With the celebration of Christmas now past and the old year coming to an end, we stand on the threshold of a new challenging year. A new year, because we've never walked this pathway before, and a challenging year because we know that there will be both good times, and also times that will stretch our faith. We know that when we try to walk with our Lord and live as a Christian in these days, there will be opposition that will come up against from many directions to try to hinder us and defeat us.
In the Book of Revelation, chapter 12, there is a very interesting vision that the Apostle John sees. He sees in the heavens a woman wearing a crown with 12 stars. She is pregnant with a male child that is to rule the nations. Then John sees a red dragon coming before the woman, just waiting to devour her child when He is born. But when the child is born, the red dragon cannot devour this child, and the dragon is angry, and later the child is caught up into heaven. This tells the story of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The woman was the Jewish nation through which God brought forth the Emmanuel. The child that is to rule the nations that the woman brought forth was Jesus Christ. The red dragon was Satan, who inspired Herod to kill all the male babies in the Bethlehem area below the age of 2, hoping that he would kill this King Jesus who was born. Satan's plans were stopped, and Jesus lived until He fulfilled the purpose of His Father for which He was born, and then He was caught up into heaven, where He is today on the Throne of God.
The reason for telling this story from the Book of Revelation is that I realize that as you face this new year, trying to live pleasing to God and to do the will of God in your life, there will be also a "red dragon" standing before you, who will attempt to both destroy you and the plans that God has for your life. That "red dragon," Satan, will try to destroy your marriage and family, your health and everything that you have. He also will try to destroy this wonderful nation that we live in, the United States of America. He, Satan, comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus said, "I am come that you may have life and that more abundantly."
So, as we begin this new year, please be aware that you do have an enemy, the devil, who is against you and will try to destroy you, your family, and this nation. But also know this: that as you yield to Jesus Christ today, who has defeated Satan, you can also see that "red dragon" that stands against you - defeated. You need not live 2012 in defeat and fear, because "greater is He that is in you," than that old "red dragon" who wants to defeat you. Through Jesus Christ you will walk in victory and not in defeat. Have a wonderful new year!
- Lauver is the pastor at New Life Church in Pennsdale