“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11.12 NKJV).
Before Jesus says the above quote, He had been talking about John the Baptist to the crowds. John was not a “reed shaken in the wind” who was “wearing soft clothing” (Matthew 11.7-8 NKJV). He was not a push-over or people pleaser. In fact, he angered many people, including King Herod, who threw John in jail, and the king’s wife, who had him beheaded (Matthew 14.3 & Mark 6.24).
John rubbed most of the religious leaders the wrong way with his abrasive word choices against them, calling them a “Brood of vipers” (Matthew 3.7). John knew that the Kingdom of Heaven had arrived in Jesus Christ (Matthew 3.1-2). And there were violent people trying to stop John’s destiny on earth to clear a way for Him. Yet, he accomplished his mission before his untimely death. Jesus said that John was the one prophesied in Isaiah 40.1-11:
“For this is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You’” (Matthew 11.10 NKJV).
John fulfilled his assignment–though he had many adversaries warring against him. He made a way for the Lord with his faith-filled words after 400 hundred years of silence that Jesus was “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the word!” (John 1.29 NKJV). The Messiah had finally arrived!
Like John, we all have an assignment from God that has already been established in Heaven. However, bringing that assignment into fruition here on earth will take an all-out violent war; and we must use our wit, strength, knowledge, discernment, understanding, tenacity, faith, prayers, patience, power and, especially, our reliance on God. Once we claim our God-given assignment on earth and the door of destiny begins to open for us, the violent adversaries trying to stop us will come out in full force.
“For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries” (1 Corinthians 16.9 NKJV).
But we should not fear!
· All God’s promises are “Yes” and “Amen” in Christ (2 Corinthians 1.20).
· Greater is Jesus in us than all the devils of the world (1 John 4.4).
· All things come together for good for those who love God (Romans 8.28).
· We can move mountains if we have faith as little as a mustard seed (Matthew 17.20-21).
· If God is for us, not a single worthy opponent can be against us (Romans 8.31).
· We can overcome because Jesus overcame the world for us (John 16.33).
· And best of all, Jesus has already defeated Satan on the Cross. Satan and his minions are powerless against the authority we have in Christ (Hebrews 2.14-15 & Luke 10.19).
What great news for us! However, we must recognize that our destiny isn’t going to be given to us on a silver platter without a fight.
First, we must believe in our assignment.
Then, we must take steps by faith according to that assignment.
We can take hold of our destiny just as forcefully as the violent want to steal it from us!
We don’t have to be violent, but we can be strong in faith, relying on God’s power and might!
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6.10 NKJV).
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