Dear Faith Partner:
We are overcomers and we are overcomers, NOW! There is nothing past, present, or future that we have not already overcome, because, “… as He is in this world, so are we”, (I John 4:17b). God always calls those things which be not, as though they already are. And God calls us overcomers! (Romans 4:17). It is important that we see ourselves as God sees us, as conquerors, victorious, winners and overcomers.
In Numbers 13:30 (ASV), Caleb and Joshua did not allow how others saw themselves, affect how they saw themselves – how God saw them, “And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.” God always sees us on the other side or through whatever is before us. In Mark 4:34-35 (ASV) you can see Jesus’ example of this truth. “And on that day, when even was come, he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side”, He already saw His disciple on the other side of the sea, in spite of the storm and opposition they would face along the way. Often we have a wrong view of ourselves, which prevents our breakthrough. Remember, God is the God of breakthrough and Jesus has already overcome the world for you and I. Look at John 16:31-33 (NIV), “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Jesus said, “I have overcome the world.” The word “overcome” is the Greek word Nikos, which is also the word for victory or conqueror. However, the grammar used in this statement does not imply a single victory in the past, but a continuous and abiding victory. Therefore, the idea this Greek word presents is this: “I have overcome the world; I am still overcoming the world; and I will always be in an overcoming position over the world!” In I John 4:17b (NIV) we see the Word says, “…In this world we are like Jesus.” How many know we cannot avoid temptations, but we can overcome them! If He is an overcomer, and He is, so are you and so am I! In this world we are overcomers because of who He is in our life: no matter what life throws at you or what evil comes to attack and destroy you, according to the Word of God you are ALREADY victorious over it. As a matter of fact, Romans 12:21 (AMP) says, “Do not let yourself overcome by evil, but overcome (master) evil with good.” God never created us to be overcome, but to be the overcomer!
Joseph in Genesis 39, is a type of a believer of today, if he was able to be tempted and overcome, we can to, by being true to who we are in Christ. What about Joseph caused him to face a life time of challenges and yet still remain an overcomer? First of all it was his position and condition in God. How many know that Salvation is a free gift from God? It was not an accident; it was on purpose, for our purpose, to cause us to be overcomers in Him.
Revelation 12:11 (NIV) says, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…” Notice this verse says, we are more than conquerors (or overcomers) thru the blood of Jesus, and he words of our testimony. Joseph had a testimony that had conditioned him to continue firm in his faith and confidence in God. He maintained his position; no matter what he trusted God. You and I must maintain our position in Christ, standing firm and faithful through the conditioning.
Secondly, character plays a great role in being an overcomer. Do you know who is responsible for your character? You are. Five times the bible mentions that God was with Joseph, because he was a man of character before, during and after his temptation. Potiphar’s wife saw that and was attracted to him: she went after him attempting to seduce him, but he fled and refused. For fifteen years he was incarcerated suffering shame and false accusation or a crime he did not commit. However, Joseph maintained his integrity and overcame, and, at the appointed time received a great promotion. “An overcomer has both character and integrity that causes them to be different.”
Do not get the impression that walking in faith removes you from all challenges. Faith just gives you the ability to overcome the challenges that will attempt to assail you. Even Jesus said, “…For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]” (John 16:33 AMP) Christ overcame the world to make a difference in our lives and that leaves us with the responsibility to overcome temptation and other hurdles so we can make a difference in the lives of others.
Let’s talk plain about temptation for a few moments. If you do not deal with temptation, temptation will deal with you! Temptation is not eliminated because of who you are; we ALL will face temptation just as Jesus did. The honest truth is, sometimes Christians are dishonest, refusing to admit that we are tempted from time to time.
Many Christians would rather seem spiritual than admit they are being or have been tempted. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, we are ALL the same, we have this flesh. Jesus says in Matthew 26:41 (AMP), “All of you must keep awake (give strict attention, be cautious and active) and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Why does God permit temptation?
1. To reveal our weaknesses. We forget sometimes that we have not conquered all of the temptations and giants in our lives. Each of us has areas that we need to maintain vigilant watch. Arrogance, thinking we are completely immune to temptation is a dangerous place to be.
2. To reveal our need for watchfulness. Matthew 14:21-32; I Thessalonians 5:6-8 (NLT), It is important that we protect our anointing, families, position in Christ, character and integrity. That is why it is best to stay alert spiritually. As overcomers, we need to be watchful.
3. To force us into a position of trust and dependence. There is something about us, the more we boast or others boast about us the bigger our heads become. The more success we obtain, the less we depend on God. People who consider themselves as “self-made” are especially prone to this type of thinking. Deuteronomy 32:11 says, “As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, spreading out its wings, taking them up, carrying them on its wings.” In those times we are being taught to trust and depend on God He does not deliver us immediately, but He develops us through adversity which produces growth and maturity. Many believers are more interested in comfort than character, but that is not God’s focus. Remember, what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV), “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession…” The enemy only has the ability to deceive, accuse, and tempt, but by the Grace of God, we have already overcome all of that and through the process are learning to trust and depend on Him more.
4. To teach us to starve the flesh and feed the Spirit. “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” Galatians 5:16-17 (NIV) The more we starve the flesh by not giving into its desires the more we will mature. With maturity we will learn to face challenges with the mind set “I am an overcomer” claiming victory at every opportunity. Romans 8:37 says, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” A conqueror and an overcomer is one in the same.
In closing consider the words of Jeremiah 1:19 (NIV) which says: “They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you, declares the LORD.” You are an overcomer! As we enter the midpoint of 2017 I want you encourage you in that truth, YOU ARE AN OVERCOMER!
Janice and I continuously pray for you, your families and the people He has called you to serve! We pray you will continue to embrace who you are, an overcomer. Thank you for your continued support and prayers. We love you.
Your Partner and Friend,
Richard B. Peoples, Sr.