When Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the crowds shouted, “Hosanna!” (John 12:13). This means, “save” or “rescue,” and it was shouted in the form of praise to the One they believed would free them from the Roman occupation. Not long after that, however, they turned around and shouted, “Crucify Him!” They got their story wrong. Jesus didn’t come to set them free from the Romans, but to set them free from sin.
Lots of people talk about Jesus, but do they have the story right? The Muslims think of Jesus as a prophet, but he is not on the same level they give to Mohammad. The Mormons talk well of Jesus, but a little investigation will show what they really think: Jesus is a spirit-being (among many) that just happened to be exalted to Godhood first. The secular world calls Jesus a great teacher, but that is totally beside the point of who He really is.
Even some in the church mess up the story. Some will refer to Jesus as, “our Hero.” I understand their heart, but this is wrong. A hero can be any person, however extraordinary. But Jesus transcends the human level. He is God. A hero can be a teacher, a firefighter, or anybody else. To bring Jesus down to the level of “hero” is missing it in a big way. Jesus is much greater, in another class. He is king of kings, lord of lords, Almighty God!
So we have to get His story right. Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior of mankind. God in the flesh dwelt among us and gave himself up to death on a cross, that we might be forgiven and live! He didn’t just come and start some new religion. He is not a “founder” or a “leader.” He died and rose again. HE LIVES, and He is coming back to judge the quick and the dead (2Tim.4:1)!
Where Are You?
What’s your story in relation to Christ? Do you just know about Him, or do you really know Him? Is He just a “hero” or have you made Him your Lord and Savior? He wants you to have a major role in His story, but those who belong to Him have often sold themselves short.
Sometimes on the mission field you can sense the darkness in certain places. I remember a group that got very upset about having to go into such an area. I reminded them that in Christ we are the light. Darkness just naturally flees when the lights get turned on. And 1John 4:4 says, “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.” We have to get our story straight! The group refocused, and then reported an excellent time in the very place that had been so intimidating.
What’s your story? What’s getting you down? “I don’t know, I guess it’s just a blah day.” Don’t let it be! This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24)! If we took time to really consider the right story that we are in, we would never be down.
That’s the problem. We get down and don’t think about why. The truth is that all is well, and there would be more victory if we would just re-orient ourselves to the correct narrative.
We are accepted in the beloved (Eph.1:6). The Greek behind that word ‘accepted’ is the same that is used when the angel told Mary that she was highly favored (Luke 1:28). This is awesome to think about: how highly favored you are with God! It is not because you did so well, it is because you are in the beloved.
And if you are in Him, your future is bright. You have everything, and that includes authority to overcome all the power of the enemy.
But the devil distracts us and oppresses us and all the while we are unaware. We just feel down for some reason, or we give into melancholy because of the dire situations we have to deal with.
Whose story are you listening to? Are you worried about the economy? God’s not worried, and He has promised to take care of us. Consider Psalm 37:18-19: The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be forever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. Wow, what a story! The news threatens doom and gloom, but the Lord promises provision. I believe the Lord wants us to look to His news. The world’s story will produce anxiety. God’s story will produce thanksgiving.
The Story on the Devil
I’ve recently learned to get the story right about the devil. I was always getting so serious and weary because of his constant attacks. One battle after another, and he never seems to let up. But then I started to correct myself. Why get so down about it when I can relish the fact that he is a totally defeated foe? Colossians 2:15 talks of Jesus having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. This verse alludes to the Roman victories, when they use to parade their enemies down the streets to make a show of them, and reveal how helpless they were. But many Christians fail to recognize this, and act as though they can’t do anything about the devil.
Christians put up with a lot of trouble that isn’t necessary, if they would only get the story straight. We have authority in Christ. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2Tim.1:7). That means we can resist anxiety and depression. We don’t have to fall under it and say, “Woe is me, this is my lot.”
We can make a choice and say, “this isn’t from God and I won’t have it either.” I have a friend who used to suffer panic attacks. He told me it was awful, but one day he got the revelation and said to himself, “I don’t have to allow this.” He stopped allowing it, resisted it, and got free.
Jesus ruined our enemies. We don’t have to fight to get a victory, we fight to hold our victory. Ephesians 6:11 speaks of putting on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. We are to stand our ground. It’s already been gained. It takes faith, though. You have to believe the right story. You have to see God’s version of the stories the world is throwing at us.
John Wesley kept it in perspective. The great revivalist preached all over the world. I remember reading about him going into a town that really stood out. He said he had never seen such debauchery. The children were disobedient, the saloons were full, and he had never heard so much crude language. Some Christians might shudder and say, “It is so dark here! It presses on my spirit!” Wesley said, “What a fit place to preach the gospel!”
What are you putting up with? What story have you seen yourself in? Is it the right one? Do you know where your story is headed? Get into the Word and get it straight. Make a choice not to fall for any story other than God’s. Be alert, and choose to live according to the truth.