“For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
(Isaiah 9:6, NRSV )
The term “mighty” in the Hebrew Bible is used most often in reference to warriors. Psalm 24 describes God as “The King of glory,” the one who is strong and mighty in battle. The Lord God Almighty is the supreme warrior who fights and vanquishes the foes of his people.
How do we experience Jesus as Mighty God? As supreme warrior, Jesus destroys the work of the devil, our enemy. I John 3:8 tells us that “the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work.” Colossians 2:15 tells us that on the cross, Jesus made a public spectacle and triumphed over these spiritual powers and authorities (of darkness). Ephesians 6:10-18 speaks about our spiritual battle against these forces of darkness. Here, we are instructed to put on the armor of God so that by his mighty power we might stand firm when “the day of evil” comes our way.
However, “being an over-comer in Christ” is one of the most potent ways in which we experience Jesus as Mighty God. As the ultimate divine warrior, Jesus overcame his enemies in the spiritual realm. In Revelation 3:21, Jesus says, “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.” To overcome is to stand in the mighty strength of Christ and not succumb to the trappings of the fallen world. The question arises, “How do I stand?” so as to overcome?
The letter to the church at Laodicea provides some helpful clues to how we stand strong in the strength of Jesus who is our Mighty God. First, strength is not found in material success. These things fade with time and dull us to our true need for God's power to meet the real problems of life. But also, we must recognize that we need “gold refined by fire”-in other words a recognition that through trials and difficulty, we experience, through faith, God's mighty power at work in us (also see James 1:1-5 and I Peter 1:3-9). Difficulties in this life will come and they cannot be avoided. The point is not to make the trials “go away.” Rather, the goal is to realize that in Jesus we “overcome” them. We overcome them by faith, trusting in God love and strength to see us through, thereby not being caught up in a whirlwind of despair. Jesus said that in this world we would have tribulation, but to take heart, “I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).
As we face trials and stand strong in God's mighty power, we overcome with Christ, our Mighty God.