My name is Chris Thomas. I’m a fortunate husband, a father of three and Dad to five. I’m an advocate of foster care as an expression of the gospel. I’m a pastor at Raymond Terrace Community Church, a regional church based in the Hunter Valley, Australia. I mostly write about the gospel and how it informs both work and rest.

Your Celebration Is Short-lived

Your Celebration Is Short-lived

You see him turn away, that timeless snake who slips through the nooks and crannies of your defences. That ancient lion, who’s impotent rage stokes his constant stalking, hangs his head in seeming defeat and fades into the distant darkness. Before he fled, you saw a fleeting shadow pass across his face, that one who masquerades as light, but in whom there is only darkness.

Trembling from the heat of battle, a long-held breath escapes your lips. In this skirmish, regardless of previous failures, you stood your ground, firmly anchored to the hope of the gospel and the power of the Word. You resisted. He fled. Praise the name of Jesus.

But, dear friend, beware. Your celebration is short-lived.

Luke 4:13 — And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

Our Redeemer and King, our substitute and pardon, our Lord and friend, has trod this path before us, and now becomes the measure of our hope. Yet even he—in whom all the fulness of Deity dwells, who is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, who upholds the universe by the word of his power—yes, even he knew that the celebration was short-lived. That ancient enemy would return.

So as your trembling hands now grow still, as your shallow breathing slows to a steady pace, you whisper a prayer of thankfulness for the security we have in Christ. As you see the fiery darts scattered on the ground around you, and watch the dust settle as the sun rises on refreshed blessings—shout a song of praise in worship to the God whose grace extends to sinners and has not abandoned us as defenceless orphans. Celebrate the victory, but celebrate with the situational awareness of a soldier who still stands on the battle field.

1 Peter 5:8 — Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

The impotent rage of our enemy, fuelled by the ageless desire to usurp the throne of heaven, ensures that the celebration you enjoy today will be tested again tomorrow. As the sun rises and falls, and the seasons slowly turn, that ancient foe will return—he forever seeks another opportune time. But he is not the ‘Ancient of Days’. His constant prowling will one day cease. Chained, this glittering dragon will be thrown down.

Revelation 20:1-3 — Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

Then, with his rage finally spent, he will meet again the Lamb who had been slain, the one who put him to open shame at the cross, and our sure victory will finally find its consummation.

Revelation 20:10 — and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. 

So lift your eyes, dear friend, and behold the slain lamb — “Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered.”

Your celebration today may be short-lived, but your victory is secure.

Weekend Wandering (10/2)

Weekend Wandering (10/2)

Who Do You Follow?

Who Do You Follow?