drive us to our knees, but we’ll come through with mercy and salvation intact. Even so, our Kingdom investments will be shown for what they are, even down to the motives behind them. Live with that day in mind.” Pretty cool!
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