The Power of One…

I heard that phrase a few days ago and just could not get it out of my mind.  So I looked it up online to see if there was some kind of special significance to it.  This is what I discovered: 

According to Wikipedia – “The Power of One is a 1992 drama film loosely based on Bryce Courtenay’s 1989 novel of the same name. Set in South Africa during World War II, the film centers on the life of Peter Philip Kenneth-Keith, an English South African boy raised under apartheid, and his conflicted relationships with a German pianist, a Coloured boxing coach and an Afrikaner romantic interest.”

Then, when I looked up information about the book of the same title, this is what the synopsis I found had to say:  “In 1939, as Hitler casts his enormous, cruel shadow across the world, the seeds of apartheid take root in South Africa. There, a boy called Peekay is born. His childhood is marked by humiliation and abandonment, yet he vows to survive and conceives heroic dreams, which are nothing compared to what life actually has in store for him. He embarks on an epic journey through a land of tribal superstition and modern prejudice where he will learn the power of words, the power to transform lives and the power of one.”  

What does all of that have to do with anything?  It always amazes me how when a certain thought comes to my mind then I see, hear or read things that just jive with it and the next thing I know, I am writing.  So, let me explain.  

Today I heard a sermon being preached by Dr. David Jeremiah.  The teaching is basically about spiritual warfare.  Now someone else listening to his message may glean something totally different from it than what I did.  But, as I listened to him speak, I understood him to basically be talking about how easy it is for us to be fooled into not recognizing we are in a daily battle with evil.  He mentioned some survey that had asked Christians their belief about Satan and only 35% believed that he is a real being.  To me, that is shocking!  How can you read the Bible and not have a clear understanding about the devil?

He talked about how “Satan is deceitful, divisive and a destroyer.”  Satan started off as an angel in heaven.  But he was not satisfied with the role he had and determined that he was going to be like God.  I am thinking that he likely deceived some of the other angels because they decided to follow him as he was striving to become like God.  As a result division occurred in heaven because God cast Satan out of heaven and along with him one-third of the angels.  Luke 10:18 (CEV):  “Jesus told them: ‘I saw Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning.’”

Satan is without a doubt a liar/deceitful:  John 8:42-44 (CEV):  “Jesus answered: ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, because I came from God and only from him. He sent me. I did not come on my own. Why can’t you understand what I am talking about? Can’t you stand to hear what I am saying? Your father is the devil, and you do exactly what he wants. He has always been a murderer and a liar. There is nothing truthful about him. He speaks on his own, and everything he says is a lie. Not only is he a liar himself, but he is also the father of all lies.’”  

And proof of more deception is stated in 2 Corinthians 11:14b (CEV):  “…Even Satan tries to make himself look like an angel of light.”  

John 10:10a: “‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…’”

1 Peter 5:8-9a:  “Be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack. But you must resist the devil and stay strong in your faith.”

Sometimes it can be difficult – maybe next to impossible – for us to recognize our own weaknesses.  But when we become aware of any weakness we need to pray for God to help us overcome that, because our weaknesses are what Satan uses against us.  It is his advantage that can be used to manipulate us into doing things that we should not do; or, cause us to not do things we know we should do.  Even Paul – probably the strongest of all Jesus’ disciples had this to say in Romans 7:15-20 (AMP):  “For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled and bewildered by them]. I do not practice what I want to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate [and yielding to my human nature, my worldliness—my sinful capacity]. Now if I habitually do what I do not want to do, [that means] I agree with the Law, confessing that it is good (morally excellent). So now [if that is the case, then] it is no longer I who do it [the disobedient thing which I despise], but the sin [nature] which lives in me. For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh [my human nature, my worldliness—my sinful capacity]. For the willingness [to do good] is present in me, but the doing of good is not. For the good that I want to do, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want to do, I am no longer the one doing it [that is, it is not me that acts], but the sin [nature] which lives in me.”  Kind of confusing, I know, but basically he says he does not do what he should do and does do what he should not do.  Sounds familiar to me!

So how can we go to battle with the evil one and come out the other side victorious?  Well, I am glad you asked – Ephesians 6:10-17 (CEV) says:  “Finally, let the mighty strength of the Lord make you strong.  Put on all the armor that God gives, so you can defend yourself against the devil’s tricks.  We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world.  So put on all the armor that God gives. Then when that evil day comes, you will be able to defend yourself. And when the battle is over, you will still be standing firm.  Be ready! Let the truth be like a belt around your waist, and let God’s justice protect you like armor.  Your desire to tell the good news about peace should be like shoes on your feet.  Let your faith be like a shield, and you will be able to stop all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Let God’s saving power be like a helmet, and for a sword use God’s message that comes from the Spirit.”

Dr. Jeremiah also talked about a book that was written 2600 years ago in China by a man named Sun Tzu called The Art of War.  He said the book is required reading for all CIA officers; is recommended reading for all U.S. military intelligence personnel; and, is listed in the U.S. Marine Corp professional reading program.  In chapter 3, the 18th principle, the author says this:  “…If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.  If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”  

I found that lesson of old very profound.  Obviously the first point made is what any warrior should strive for in order to succeed – and we are all warriors in this life as we deal with our enemy Satan.  I believe that I am going to make it a point now in my daily prayers to ask God to help me know myself as well as possible – my strengths so that I can build on them, and my weaknesses so that I can work to make them better.  I also need to know my enemy as well as I can – I need to get out my concordance and do a word study about “Satan”, “Devil”, “Adversary” and see what God’s Word has to say about him.  If I am more aware of his qualities/attributes then maybe I can be more aware when something is happening that he has activated in my life that is wrong.

Lastly, my daily devotional for today went right along with all of this.  The author, Chris Tiegren, in part had this to say:  “…The weapons of our warfare are not destructive, they are constructive.  They include things like humility, forgiveness, resisting evil with good, holy attitudes, the Holy Spirit within us, and the even more offensive ones – the Cross of Christ, the Word of God, and the prayers of the saints.”   “When we turn the other cheek, offer to go the extra mile, forgive someone a thousand times, humble ourselves in the sight of men and God, pray on our knees, and quote from the Word, it doesn’t look as if we win.  But we do.  The enemy trembles.  He would much prefer that we go back to his style of battle – evil for evil, sword for sword, spite for spite.  He knows how to fight on those terms.  He has no idea what to do when his greatest offenses become the showcase for God’s greatest mercies.” 

Satan exhibited his Power of One when he deceived one third of the angels in heaven then divided heaven as a result.  Jesus exhibited the Power of One when He came from heaven to earth as a man for the express purpose of dying in order to be a sacrifice for all of mankind forever.  Now the ball is in the court of each and every one of us.  Like the character Peekay in the book titled The Power of One, we need to “learn the power of words, the power to transform lives and the power of one.”  If we use God’s words as we speak to our enemy and consequently defeat him, we can see our life transformed as well as the lives of others that we pray for – then we can see the Power of One active in our own life!  

Written by Karran Martin – March 26, 2022

[All bold emphasis mine]

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