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Don’t Accept Defeat

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Friends, Jesus gave us a truly glorious admonition that we need to pay special attention to and heed: “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33). Do you realize what great news that is?! Jesus overcame everything that the Devil and this world could throw at him, up to and including death itself! After all, death is the ultimate gloom and doom of this life, is it not? If we have received his Spirit, then we know he overcame both sin and death, because we have the one and only witness of this glorious reality (I Jn. 5:6,9,10). And if we are in him by means of his Spirit being in us then we have access to that same victory (I Cor. 12:13; II Cor. 3:17; II Cor. 5:17). John laid it down like this: “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (I Jn. 5:4,5). We too can overcome the world and everything it can throw at us, if we are in him, and if we continue to be led by his Spirit; because through these means we become partakers of his victory (Rom. 8:14,31, 35-39). But we must understand that ‘believing’ on Jesus is not a casual thing that is determined by what we think ‘believing’ means. Jesus plainly stated that all who truly believe on him will be baptized with his Spirit into him (Jn. 7:38,39; I Cor. 12:13). And James made it clear that ‘believing’ on Jesus means that what we do from day to day in our lives will very much show forth whether we truly believe on him or not (Jas. 2:14-26). And the apostle Paul made it clear that ‘believing’ on Jesus means that we can and must live our lives without giving space to sin within us (Rom. 6:2-7, 12). And of course John clarified that if we do fall short, then ‘believing’ means that we will honestly repent of our faults and be forgiven and renewed in spirit (I Jn. 1:9). Now if we agree and comply with these terms of true faith in Christ, then we can and will be partakers of his victory over sin, affliction, sickness, and everything else up to and including death; because we are literally in him, and he has overcome these things. Jesus clearly said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (Jn. 11:25,26).

So if we really believe that we will be delivered from death itself, what would hinder us from overcoming any and every kind of obstacle that comes our way while we’re alive here? God has made a living making a way for his people where there absolutely and positively is no way, even as he did for the children of Israel when he opened up the Red Sea before them and allowed them to cross through the sea on dry land. The old and new testament scriptures alike proclaim that we are healed of all physical affliction through faith in the stripes that Jesus took on our behalf (Isa. 53:5; I Pet. 2:24). In time of famine God fed Elijah at the brook Cherith with meat from ravens twice daily, and water from the brook (I Kin. 17:1-6). When the brook dried up God sent him to a gentile woman who had just enough food left for one meal for her and her son, and God multiplied that food daily so that both they and Elijah were sustained until the famine was ended (I Kin. 17:7-16). In the days of Elisha a widow of a prophet was strapped with a debt and the threat of losing her two sons as bondmen. God multiplied from one vessel of oil that the woman had into many vessels of oil with which she was able to pay the debt and also sustain her sons and herself in their lives (II Kin. 4:1-7). Friend, the point is, if we can comply with God’s terms of believing on his Son, then we simply do not have to accept defeat on any level in this life. Period! I think that is just the best news I can possibly think of! In fact, if we expect to be “accounted worthy to obtain that [glory] world, and the resurrection from the dead,” then we must learn to not accept defeat in anything; because we have been called to be “more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Lk. 20:35; Rom. 8:37). I know that it sometimes looks and feels like defeat is eminent, and that there simply is no way to get past something in our way. I’ve been there and done that more times than I can remember, and it is supposed to seem that way, so that our faith can be tried and proven, and we can be established in the faith (I Pet. 4:12; I Pet. 5:10). But we are called to “walk by faith, not by sight” (II Cor. 5:7). Just hold your ground my friend, and refuse to let Satan steal what God has allotted to you, regardless of his empty, lying threats (Jn. 10:10). God has appointed you to be the king of your hill for his glory. Amen.

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