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Lenten Devo #28—Shall Not Prevail

"And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18)

We usually read this verse as though hell were attacking the church. But that's not the case. Actually, Jesus is saying that heaven will storm hell, and that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the kingdom's assaults.

Most of the time, we consider ourselves to be on the defensive when it comes to evil and the kingdom of darkness. And it's true that we can and will be attacked. But Jesus' words here remind us that belief will overcome unbelief, that light will drive out the darkness, that love will cast out fear.

Jesus is a warrior king who intends to conquer every square inch of creation, to claim for himself and his people a kingdom where evil is banished and where righteousness prevails. And we are soldiers of Christ whose weapons are prayer and the word of God which is sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit. And we have the Spirit of God, besides.

And though these weapons look weak in the eyes of the world, by them Jesus was raised from the dead. For he prayed that God's kingdom would come and that his will would be done. He counted on the word of God when he faced death. And by the Spirit he was raised again from the dead, defeating death itself.

Let us then with confidence take up the weapons of our king and make our daily assault on the gates of hell, which by God's declaration, will not prevail against us. Let us pray especially for those who do not yet believe, that God would deprive hell of soldiers while adding to his own army.

Who are you praying for today?

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