In the book of Revelation, a prophecy directed to the seven churches in Asia, Jesus gave many stern admonitions to those early Christians. His admonitions touched on their moral issues and failings, yet He followed each with a promise to those who overcame. Meditate on these promises:
Are these not incredible promises? The rights, the privileges, and the gifts promised by God to His children for being overcomers seem too good to be true! No king, no billionaire, no celebrity on earth can even dream of this sort of treatment. Never for a minute doubt the depth of God’s love and the extent of His plans for you.
But when you go back over Jesus’ warnings to the seven churches, sadly, you can see things haven’t changed much. Unfortunately, Christians often permit the very world that Jesus overcame to unduly influence them for evil.
We get it backwards sometimes; Romans 12:21 reminds us, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Since sin has no place in eternity, how can it have a place for Christians now?
Take the following, then, as encouragement. Yes, as Christians, we still have struggles with sin. Sometimes, we surrender to monumental habits, even addictions. Know this: God wants you to be an overcomer and experience victory over sin in your life.
When you became a Christian, God sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in you. His power is inside you, that same power Who was present in Creation and Who raised Jesus from the dead. You are in a fellowship of other believers, other overcomers, who are ready to come alongside you to help you overcome too. And Scripture reassures us this: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Sin and rebellion are not in God’s eternal plan. It is God’s will for His children, Christians, to overcome sin, and He provides us the means to do so. It is a work that He does in inside us, making us like Christ, changing us, struggle by struggle, victory by victory.
Will we become perfect in this life? Is it faithless for me to say with a sigh, probably not? For it seems that the more one overcomes, the more one sees in his heart that also needs to change. Yet you will also find that success breeds success.
Are you tempted to gossip? Overcome! Does a habit control you? Overcome! Are you sometimes a dishonest person? Overcome! Do you yet fall short of the glory of God? Overcome!
Discouragement, despair, and unbelief do not come from God! No, encouragement, faith, and belief come from the Lord. He believes in you. Never give up. Be an overcomer!