How to Overcome
God’s promise to be always with us in every situation is His guarantee of empowerment and guidance to ensure that we are able to overcome all odds and emerge triumphant at the end of life’s journey.

How to Overcome

       After completing the process of creation God commanded man ‘be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it’. As per this mankind was created to glorify God, through overcoming every possible opposition, in fulfillment of the assigned task. Lord Jesus restored the lost glory of mankind and commanded to resist and overpower the devil and his agents of darkness. He has promised to be with us to guide and empower us through the Holy Spirit to face every possible opponent and become victorious. 

      What are we to overcome? – As per Lord Jonathan Sachs, Chief Rabbi of England, there are two basic concepts of human life, first, man must earn the good that God has prepared and second, he must receive this good. For the first there must be maximum challenge for highest satisfaction. Thus there neither God nor the divine nature of our good deeds should be obvious. Second, the place where we receive good must be opposite to this to receive maximum possible satisfaction from the good deeds. There existence of God and the relationship of our good deeds to God must be clearly apparent. For this end God created two levels of existence; Olam Hazeh or this world for accomplishment and maximum challenge and Olam Haba, the world to come and ultimate reward where both God and nature of one’s deeds are totally apparent and visible. Both these worlds exist in a physical state. The physical nature of this world is clear but even the future world will also be physical, for then will be resurrection of the dead. It is then that the souls will get bodies like the previous ones for him to enjoy the ultimate reward of good deeds.

       God and His ultimate good is spiritual so why a physical state? What is the difference between spiritual and the material? The basic difference is of space which is physical but closeness and distance exist in the spiritual world, thus implying that resemblance to each other brings spiritual closeness. Thus in spiritual world two different things cannot come together, God and man, in his sinful state, cannot come together being opposites. The yetzer tov or urge to do good and yetzer hara or the urge for evil exist together in man as free will, for man is in the physical world. Since good and evil can exist together in physical world, as tree of knowledge of good and evil and tree of life, good can also overpower evil in this world. In spiritual world both cannot come close to each other to exert any influence of one on the other. Man was placed in the physical world to overcome the forces of evil, first this task was was for Adam and Eve and now the entire mankind. Scripture further confirms this, ‘For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light’ (Ephesians 5:8).

        The Word of God is a living being and through obedience man binds himself to the Word and thus to God. It is in obedience to His Word that one can scale the highest spiritual levels and become like the Son of God.

        In his dream ‘Jacob saw a ladder set on earth and its top reaching to heaven’ and the angels were ascending and descending on it (Genesis 28:12). Our faith in the Lord, who is the ‘Only Way’ leads us to this ladder and our works for God’s kingdom help us to move up the ladder. But this also helps us receive and reveal God’s light on the earth in the physical world. God created us in a physical form to fulfill His Tasks and purpose and when we step forward to do this He empowers us to do the tasks that His Son did and even greater tasks. Our victory is both in the physical and spiritual realm and when we declare LORD to be the Shepherd, the provider and protector, we also must come to the state ‘I shall not want’ by controlling our desires (Psalm 23:1).

          Who can overcome? – Apostle John defines a victorious person as, ‘Whoever believes the Jesus is the Christ is born of God’; ‘For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith’; ‘who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?’ (1 John 5:1 &4-5) Thus believing in Lord Jesus as the Savior Lord is the start of the victory march both in the physical and the spiritual realm for then we fight in His name and authority for assured victory. Thus overcoming is in fact controlling our thoughts or minds, our desires or the heart and then stepping forward to witness thus displaying our love for God with all the heart, with all the heart, with all the soul and with all the strength. Book of Revelation chapters 2 & 3 have seven letters to the churches and in each the specific strength and weakness of that group is revealed by the Lord and that they are to overcome. Who are those who ‘overcome’? In Revelation, Greek word ‘nikao’ is translated as ‘I conquer, am victorious, overcome, prevail, subdue’ while in Romans 3:4, it is used for God and in John 16:33 in reference to Lord Jesus.

        In Revelation 2 & 3 it means ‘to overcome, to be the victor, to gain a victory or to be victorious’ and it relates to all believers rather than to a limited number of people or a special group. This is about faith getting manifested itself in victory and the believer/conqueror prevails over evil though his faithfulness to the Lord. Thus to him who overcomes will mean to be the conqueror. To believe in Lord Jesus means victory over unbelief and sin of the world and this refers to all believers.  In the presence of God, white clothes of saints are a result of washing in the blood of the Lamb and this is the saints’ righteous act. All believers are victorious but some will expand their victory from their original position of faith.

         What happens to those who do not overcome? – God declares that ‘He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, the murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, the idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death’ (Revelation 21:4). Those who do not believe in Lord Jesus as the Savior or do not live by the faith will suffer the ‘second death’. Many of these promises are found in the Scripture already and we become eternal citizens of an eternal society through faith in the Son of God. And in gthat blessed state, ‘nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Romans 8:38-39).

         Rewards to those who overcome – All the seven churches were advised about their strengths and weaknesses and to overcome the later with specific rewards listed. First, Church in Ephesus – Those who overcome will get the right to eat from the tree of life which is in the paradise of God (Rev 2:7). Tree of life was in the midst of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9) and mankind was barred from the tree by God (Genesis 3:22-24). This right is restored by the Messiah and the prophecy of this was already made in Isaiah 51:3 and Ezekiel 36:35. Even Lord Jesus declared ‘I am the living bread, if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever’ (John 6:51).   

         Second, Church in Smyrna – I will give the crown of life and who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death (Revelation 2:10 -11). First death occurred in the Garden of Eden as separation from God which the believers are now saved from. The second death is for all sinners for they ‘shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone’ (Revelation 21:8). However this does not contain a promise of protection from martyrdom. ‘Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection (through baptism). Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years (Revelation 20:6). Overcoming starts with faith in Lord Jesus as the Messiah and accepting Him as the Lord and Savior.

        Third, Church in Pergamos – There are three distinct blessings listed here, and they shall receive some of the hidden manna to eat, a white stone and on that a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it (Revelation 2:17). First, why and where is the hidden manna? Moses was commanded  by God and he told Aaron to keep an ‘omer’ or about 2.3 litres of Manna in a jar ‘to be kept for your generations, that they may see the bread from God’ and Aaron laid it before the Testimony (Exodus 16:31-34). Legend has it that Prophet Jeremiah hid the Ark, Aaron’s staff and jar of manna which will be revealed to mankind in the millennium. Prophet Jeremiah called out to the Israelites, ‘O generation, see the Word of the Lord’ (Jeremiah 2:31) and the Living Word, Lord Jesus is manna or bread from heaven that will sustain us for all time. Same church, the next blessing or white stone of acquittal of all guilt as compared to the black stone of conviction. Next, new name for a name defined the role and special characteristics of an individual in Jewish culture and Abraham and Sarah were renamed by God. Also Jabez who was born in pain was given this name by his mother. This new name will grant an exclusive role with an honored position, in the heavenly kingdom, that nobody will know.

      Four, Church of Thyatira – He who is obedient until the end will get authority over the nations to ‘rule with an iron scepter and dash them to pieces like the potter’s vessels’ just as the Lord also received authority from His Father (Revelation 2:26-28). To the end means completely and the word rule is translated from Greek word ‘poimanei’ meaning ‘to shepherd’. Thus it is not about judging but leadership and guidance while the iron scepter is a staff of authority of shepherd. There will be absolute power and authority from God. Further the Lord promised to also give the Morning star where Lord Jesus is the Morning Star (Revelation 22:16). In totality it means a reign that begins at the new dawn just like the morning star arrives before a new day.

        Five, the Church in Sardis – The first blessing is to be dressed in white garments, a heavenly attire (Revelation 3:5). But where do white garments come from? Those seen standing before the Lord’s throne were wearing white garments and ‘they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb’ (Revelation 7:13-14). All stains of past sins removed and believers are thus awarded with unpolluted glory. The next is, ‘I will never blot out their name’ where blot out means forfeiture of all privileges of His kingdom since believers at that time lost citizenship of Rome for their faith. Moses had already warned of this blotting out of name, ‘whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book’ (Exodus 32:33). Thus anything that defiles shall not enter into God’s presence in New Jerusalem but only those ‘who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life’ (Revelation 21:27). Next, ‘I will confess his name before My Father and His angels’ and this promise was made by the Lord earlier, ‘Whoever acknowledges Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven’ (Matthew 10:32-33). It is the same word that is translated as ‘acknowledge’ also as ‘confess’ and we confess allegiance to Lord Jesus in what we say, do or the choices we make and He will acknowledge us as His faithful servants and He will make us overcome.

       Six, Church in Philadelphia – One who overcomes will be made a ‘pillar in the Temple of My God and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God; and I will write on him My new name’ (Revelation 3:12). First is to be made a structural support in God’s house thus one will not only be present there but offering support for the heavenly kingdom. And then the Lord will write three things on him, 1) The name of God indicating ownership and sworn allegiance in a two way covenant, 2) name of the city of God granting citizenship status and proof of residence, 3) Lord Jesus new name which is known only to Him (Revelation 19:12), confirming the depth of relationship as a member of His Divine family.

        Seven, Church in Laodicea – This is an unimaginable blessing with the ‘right to sit with Me on My throne’ (Revelation 3:21). Apostle Paul has clarified that we are raised up from our sinful state of death and seated with Lord Jesus in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). But those who overcome receive a blessing which is beyond being seated in heaven, to sit with Him in all authority and power.

       How do we overcome? – God has already made us victorious in His Son since decided this before anything came into being and those who are predestined are called and led onto being justified, to sanctification and finally to glorification (Romans 8:30). Lord Jesus prayed to the Father, ‘And the glory which You have given Me I have given them’, thus fully equipping us for victory (John 17:22). Before ascending to heaven He empowered the believers, ‘As My Father sent Me, I also send you’ and then He breathed on them and said ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’ (John 20:21-22). Further, He granted us ‘the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you’ (Luke 10:19). Moses successor, Joshua was assured by God that ‘as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you’ and Joshua stopped the sun and moon for a time in faith in God’s promise (Joshua 1:5).  

       It is our faith that leads us on to being triumphant, for ‘Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God’ and that ‘whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith’. Further ‘who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?’ (1 John 5:1 &4-5). Believing in Lord Jesus as the Savior Lord is the start of the victory march both in the physical and the spiritual realm for then we fight in His name and authority for assured victory. Thus overcoming is in fact controlling our thoughts or minds, our desires or the heart and then stepping forward to witness thus displaying our love for God with all the heart, with all the mind, with all the soul and with all the strength. God is in and with us as God the Holy Spirit to empower us, remind us of God’s promises, guide us and lead us into victory. The Holy Spirit was external to mankind in the Old Testament but not anymore. We have to realize, accept and live accordingly.

         Like Adam and Eve who were given dominion over everything we are also empowered by the shed blood of the Lamb of God. But like them we do not fully understand this blessed state and end up living like a pauper while having millions in the bank account. Job maintained his faith despite tremendous pressure from his three friends and finally could say, ‘I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see You’ (Job 42:5). Our overcoming is not in our but God’s Divine guidance and strength and ‘when God is with us, who can be against us’.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Ratnarekha

    Thank you for this knowledgeable post Sir! God bless you all.

    1. Col Harjit Singh

      Thank you for your encouraging words. Please pray for us that we continue to bring such messages for edification of the viewers. Do let us know about any prayer requests.

  2. Kartar

    Beautiful…. No words to express thanks to you sir… regards

    1. Col Harjit Singh

      Thank you for your blessings. Do keep us in your prayers.

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