Our Promised Victory
“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”- Romans 16:20
Continuing its exposition of the second petition of the Lord’s Prayer—“Your kingdom come” (Luke 11:2b)—the Heidelberg Catechism in question and answer 123 tells us that praying for this kingdom means that we are asking God to “destroy the Devil’s work.” In fact, it means that we are pleading for the Lord to destroy “every force which revolts” against Him and “every conspiracy” against His “holy Word.”
Scripture often links the defeat of Satan with the coming of God’s kingdom—that place where His people enjoy His blessing and are safe and secure from the world, the flesh, and the Devil. We see this connection at the very beginning of human history, when our Creator pledged to bruise or crush the head of the Serpent under the feet of the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:14–15). God’s people at that time likely did not fully understand the significance of this shadowy promise, but over the course of redemptive history, its meaning became clearer. We see the promise starting to come true in Elijah’s defeat of the men who practiced the worship of the false god, that is, the demon Baal (1 Kings 18; see Deut. 32:17). It is further unfolded in Zechariah’s vision, which reveals how pure vestments given by God alone protect us from Satan’s accusations (Zech. 3:1–5). (Of course, we now know that those pure vestments are made up of nothing other than the perfect righteousness of Christ, 2 Cor. 5:21.) But perhaps the clearest link between the coming of the kingdom and the defeat of Satan is found on the lips of our Savior Himself: “If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Luke 11:20). Jesus viewed His ministry of exorcism as proof of the kingdom, so wherever the kingdom manifests itself, the demons quake in their boots.
Until Christ returns, His kingdom is advancing, and the Enemy is responding in fear. In some places, that means that he flees and large numbers of people are converted. In other places, the fearful response of the Enemy shows itself when governments suppress and persecute believers. Either way, the kingdom is on the move, and at our Lord’s return, Satan and his minions will be fully and finally crushed under the feet of God’s people (Rom. 16:20).
As Christians, we see the enemies of God tremble in fear as His kingdom grows. Sometimes that looks like a victory, from our perspective, as many people join the church and cultural standards move in the direction of godliness. Sometimes, from our perspective, it looks like defeat as we suffer for the sake of the Lord. Either way, however, the kingdom of the Lord is advancing as He has ordained, and the Enemy is being placed under our feet.
Passages for Further Study