We are given the supernatural power to overcome at salvation. We live in victory by living in faith, which is a free gift received through the Living Word.
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. (1 John 5:4)
When our children were growing up, the ‘I can’t’ plant was our reminder that those two words did not exist in our dictionary. It was a particularly pathetic little viola plant which permanently seemed on the edge of giving up. Spindly and with few leaves in comparison to its companions, it made up for its lack with tenacity. No matter what, that little plant hung in there and refused to die. It’s real secret, however, was that it would push an abundance of flowers. Masses of tiny, delicate blossoms would erupt, outshining its neighbours and leaving me constantly astounded. Our ‘I can’t’ plant proved over and over again that the outside didn’t matter. It’s what’s on the inside that really matters. It reminded me constantly that God does indeed choose the foolish to confound the strong. What is inside is the power to overcome.
To overcome the world is our salvation birth right.
The very nature of salvation is overcoming the world. Sin and the world go hand in hand. If we sin, we’re of the world. If we’re of the world, we sin. This is what is meant by the adamic nature. Adam was formed from the earth, and will return to the earth in physical death. From the moment of mankind’s creation, we contain both the physical and the spiritual – of the earth and of God. God intends that we overcome the world – within us and without – and live in the spirit part not the world or fleshly part. We must live in the spirit and not in the flesh. Simply put, we are able to either let the God part or the world part control who we are and how we live. This is the struggle that every single follower of Christ will have to fight in our Christian walk.
Our birth right is to overcome through supernatural new birth by the spirit of God. Salvation – born again – imparts to us a supernatural empowerment to rise above the things of the world. We can defeat our earthly nature and live separate from the dictates of worldly things. The key to this lies in the simple truth that we ‘follow’ Christ. He is the first born of God’s new creation. This doesn’t only mean that we follow our ‘elder brother’ and imitate Him. That’s part of it, because He is our example. More importantly, though, Jesus has already overcome the world. This is a critical truth. On the cross, He purchased the victory with His blood. His is the living will and testament of God’s will for us. Top of the list is the power to overcome – to live in the victory Christ has already obtained – through our salvation.
We must live the reality that we have overcome.
The power of salvation lies in the reality that it is both once and for and ongoing. We are saved at the moment of being born again. But we are also continually being saved through each small victory. At the same time, we have already overcome through new birth in Christ. But we must then continually overcome by living that victory in each and every situation. What this means in practical terms is that wherever we find ourselves, we must choose victory or defeat. We have to apply our victory in Christ to each temptation, struggle, hardship, or trial. We apply it, first and foremost, through choice. This is the simple reality of living as an overcomer. We first choose to do so, and God will then supply the supernatural empowerment for victory.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says: No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. This is a powerful encouragement that we already have victory in Christ. We need never fear that anything is bigger than our ability in Him to overcome. On our own, of course, we have little hope. But when we live in Christ we can live the reality that we have overcome. It’s a wonderfully simple empowerment – we choose, we step out in faith, and we overcome. No maybes or buts. We live the reality of complete victory. But we are, however, still human, so it sometimes takes a little longer to access that inward power God has provided.
We overcome through faith.
This is where we often struggle and get bogged down in our efforts. We somehow imagine that supernatural power to overcome is some kind of divine intervention. God leans down and zaps up with superhuman ability and we automagically achieve what is impossible for us. Of course, God, in His grace and mercy may sometimes intervene in this way. But the reality is that we achieve victory by exercising our faith, which is a gift from God. We cannot summon it or engineer it. To each is given a measure of faith – both to believe and to live in victory. In other words, we believe for salvation, and then we continue to believe for being continually saved. Like that little ‘I can’t’ plant, we may not look like much on the outside. But on the inside, we have all we need to accomplish what seems impossible.
Faith, in simple terms, is believing that what has not yet happened already exists. The unseen is a reality. It doesn’t deny the actual physical conditions or situation. But it looks above and beyond them to the nature and power of God. Faith is freely given and it is also eternal. We can never lose our faith because God releases it in us at salvation. Admittedly, there are times when we seem to have ‘mislaid’ it, but this is always temporary. If we are in Christ and He is in us, we will always have access to the measure of faith we need. More importantly, additional faith is as freely available. The simple truth is that God knows what we need and has already provided it. We first choose to overcome. Then we step out in faith. Finally, we live in the victory that manifests.
Exercise the faith to overcome.
Faith only operates when we use it. We can store it up and tuck it away, but it’s absolutely useless unless we activate it. Only when we act does faith become active. Of course, faith is empowered by what we know of God. This, in turn, requires intimacy and relationship, and knowing His Word. Our faith is never static. Its dynamic nature means that it grows constantly. Faith today and faith tomorrow should always be measured by increase. Romans 10:17 reminds us that So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. When we immerse ourselves in the Living Word – which is Christ – we are building our faith towards the things we need to overcome. What a simple but powerful encouragement for us who are called to live in victory over the world around us and the flesh within us.
Lord, thank You that we already have all we need to overcome the world. Thank You for the power of the cross and the beautiful birth right purchased for us by Your blood. Remind us that You have already made the way and that we need only follow You. Help us to learn Your Word and through that, Your perfect will in all things. Stir us up to live in victory in each small choice. In everything, Lord, help us to choose Your way rather than the way of the world.