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We Still Overcome

In last week’s post, “We Have Overcome,” we shared a man’s story of his personal battle against “always getting mad.” Struggling for years to conquer his anger, he cried out to God one day, “Why can’t I change, Lord? I’ve tried so hard!” Then God showed him two Bible verses that would transform his life. As we saw last week, one was Colossians 1:27, which points to the source of our conquering strength—“Christ in you, the hope of glory.”1 Centuries before Jesus “became flesh and dwelt among us,”2 God foretold through Ezekiel the prophet, “I will give you a new heart . . .  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws,”3 and in Christ, this is exactly what God has done in us.

It is in this liberating truth that the man could apply the other verse God showed him, a practical “how-to” instruction on the moment-by-moment Christian walk. In Romans 6:13, Paul writes, “Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.”4 On our own, we are powerless—even disinclined—to choose God’s ways over our own, but the Holy Spirit fills us, inspires us, and empowers us to submit ourselves not to the selfish desires of our sin nature, but to the higher, meaningful, and fulfilling ways of our “divine nature”5 in God.

As the speaker shared this verse, I formed an analogy: I pictured myself floating down a river, gently carried along in its flow. Approaching a small island in the middle of the river, I could yield to the current that flows to the left, or I could choose that which carries me to the right. Likewise, when tempted to speak ill of others, we can use our tongues to tarnish their reputations, or in the strength of the Spirit we can speak words of hope and grace or say nothing at all. When offended, we can float in the direction of grudges or move in the current of grace. In dispute, we can drift away from relationship or steer toward the way of reconciliation.

Paul instructed the early church, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”6 This we do by faith—offering every part of ourselves to God (Romans 16:13) by the power and presence of Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). Remember these two verses; rely on their truth, and overcome.

Lord Jesus Christ, You have overcome the world—both the evil one and his temptations—and You live victoriously in us. Fill us with Your Spirit, that we will be overcomers today to the glory of the Father. Amen.

1 Colossians 1:27
2 John 1:14 ESV
3 Ezekiel 36:26-27 NIV
4 Romans 6:13 NIV
5 2 Peter 1:4 NIV
6 Romans 12:21 NASB

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