‘Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.’ Revelation 19:11
Revelation makes it clear that there is a battle raging- A battle between Satan and God, between the Destroyer and the Creator, between evil and good.
Yet it also makes it clear that the battle has only one already determined outcome: Satan ultimately is no match for the victory won through Jesus Christ, who appears in Revelation 19 as a triumphant rider on a white horse.
So majestic and powerful is Jesus in the vision, that no one name sufficiently describes Him. He is called Faithful and True (v11), The Word of God (v13), and the King of kings and Lord of lords (v16). He has even a name that no one knows but Himself (v12), so far is He beyond our comprehension. He is accompanied by all the armies of heaven (v14), and yet all the action in the passage is His. Whereas Satan must make use of all his resources-the beast, the false prophet, and the kings of the earth-God, by contrast, is totally sufficient in and of Himself to judge and make war.
So, if there is a battle raging, it poses the question, which side are we on? Or, as Paul McFarthing put it in his message on Sunday, do our lives reflect the total reign of Jesus, or the world that is destined for destruction and will pass away? Because this vision of God in Revelation 19, as Paul pointed out, does not leave room to consider God as an add-on to our lives, a vitamin supplement that we can take on the side as a nice bonus to our general health.
Revelation continually challenges us to live in the truth of who God is, even when it seems like Satan is winning. And that takes courage. And, if I’m honest, sometimes I don’t feel like I have enough courage for the task. On Sunday, I was pondering how I battle both to make Jesus the king of my personal struggles and doubts in private, and to make him known as my king in public among my friends and my family. In both cases, my dominating thoughts are ones of fear-specifically, a fear of God not being enough for the situations I face. Fear can really hold us back and give Satan a foothold.
But the thing about courage is that it doesn’t mean that we will not feel afraid. You may be surprised, like I was, to find that courage is defined as ‘the ability to do something that frightens one’. It means that, in spite of our fears, we choose to step out in faith and trust that God is enough for us. We choose to say that, despite the battle raging around us, we believe that God has already won, and we will live our lives accordingly.
And for those who overcome, Revelation 19 promises that a banquet with much rejoicing awaits. Our God does not do anything by halves, and when the world finally realizes the battle is over, you better believe there will be a party to remember!
‘Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!’ (Psalm 27:14)
- What evidence do you see around you that you are living in a spiritual war zone? How can you better equip yourself for battle? Consider choosing a verse of Scripture that encourages you and making it your battle cry!
- Spend some time thinking and praying about Paul’s question from Sunday; How can your life better reflect the total reign of Jesus as King?
- Meditate on Psalm 27 and let your heart take courage.