Have you heard of “saber rattling”?
sa·ber-rat·tling [sey-ber-rat-ling] noun a show or threat of military power, especially as used by a nation to impose its policies on other countries. (Source: dictionary.com.)
Kim Jong Un from North Korea is a saber rattler. And who would have thought that in the modern world of international interdependence, a rogue dictator with some mighty big guns would still be spouting out bombastic and menacing rhetoric against his kin south of the border?
Actually this probably isn’t a surprise, as “saber rattling” is an age old tactic used to intimidate or even paralyze others with fear – sometimes even when there is no “saber” in the first place! And while all the earth’s attention and prayers need to be focused on finding peace in this volatile scenario, let me also remind you of a “saber rattler” who threatens destruction over your part of your world every day:
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
Satan is the ultimate evil dictator who detests humanity (and especially Christians) more than the combined hatred of every totalitarian tyrant who ever lived! He seeks out people to take out, but I’ve got some intel for you that is a complete game changer:
God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross (Colossians 2:13-15).
Satan used to have the “big guns”…in fact – they were all aimed and launched at Jesus Christ when the greatest empire and the greatest religious system combined powers to falsely arrest the Son of God and execute Him on a hill called “The Skull.”
But in the darkest moment of earth’s history, the tables were turned when Jesus proclaimed that “it is finished!”
Not only were our sins (past, present, and future) nailed to the cross and our souls washed white with the blood of Christ, but did you notice as well that He “disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities”?
The word “disarmed” in the original Greek language of the New Testament can also be translated “stripped”…or to put it another way, when our Savior breathed His last breath, God’s ultimate victory over the combined powers of darkness in the universe was secured! The fatal wounds that took the life of Jesus Christ disarmed Satan’s mega-ton nuclear weapon.
Not only that – but Jesus “shamed” the powers of hell in full view of the spiritual realm. This term refers to a conquering general’s return home, when a massive parade was given in his honor as his captives were marched bound and naked through the streets before a crowd of thousands.
My friends, you might see Satan and his servants as frightening or even terrifying. But you must never forget that for the believer, Jesus’ triumph over Satan on the cross and public display of victory transformed the evil one into a “saber rattler.” The primary “weapons” that the demonic spirits carry are deception and fear—for he is the father of lies (John 8:64) – but in Christ, you have been given the power to stand against evil.
So remember, for the believer…
When you are crippled with guilt – it is only a saber rattling because you can stand in the truth of your forgiveness in Christ.
When you are paralyzed with fear – it is only a saber rattling because you have access to the same power that brought Jesus out of the tomb.
When you are incapacitated with worthlessness – it is only a saber rattling because you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
And when your heart breaks for those who don’t know the power and victory that is yours because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, remember that the devil has them locked in a prison – and you hold the key! His “rattling” is often the loudest when we step forward in boldness to rescue his captives for THE Cause of Christ and seek to make disciples who make disciples.
He will attempt to deceive you into believing that Jesus is not the only way to heaven, or that someone else will share the gospel with them. He will strike the fear of failure and rejection in your heart when you are led by the Spirit to share the good news of Jesus Christ, but in that moment – step forward in faith and in the power of the cross!
So the next time you hear about Kim Jong Un’s saber rattling in the Korean world, remember that while there are still battles to be fought in this life against Satan and demons, the war is ultimately won.
And whenever I hear Satan’s saber rattling in my world, I will strive to walk in the power of Christ focus on the truth of God’s word and the song of one of His mighty warriors:
And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God hath willed
his truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo, his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.
—Martin Luther, “A Mighty Fortress”
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
The political and cultural unrest in the world is a natural topic to address with your friends and family. Use it as an opportunity to show your confidence in the God who is sovereign over the earth and who defeated the ultimate enemy of our souls!
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Jesus, we praise You for going to the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. Help us stand in the confidence of that triumph and the power of the gospel as we live each day for You.
Read: James 4:7. So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Discussion Questions for Leaders:
Big Idea: Because of the cross, Satan’s ultimate defeat is already assured. We need to walk in that confidence as we live for Jesus and share the gospel in THE Cause
Key Scripture: Colossians 2:13-15
- Why is Kim Jong Un threatening a nuclear strike?
- What parallels do you see between saber rattling dictators and Satan?
- How does the truth of Colossians 2:13-15 impact your view of the Christian life?
- What other ways could you apply this Soul Fuel to THE Cause?