OVERCOMING THE EVIL AIMED AT YOU!
By Pastor Daniel Cruz
Preached on Sunday April 12th 2015
Romans 12:21 (esv)
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
1 John 5:4
“for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”
I want to begin by defining the word Overcome
OVERCOME – Gr. Nikao – to overcome, to be victorious, But more interestingly it carries the idea of being empowered by another…
When we look at our text in the book of Romans,two things are made abundantly clear and that is that we are presented with a choice:
1. Either we allow evil to OVERCOME us or;
2. We OVERCOME evil…
At this point let me state the obvious as a child of God, and according to Gods word: You can overcome any and all Evil attempting to control, manipulate or rule your life - PERIOD
Through out the past 34 years of my life I have sought to live my life in a way that honors and pleases God. However I realized early on as a young Christian that there were areas in my life that the weaknesses in my life seemed to gain the upper hand.
Though I had decided that Heaven was my destination, I realized the problem wasn’t the destination, it was the journey that posed the greatest challenge.
In my limited understanding I began to act out Evil in my life whether in the form of desires or thoughts, or actions and the more I tried to Stop the more difficult it became. This can run the gamut anywhere from anger issues to carnal appetites. I quickly began to discover what most of us discover at an early age in the natural. When we are Children and they tell us not to open the presents under the tree or not to touch any of the cookies on the table. The more you tried not to think about it the more you thought about it. The next thing you know you find yourself with what almost seems like an uncontrollable impulse to do the very thing you know deep inside your not suppose to be doing or engaging in. – Can anyone relate to what I’m saying?
The apostle Paul spoke about something very similar in
15. “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate,……. I do.
If we ended with this as our final verse it would seem rather hopeless but as we continue reading further in the same chapter,
Paul offers us the hope we so desperately need.
Verse 24 and 25 It says - 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
This morning there may be someone sitting here and you are facing what seems like insurmountable odds. You’ve tried to kick the habit, to overcome that addiction, to be finally free! But the harder you try the harder it becomes. You have battled for years with and explosive attitude, it doesn’t take much to push you over the edge, you loose control emotionally you constantly rob the peace of those around you. You are unpleasant to be around because of your emotional instability. You have tried to deal with it on your own, you have promised to change but no one believes you anymore.
Maybe for someone else here today it’s a lust problem or a substance abuse problem or a lying problem. What ever your facing today. God is here to tell you - I am your deliverer and a present help…
WE CAN NEVER DO IT ON OUR OWN
Remember the word OVERCOME – Nikao means to to be victorious but NOTE it is not something God expects you to do on your own, In Fact he knows you cant do it on your own – This is where your victory lies on this one truth – That the God who calls you to live a life pleasing to him NIKAO comes to your side to empower you! You are Empowered by another to break the habit, to turn from the destructive substance, to stay in the marriage, to speak the truth.To walk in Love, to forgive your abuser Etc.
Nikao speaks of the ability to overcome through the empowerment of another
Isaiah 41:13 reveals this truth further “For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
“Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self.” - Francis of Assisi
SO WHY AM LIVING IN DEFEAT
God has committed himself to empowering us! That is Good News – But he will only do so if we make the CHOICE!
Choices are a big deal everything we do in life WHETHER GOOD OR BAD can be traced back to a CHOICE. From the places we work, to the company we keep, to the car we drive, to the clothes we wear, the foods we eat. Everything is driven by choices. The ability to CHOOSE gives us POWER. Remove someones power of choice and you have taken their freedom.
HOWEVER with The freedom to choose comes great reasonability!!! – Because with Choices there is the fruit or the consequences of those choices made.
“Choices made whether bad or good follow you forever and affect everyone in their path one way or another.”
“It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – J.K Rowling
A man Chooses a women – A woman chooses a man and commits his or her life to the other. There are consequences positive or negative to their choices.
Choices are big to God it positions us correctly – In The kingdom of God everything operates on the basis of Choices -
God sovereignly chose you – We then must make the Choice to follow him and obey him. As we choose to obey God,Nikao - He empowers us to carry out our choice to live his word.
When All you’re relying on is your own Strength – God will allow you to Fail…
“He takes no pleasure in the strength of a horse or in human might (the legs of a warrior)…
11. the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their HOPE in his unfailing love – READ ENTIRE PSALMS
– “Someone once said, “I am thankful for my struggle because without it I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength”
But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."
"Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!
MOST PEOPLE HAVE A “CHOOSING” PROBLEM
The choices we make are usually driven by the greatest or the dominate desires in our lives whether they be RIGHT or WRONG – We will most often choose in the direction of our most dominates wants or desires.
This is why 1 John 5:4 continues to say:
“this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our Faith
FAITH – gr. Pistis- the conviction that God exists and is the creator and:
ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ
According to 1 John – Your convictions play a pivotal role in you living an overcomers life.
In other words it is the CHOICE/CONVICTION you make to believe God above everything else.
CONVICTION – definition – A firmly held belief or opinion
The problem is that too often we hold on to our opinion rather than the TRUTH God has revealed.
There is a passage in scripture where Jesus reveals an important process. We often hear this verse used during altar calls for salvation. Its found in John 14:6
Jesus said, “I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE – No one come to the Father except through me.
1.When you make the choice to yield to Christ you are on now the Road or "Way".
2. As you are on this Way or Road you must make a choice to embrace the Truth His truth not your opinion. (too many are on the road but have not embraced the truth)
3. When you embrace his truth as revealed in his word you begin to experience the abundant life
4. Enjoying abundant life in not the ultimate level God wants to bring you to. however the ultimate level in the process or journey is to ultimately know the Father, it is to Please the Father, its becoming a Son or Daughter its LIVING TO PLEASE THE FATHER. (My food food and drink is to please the father)
You may be saved because you are in the WAY but who's truth are you living yours or His?
You may not be living the abunadant life, a Free life and victorious life because you have not embraced Gods truth. (“these words which I speak they are spirit and they are “Truth”)
Therefore your understanding of the Father Heart of God and the greatest “need” God has which is for sons and daughters that know and trust his father nature.
The greatest joy of a Father is to be loved in return by his children not just respected, or obeyed, or thankful for the things we give them. But to be genuinely Loved.
When we Trust him when we know his way is better than ours and that if we believe him and allow him he will infuse us with all the strength we will ever need for life and godliness. When we rely on him there is nothing we can not overcome in this life even adversity.