Daily Devotional

Joni Eareckson Tada’s inspirational daily devotionals are biblical insights that will enrich,
enlighten, and encourage you in your walk with Christ Jesus.

Take it by Force

"From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it." -Matthew 11:12

Although tall, blonde and beautiful, my friend Shawna fell into depression during her days in college. She flirted with alcohol to ease the pain. One night in a stupor, she climbed into her car and drove up the exit ramp on the northbound 101 freeway. After a horrible head-on collision and the death of a southbound driver, Shawna landed in prison. In a cell with prostitutes and drug-pushers, this young woman who once professed faith in Christ, suddenly woke up. God pierced her heart.  She gave her broken life to Christ. After that, Shawna became a light for the Gospel to all her fellow inmates. 

She wrote, “Joni, prison is hard. My crime was awful, and the situation here is overwhelming, but that doesn’t mean God will deliver peace on a silver platter – I have to believe, fight and “take by force” that which is promised us in Scripture despite all the obstacles, including the sin in my own heart. I know the truth now. I know what’s mine as a child of God and I am taking back by force what I lost – I’m taking my rightful place in the body of Christ as more than a conqueror through Jesus who strengthens me.”

The apostle Paul “fought the good fight” in prison (II Timothy 4:7). Like him, Shawna is in the battle fray in jail. Her adversary is not about to relinquish his claim on her life. Yours, neither. The devil will not go down quietly without stirring up a struggle in your life. Scriptural promises are yours, but often you must push through spiritual opposition. Today, purpose to persevere, strive, press on, fight, believe, and lay hold of your place in the kingdom. Remember, the reign of Christ advances by force. And you are on the front lines. 

Lord, I press on, determined today to advance your kingdom by grace and by force