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Building A Rival Kingdom

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.
–Romans 16:20

Because of Lucifer’s rebellion against God, God cast him out of heaven to planet Earth. Along with him went a group of renegade angels. I have often tried to imagine what Satan and his followers must have thought when they landed on Earth. I am reminded of a scene from the movie “Jerry Maguire.” In that movie, Tom Cruise works for a very successful sports agency, but he is disillusioned with the company. So he passes around a manifesto with all these lofty principles about how he thinks a company should be run, and it ends up getting him fired. As he leaves the office, he invites every one of his fellow employees to walk out the door with him to form a brand-new company. Nobody follows after him–except for a mousy secretary played by Renée Zellweger. They walk out the door feeling so great about rebelling against their company, until they get outside the office and realize what they have done. They have given up their income, their health insurance, and their security. Suddenly they are on their own. Renée Zellweger gives Tom Cruise a look that says, “Okay, Einstein. What are we going to do now?”

When Satan landed on planet Earth, he fared a little bit better than Jerry Maguire. Instead of just one mousy secretary, according to some accounts a third of the angels followed Satan in his rebellion. But I am sure those angels were discouraged when they realized all of the privileges and perks they had surrendered. Wanting to keep his troops encouraged, Satan probably delivered a rousing speech, something like, “Never despair, men! We are still going to build a kingdom, a kingdom that will be bigger and more powerful than God’s.” That has been Satan’s plan from the beginning of the rebellion. Right now he is building a shadow empire that will rival the kingdom of God and one day, he believes, will topple the kingdom of God. His rival kingdom is built on this manifesto: life apart from God is both possible and preferable.

You might be thinking, “Hasn’t Satan read the Bible? Doesn’t he know he is not going to succeed?” Yes, but when somebody is desperate and bitter, the ability for self-delusion is limitless. The book of Revelation says God is sending His Son Jesus Christ back to this earth, but Satan does not really believe it is going to happen–just like many Christians today do not really believe it is going to happen. We say we do. But let me ask you: If we believed that Jesus Christ is really coming back again, and we are going to stand in front of Him and give an account for our lives, wouldn’t we live our lives differently?

Satan does not really believe in the return of Christ. Instead, because of his desperation and bitterness, Satan believes he will one day conquer the kingdom of God, and he has launched a full-frontal assault not only against God, but against those of us who are a part of His kingdom.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Purpose-Driven Strife” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.

“Jerry Maguire,” dir. Cameron Crowe, TriStar Pictures and Gracie Films, 1996.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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