And I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, " . . . the accuser of our brothers, . . . has been cast down." And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, . . . Rev 12:10-11.
The blood of the Lamb was shed already in the Garden of Gethsemane. Drops of blood fell to the ground (Luke 22:44) as Jesus battled to align His will with that of His Father (Matt 26:39; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42). The root of human self-will is found in the first garden, the Garden of Eden. There Adam and Eve rejected God's will and asserted their own (Gen 3:1-6). When Christ won the battle in another garden, He won it for the whole human race.
I don't know about you, but I face a battle with my will every day. While I don't have to battle with addictions to alcohol, tobacco or drugs, I often struggle with more "Christian" versions of addiction. I struggle to choose the right kind and right amount of food. I allow myself to get angry when things don't go my way. I let things at work affect the way I feel. I allow negative and ungodly thoughts to linger in my mind. I'm glad I don't have to battle with alcohol or drugs but, frankly, the battle to control my thoughts and my actions often goes hard.
Recently I vowed to eat nothing in the evening except fruit. I set my mind and will to accomplish this goal. But I learned that there are many things that can derail my will. My wife or daughter makes some delicious food in the evening and I just have to have some! Or I don't want to hurt their feelings by saying no! Or there is a special social at work or in church. Or it's
Christmas! Or Saturday night! The list goes on. Do you see my point? Weakness of will is deeply rooted in the human condition after the Fall in Eden.
Whether one's addictive behavior is life-threatening or of a more "vegetarian" variety, the path to victory is the same. Victory over sin is not really possible until we absorb into the very core of our being the victory of the cross. All our sin and failure was completely exhausted in Jesus Christ at the cross (1 Pet 2:24). When we realize that our record of failure, our sense of shame and worthlessness, was blotted out in Him, we can begin to align our will with God's and break the chains of the past. We are freed from the past to become free in the present.
In my experience this victory comes in two stages. First, we need to grasp the truth of Rev 12:11. The battle has already been won at the cross. Second, it takes time for battered and abused people to feel what they already know. Emotions are a "lagging indicator." Don't expect your feelings to change instantly just because you read this. You may need to assert the truth of the cross many times before your feelings and your will buy into that victory.