Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How To Be An Overcomer Part 1

Revelation 3:21, “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My father on His throne.”

So what does it mean to overcome, and more importantly how can we be overcomers? Seeing as to him who overcome Christ will grant to sit with Him on His throne, it is not something that we can ignore or overlook. The reward for overcoming is a great one indeed, and within the pages of Scripture we learn how to be overcomers.

To overcome is to prevail over, or to surmount adversities, fears, trials, tribulations, hardships, and even persecutions. It is to remain faithful in the face of opposition, it is to remain steadfast in the face of reprisal, it is in essence to be a true soldier of the cross even when the road gets hard, and the sacrifice required of us is colossal. It is not he who attempts to overcome that will be granted to sit with Christ on His throne, it is not he who thought he could overcome, it is him who overcomes.

We can be overcomers by asking ourselves, and being honest and humble enough to answer if only for ourselves, three simple yet profound questions. These questions ought not to be asked once or twice in our lives, but as often as possible.

The first question we must constantly ask ourselves in order to be overcomers is who is guiding us? Who is influencing us, whose counsel do we heed, whose voice do we follow?

There are many voices today saying many different things, contradicting each other, each biding for our time, each biding for our resources, yet only one voice among the thousands of voices out there is the voice of the true Shepherd. Learn to hear the voice of Christ, learn to obey the voice of Christ, and learn to follow the voice of Christ. Any man who would steer you from the green pastures of God’s word, any man who would steer you from the living waters of scripture is a wolf and a destroyer.

Whose voice do you follow? Who is guiding you? These are question for which every one of us must have answers, questions that are of utmost importance, because if we are following after the wrong voice, if we are guided by someone other than Christ, when we are confronted with storms, when we are confronted with adversaries we will have no foundation to stand on.

Believe Christ at His word. If He said that to Him who overcomes He would grant to sit with Him on His throne, than logic would dictate that throughout our journey on this earth we will be confronted with something which we will have to overcome.

Rose petals and bumble bees make for nice postcards, but Jesus never promised us a life filled with rose petals and the scent of jasmine in the morning. He never promised us a carefree life here on earth, He never intimated that we would not endure hardships and persecutions; on the contrary Jesus pointed us to the cross, told us we must deny ourselves, and then daily pick them up and follow after Him.

If the voice you are following and the one guiding you is contradicting Christ Himself, then there’s a problem, and may I be so bold as to point out that you are following after the wrong voice.

If we humbly follow after Christ, if His voice is the voice that we heed, then our destination is certain because He will not lead us into the desert, or to places without water. In Him is life, in Him is truth, and in Him is the path that leads to eternity.

Let Christ guide you, be led by His Spirit, do not let men become your crutch; do not let the counsel, teachings or doctrines of men become your excuse for not having established a relationship with Him.

Romans 8:14, ‘For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”

So what does this passage in Romans say? Does it say as many as are led by seminary graduates, as many as are led by mega church pastors, as many as are led by superstar televangelists, are sons of God? No, it says none of these things. What it does say is that as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.

We must have an ear to hear God’s voice, even when what God is saying is uncomfortable to the flesh, even when what God is saying goes against the grain of worldly thinking, and even when what God is saying is not so much a praise of us, than it is a rebuke of us.

Far too many have fallen victim to following after men rather than God, and when the men they followed led them astray they grew angry not at the men but at God Himself. It’s not God’s fault you chose to follow a voice other than His, it’s not God’s fault you chose to walk a wider path because the narrow path seemed too cumbersome, be honest with yourself, repent and be restored rather than shake your fists at God in anger.

How important is it to follow after the right voice?

Well, in the Old Testament there was a king by the name of Joash. During the beginning of his reign as king, there was also a man by the name of Jehoiada who was the priest. As long as Jehoiada lived, Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord, even setting his heart on repairing the house of the Lord. But then Jehoiada the priest grew old and was full of days and he died.

2 Chronicles 24:17-18, “Now after the death of Jehoiada the leaders of Judah came and bowed down to the king. And the king listened to them. Therefore they left the house of the Lord God of their fathers, and served wooden images and idols; and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem because of their trespass.”

While Jehoiada was alive, Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord, but as soon as he had died other voices began to whisper, and the king listened, and as consequence they left the house of the Lord and served wooden images and idols instead.

So here was a king who did a complete hundred and eighty degree turn because he followed after the wrong voices. From setting his heart on repairing the house of the Lord, he came to serve wooden images and idols, and as consequence wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 24:19, “Yet He sent prophets to them, to bring them back to the Lord; and they testified against them, but they would not listen.”

So here they were under wrath, and in His love God sent prophets to them to urge them back to repentance, to bring them back to the Lord, but they would not listen because idolatry requires less of the flesh than true worship does, because sin is pleasant if only temporarily, and because the heart grows hard toward the things of God when we pursue with abandon the things of the world.

There are always consequences and ramifications to following after the wrong voice; there is always a heavy toll to be paid when we dismiss the truth of God’s word for the trivialities of foolish men.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.


Sam Larson said...

I was just reading the warnings and instructions to the churches in the beginning of Revelation yesterday. They lit up in my heart as some passages I need to study right now.

Barbara said...

If someone hates God because of how other Christians treated him, then I don't think he ever had a heart for the Lord to begin with. I can see being mad for a short time, but then you come to your senses and realize that God is bigger than any spats that happens on earth, and that you can't fairly judge him based on what other people do or say.

I think people who use Christians as an excuse for turning from God are just looking for any excuse. I don't care how bad Christians are, just that they use the name of Christ shows that he is great. If they wanted to impress someone by any means, they happened to pick the name of Christ to do it by.

I know people say that it is because of Christians being judgemental or whatever that they won't believe in God. That is really like saying gossip is a good source for whom you will trust. In the real world, gossip often makes people more interesting to others. If someone told you someone hated you and wanted to send you to eternal torment, wouldn't that make you more interested in him?

In the end, the more you get to know someone, the less what other people have to say about him matters.