There are situations we have to attempt to take control of, because if left unchecked, they will overpower us. We can be steadfast, if we pluck our courage and hold firm to what we know and believe. With the right perspective, we can overcome our fears, harmful desires, and any opposition that can stymie progress. We should be advancing and not regressing, so that we are becoming who God wants us to be.
“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. 4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels (Revelations 3).
The Lord Jesus rebukes and warns those who are falling away, within the Body of Christ—the church. They have been involved in different ministries and programs, but have neglected to address disobedience in other areas. They may think they are alive, because they are involved in church activities that they believe are keeping them in good standing with God. They are wanting before Christ. He has given them a window of grace, to repent, before it is too late.
Christ cautions us not to turn a blind eye to the areas of our lives we have failed to comply with Him. He commands us to repent and relearn what we already know and have received. While there are some in the church who are falling prey to worldly dissipation, there are those who will not succumb to the pressure. There are those who will not defile themselves, even as they see other Christians drift away. These will be clothed in white, and will forever walk with The Lord. Those who overcome internal urges, and those of their surroundings will be honored before The Father. Their names will be engraved in the Book of Life. Resist forfeiting your place in the Presence of God. If The Lord has already warned you, made you feel uncomfortable about the places and people you are indulging, repent and strengthen what is already dying.
9 Because you have made The Lord, Who is my refuge, even The Most High, your dwelling place, 10 no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling. 11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. 12 In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. 13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot (Psalm 91).
Evil and all forms of danger are lurking all around us. If we make God—The Most High God, our dwelling place, we should not fear most of what life throws at us. The Lord will shield us, and preserve us from every form of evil. Though we walk in the midst of it, we are protected all around. We are kept under His Shadow and no harm will destroy us. Overcome fear with the assurance of God’s Might. He has the universe at His Command. The stars will only fall if He allows them. No child of God is ever forsaken while in the midst of danger. Our Everlasting Father has commanded His angels to protect us. We can subdue insurmountable and frightening adversities, because God is always with us. When we make Almighty God our shield and fortress, nothing will overcome us. He is the dwelling place of those who shelter under His Wings.
11 I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in the right paths. 12 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, and when you run, you will not stumble. 13 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go, keep her, for she is your life. 14 Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil. 15 Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn away from it and pass on (Proverbs 4).
There are mistakes that are made unwittingly, and those that are made knowingly. If we have wisdom, we should apply it appropriately and timely. Wisdom will lead us away from wickedness, deceit and danger. We can overcome the temptation to engage in activities that may seem innocuous at first, but eventually lead to a cycle of uncontrollable urges. If we apply ourselves to God’s Wisdom, in the Word of God, we will not stumble. When we obey God, we resist the prodding of other voices. We can’t overcome what we refuse to subdue.
It’s vital to keep away from places and people we already know are a bad influence. Don’t enter the path or place where wickedness abounds; don’t come near, steer clear. There’s plenty of ways to be lured into what we think we can control. The more you linger around, the more likely you will reconsider an offer. Wisdom is your life, don’t give it up for short-lived pleasures. What are you willing to lose to entertain sin? Take firm hold of God’s Instructions and do not let your guard down, to impress anyone. We are swayed by what we are willing to sacrifice. Depart from the path that will adversely affect your loved ones and your progress in Christian living, by standing firm with God.
30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” (Numbers 13)
Caleb and others had gone to spy out the land that God had promised to give the Israelites. The other spies gave a bad report, because they feared the people in that land. Caleb was adamant about going forward to possess the land that God had promised them. He was not afraid of the stronger men in the land. He knew that God was going to provide what they needed to possess the land. If God had already promised to give, He would ensure they received. Fear casts doubt on God’s Abilities.
The other spies did not believe that God was able to give them the land, flowing with milk and honey, because of the fortified walls and the men of great stature. No human strength or man-made endeavors can be stacked against God. Caleb understood that nothing can withstand God’s Might. Are you willing to believe that God has already gone ahead of you? Overcome fear with faith and confidence in Who God is. What God says He will do can not be outflanked by human or physical efforts. Silence critics and naysayer by chartering your own course. Don’t fall into the trap of putting out feelers about what God has already ordained for you. The opinions of others will influence you to either go forward or shrink back.
19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says The Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12).
It’s not so much our adversaries or our environment that we are unable to overcome; it’s our unwieldy desires and thoughts that are difficult to subjugate. We can walk away from a situation that seems inflammable, but we often choose to yield to our emotions. Anger is very overpowering. When we have been offended, hurt or disappointed, we can’t help but become infuriated. Our emotions are part of who we are, just as God intended. We are not to use them for evil, but instead overcome evil done against us with good. We are told to not revenge, but allow God to express what He feels. It is God Who avenges because He knows the other person’s motives and intentions; if they were with malice aforethought. God knows others more than we do. We only have our side of the events, we don’t know all the details of what would have led up to someone’s actions.
We are responsible for our words and actions. We should not behave like the offender who hurts others. We should try to respond differently from them. If our enemy is in need, we are commanded to help them. Evil can’t overcome evil; it intensifies it. Give your enemy another alternative, by how you respond. Overcome evil with good, and they may feel mortified, like burning coals on their head. God will avenge better than we can. God has determined that it is His responsibility to avenge and repay. For it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says The Lord. We would be presumptuous to assume God’s Position.
We should strive to resist pressure that keeps us from being better each day. We are made in the Likeness of Christ. He overcame so that we can live an abundant life. Giving up ground by succumbing to worldliness, fear and temptations proves we have no confidence in letting Christ live through us. We are made one with Him, by His death for us on The Cross. We are part of His Broken Body, and now live in The Life of The Risen Lord. He sits enthroned as One Who overcame all the pain, adversity, suffering, temptations and powers of darkness. As He was, so are we to be. He is pleased to write our names in The Book of Life. He will reward us before The Father, if we trust Him, resist being overcome by evil, and advance to attain what He has already promised.
4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He Who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error (1 John 4).