The Overcoming Christian
“He who overcomes I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name” (Revelation 3:12).
To overcome means to gain victory over a challenge or opposition. The Christian is no stranger to opposition while he or she lives here on earth. The overcoming Christian is the one who appropriates the grace of God and walks in the victory Christ has purchased for His elect (Galatians 5:1). The person whose faith does not fail and endures to the end is the overcomer (Hebrews 10:38-39). The overcoming Christian is the one who uses his faith to obtain divine promises and possess divine inheritances (Hebrews 11:33-36). He is one who regularly looks at temptation or sin in the eye and looks the other way without yielding (James 1:12).
Being overcomers is what God has ordained for His children. That is when we truly operate in the liberty given to us in the covenant of grace and do not live in bondage to debt, sin, people, worry and anxiety, etc. God’s plan is for His children not to experience depressing defeat, but to experience exhilarating victory that comes through overcoming. There are three major obstacles the Christian has to overcome in order to live the overcoming life:
The World System: The Bible tells us that Satan is the ruler of this world (John 14:30). He is largely in control of the systems, the culture, the government, the modus operandi of this fallen world. This is, off course, for a time and season after which Jesus will replace the world with the New Earth with all the perfection, glory and righteousness of the Kingdom of Heaven (Revelation 21). Until then, the Christian will have to swim against the tide of sinful enticement, injustice and evil of this world. The challenge of the Christian is trying to impose God’s righteous will in a world that does not know God and is hostile towards Him. However, Jesus is the Chief Overcomer; we follow His example and receive the power to overcome from Him (John 1:12). The Bible says, “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory by faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 5:4-5, NLT). We overcome the world system by appropriating the victory Christ has won for us.
The Flesh: This is the fallen human nature that is opposed to God. Jesus on the cross of Calvary abolished the reign of the human nature when He was nailed to the cross. Mankind was in union with Christ when He hung on the tree (Romans 6:4-6). By virtue of that unity, anyone who believes in His substitutionary work becomes a partaker of His divine nature which is given to believers by the Holy Spirit. Though the flesh’s power is abolished, the Christian still has to rely on the grace of God to overcome the works of the flesh. We overcome the cravings of the flesh by walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). We also overcome the temptations of the flesh by deliberately doing the things that are contrary to the wishes of the flesh. We please God when we walk in the Spirit. We overcome and attain spiritual maturity when we choose to please God over and above the cravings of the flesh.
The Devil: The devil and his cohorts have every genuine Christian on their hit list. We wrestle against evil spiritual forces. The Bible makes us to realize that God has an armor set for Christians by which we are to stand against the enemy all the time. But as typical of God, He has given us free will, leaving us the responsibility to deliberately wear His armor. Salvation, righteousness, faith, truth, preaching the gospel, the Word of God, praying in the Spirit are all part of God’s armor which the Scripture enjoins us to wear all the time (Ephesians 6:12-18). We are not to overrate the enemy by paying undue attention to his cunningness and activities. Rather, we are supposed to submit to God, resist the enemy by exercising our God-given authority against him, and he will flee from us (James 4:7).
CONCLUSION: Those who overcome are made permanent pillars in the kingdom of God (Revelation 3:12), are given authority over more territories (Revelation 2:26), are clothed in white garments (Revelation 3:5), will sit with Jesus on His throne (Revelation 3:21), will be forever branded with Jesus (Revelation 3:12). Be counted among the overcomers today. Have a blessed month!