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Summary: Abraham Lincoln wrote in his diary during the worst part of the civil war: "Without Christ I cannot succeed. With Christ I cannot fail." "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Wh

Overcome the World (I John 5:4,5)

Abraham Lincoln wrote in his diary during the worst part of the civil war:

"Without Christ I cannot succeed. With Christ I cannot fail."

Quote: "The reason why many fail in battle is because they wait until the hour of battle. The reason why others succeed is because they have gained their victory on their knees long before the battle came…Anticipate your battles, fight them on your knees before temptation comes, and you will always have victory." (R.A. Torrey)

John, the one whom Jesus loved wrote:

"For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (I John 5:4,5) Increasing your faith allows you to be more of an overcomer so that you can be a part of helping to advance Christ’s kingdom and righteousness in greater qualitative and quantitative measures.

Illustration: Some events in human history impact us so greatly, that we will forever remember the circumstance surrounding where we were when we heard the news. I’ll never forget sitting in a classroom while in the 5th grade and hearing the reports of JFK’s assassination over the school PA system and watching my teacher Mrs. Evalyn Humke weep.

Or watching with a group of missionaries as Christa McAuliffe began her journey to be the first teacher in space, only to have it end so abruptly and tragically. Nor will I ever forget last year as we watched the TV in our dining hall to see smoke billowing up from the North Tower of the World Trade Center and moments later see the second plane crash into the South Tower. Those images are forever embedded in our memories. You probably remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when you first heard the news.

But today, I want to ask and attempt to answer the question that no doubt has puzzled so many since that horrific day. How can we become better rather than bitter as result of trials, troubles and tumults of the heart and mind?

Scripture commands us to not be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good. We know that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Eph. 6:12) How do we do that?

Definition:

Overcome: From the Greek word nikao meaning to mightily prevail over, to master, to be victorious. We have a choice in every situation to either be a victor or to be vanquished. Too many believers are failing to experience consistent victory over their anger, fear and self-centered responses to adversity.

Jesus wants us to experience His life in all of its abundance, but too many Christians today are allowing themselves to be defeated by the world, the flesh and the devil.

Quote: He, who overcomes with the good of patience, forbearance, kindness, and beneficence to those who have wronged you, is better than the mighty. Here are a few guidelines for overcoming evil with good instead of succumbing to power of evil that seeks to defeat us emotionally, mentally, physically, socially and spiritually. Instead of being overcomers, many Christians are merely succumbers. Do you want to be an overcomer or a succumber? The following are guidelines to help you progress in Christ and avoid regressing spiritually, emotionally and behaviorally into self-destructive life patterns:

1. OVERCOME WITH PRAISE TO GOD that you are already a conqueror through Christ who loves you. (Rom. 8:37) THANK God for making you a conqueror over sin, human desires and evil through the power of Christ who lives within each believer. As the famous old song reminds us, there is victory in Jesus. We just need to appropriate the victory we already enjoy in Christ by being steadfast, unmovable and always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing our labor is not in vain in the Lord. (I Cor. 15:57,58)

Praise God that He will fight the battles for you. Whatever stands in the way of the advance of Christ’s church will be overcome. Jesus said, "I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." (Matt 16:18) All the force of the Almighty God will give you the victory over any oppositionary forces that seek to thwart the completion of God’s forward marching armies.

Illustration: Like David we need to say to whatever giants are standing in our way, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head... and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give all of you into our hands." (I Sam 17:45-47)

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