“Very soon the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet.” Romans 16:20
From God’s perspective, darkness has already been defeated through Christ’s triumph on the cross. (Colossians 2:15) Jesus is not at war with Satan; He’s already won the war and now, through the gospel, is inviting us to live from His victory.
The key is walking in peace. We must first acquire the peace of God, and then we must learn to walk in the peace of God. When we do this, we become like a thermostat in our environment. “Very soon . . .” the darkness around us is crushed as the kingdom of God and Christ’s victory permeate the atmosphere we bring Christ’s peace to. Notice from the text, Satan will be crushed – his work, his plans, his voice – under our feet. Jesus wants us to share His victory.
So how does one get the peace of God? It starts with salvation where God offers us peace with Him through the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins on the cross. (Romans 5:1) Once we are saved, we have continual access to God through Christ and have peace available to us if we give our anxieties to God in prayer. “Be anxious for nothing but in everything make your requests known to God with thanksgiving, and the peace of God which transcends understanding will guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
Getting peace is easier than walking in peace. How does one stay in peace in a world that creates so much uncertainty, fear, and anxiety? I believe the key is in the verse before our text in Romans 16 and in the verse following the reference in Philippians. Notice how similar they are: “I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.” (Romans 16:19) “Brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things… And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9)
To stay in peace, we have to keep ourselves from focusing on evil and on what evil is doing. When we focus on darkness we end up empowering it. Jesus focused on what the Father was doing and saying (John 5:19); to walk in peace we need to do the same.
If we lose our peace, all we have to do is bring our anxieties back to God and He will restore it again. Let’s practice living from victory until it becomes our lifestyle!