Roger Webb went home to be with the Lord on Friday. He was a friend with cancer that we’ve been praying for over the last year. Whenever we have a setback it’s natural to evaluate what happened, open up our Bible and our heart and ask the Lord what we could have done differently. Here’s the first verse I ran into.
I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. Luke 10:19 NIV
In one sense it feels like we must have made a mistake because we lost the battle with cancer and a 42 year old brother. Roger left a wife and two pre-teen daughters. It felt like we lost something big in terms of his ministry as well. I felt God’s sorrow over his sickness and death. Some try to explain it as God’s will – I don’t believe it. God will resurrect this situation and work good out of bad (Rom 8:28). However, I can’t accept that God gave Roger cancer and killed him over a year-long battle of medical procedures and prayer. In hindsight, Roger maintained a great balance of wise medical treatment and prayer. I felt God’s pleasure in Roger’s willingness to fight and his refusal to surrender to the enemies design.
Warfare – In a similar sense, I see Kings going through every imaginable victory “and” defeat. The real Biblical perspective that gives us the basis to remain encouraged when lose a battle is to keep the war in perspective; we win in the end. In fact, the culmination comes when every enemy has been finally defeated. Listen to Paul’s explanation:
Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he (the Father) “has put everything under his (Jesus) feet.” 1 Cor 15:23-27 NIV
In war, soldiers face many battles. In fact, casualties in warfare are not too surprising. Leaders do not wave the white flag in defeat over the loss of one battle. Even though we eventually win the war, we don’t see victories in every endeavor. We’re in the process of defeating the enemy and taking new territory. That means that every thing is not yet subject to God’s control at the moment. Our warfare is real and it has consequences in terms of both victories and defeats. It’s not a process for the faint of heart.
7 You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor 8 and put everything under his feet.” In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. Heb 2:7-8 NIV
And… Jesus has involved believers in God’s plan to gain the Kingdom and deliver it to the father in great victory. It’s a thrill to be part “His” story.
One day soon cancer will bow before the Lord. Either we will consistently be successful in prayer or a medical / health solution will be found (or both). In the mean time, we will continue to pray and resist the enemy over things like cancer. We clearly have authority over every work of the enemy. We are still in the process of learning how to implement it in ever greater ways. Similarly, Kings are battling for financial and business breakthroughs that will fuel ministries to expand the Kingdom.
Over comers – As Kings, we are experiencing many breakthroughs in this pioneering phase. Strongholds are crumbling and great victories are being won. If you happen to catch a defeat, take a second breath, and pray your way through the resistance. There is a way, you are more than a conqueror, and your destiny is to be the head and not the tail. Don’t surrender to feelings of inadequacy – you carry God’s own power and Holy Spirit in your heart. Pretending to be small, defeated, discouraged, or fearful does nothing to serve the purposes of God. Because of Jesus, you are far more powerful than your enemies.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Rom 8:37 NIV
No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Josh 1:4-5 NIV
The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13 The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. Deut 28:12-13 NIV