Colossians 1:13-14 (NIV): For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Notice the verbs in this sentence; they are all in the past tense. So many Christians seem to be anxiously waiting for the day when they can at last be rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the kingdom where Jesus rules. But Paul knew that that reality is not held for some future date; it has already been accomplished.
If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). That new creation includes the present reality of being rescued from the dominion of darkness. When we belong to Jesus, the enemy no longer has control over us. We have God’s own power working in us to be able to resist him, and when we do, he will flee (James 4:7). The devil has no more power in our lives than we are willing to give him. We can, from the moment that God comes to live in our hearts, walk in the light, which will keep the enemy far from us. He may try to entice us, to lure us into some spiritual dark alley where he can ply us with his temptations, but we never have to follow him there. He never has to gain control over us again.
All of that power over the enemy is a side effect of being brought into the kingdom of Jesus – a kingdom that is not a matter of talk, but of power (1 Corinthians 4:20) – God’s power working in and through each follower to live in and to grow that kingdom. Power to demolish strongholds, arguments, and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of Christ (cf. 2 Corinthians 10:1). Power over the enemy, over sin, over the things of this world that so easily ensnare. No longer do God’s people need to struggle and strive, failing and struggling on. Power is now ours, and because of the reality of that power, victory is ours as well.
This power and victory is not something that must wait until after death, or after Jesus’ return, as some teach. Paul lived in that power and victory, as did the other apostles. It was a done deal for them, and it is a done deal for those of us who follow Jesus today.
Father, thank you for giving us this freedom, this power, this victory. We could never do any of this on our own, but with You working in us, this really can be a done deal in our lives today. Help us to live out that reality, starting right now. Amen.