Monday, December 1, 2008


The story of Queen Esther is one of intense warfare, one of the greatest spiritual battles in all of Scripture. The devil was trying to destroy God’s purpose on earth, this time through the evil Haman. This wealthy, influential man persuaded the king of Persia to declare an edict calling for the death of every Jew under his rule, from India to Ethiopia.

The first Jew in Haman’s sight was righteous Mordecai, Esther’s uncle. Haman had a gallows built especially for Mordecai, but Esther intervened, calling God’s people to prayer and laying her life on the line to countermand Haman’s order. God exposed the wicked scheme, and Haman ended up hanging on his own gallows. The king not only reversed the death order, but he gave Haman’s house to Esther, an estate worth millions by today’s standards.

Yet Haman’s mansion wasn’t the only spoil taken in this story. Scripture tells us, “The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour” (Esther 8:16). These were the true spoils gained in battle with the enemy.

You see, our trials not only gain us spiritual riches, they keep us strong, pure, under continual maintenance. As we put our trust in the Lord, he causes our trials to produce in us a faith more precious than gold. “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7).

“Having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15).

Jesus plundered the devil at Calvary, stripping him of all power and authority. When Christ rose victorious from the grave, he led an innumerable host of redeemed captives out of Satan’s grasp. And that blood-bought procession is still marching on.

Amazingly, Christ’s triumph at Calvary gave us even more than victory over death. It gained for us incredible spoils in this life: grace, mercy, peace, forgiveness, strength, faith, all the resources needed to lead an overcoming life. He has made every provision for the maintaining of his temple: “Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end” (Hebrews 3:6).

The Holy Spirit is showing us a marvelous truth here: Jesus has supplied us with all the resources we need, in his Holy Ghost. But we are responsible for tapping into that treasury to maintain his temple. And the resources for maintaining the temple have to come directly from the spoils of our warfare.

Christ has given us everything necessary for this maintenance to take place. He has adopted us into his household. He stands as the cornerstone of the house and he has cleaned the entire house. Finally, he has given us access to the very Holy of Holies. So, by faith, we are now a fully established, complete temple. Jesus didn’t build a house that’s only half finished. His temple is complete.

This temple has to be maintained. It must be kept in good repair at all times. Of course, we know where the resources can be found: in the Spirit of Christ himself. He is the treasurer of all spoils. Those resources are released when we see our need and we cooperate with God.

That cooperation begins when we are in the midst of conflict. Our resources are the Christlikeness we win while immersed in battle. They’re the lessons, the faith, the character we gain from warfare with the enemy. There is value in the battle. And we can be confident that good will come out of it.