Overcomer!?

Overcomer!?

“31 Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; 32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” [Luke 22:31,32]

I have always found these two verses interesting, challenging, and encouraging.

Interesting because it is counter-intuitive to most teaching on God’s love and concern for His people.

Challenging because Jesus does not deny Satan’s demand to attack Peter.

Encouraging because Jesus obviously had faith in His prayer life, and in Peter to respond to his failure with faithfulness to God, which means He has faith in me to respond correctly and quickly when I fail to live up to His standard.

So many believe that God will “protect” them from Satan. These verses reveal a protection that is based in a prayer for a quick recovery, not a rescue from temptation and the tests in each temptation.

Do you see how Jesus prays and what He does not do?

Think about this –

  • God did not deny Satan access to Jesus
  • Jesus said He would send us out in the same way His Father sent Him [that is a deep subject]
  • Jesus did not deny Satan access to Peter
  • God will not deny Satan access to you, that is if you are or will be a threat to Satan [if you are not presently or will be eventually a threat then why bother with allowing him to bother [sift] you]

In His intercessory prayer life at the right hand of the Father Jesus prays for our faith, and for us to be strong. In the model prayer, which most have been taught is the Lord’s prayer, Jesus taught novice disciples to pray for God to keep the devil away from them.

Matthew 6:13

“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from [the] evil [one].”

Yet John, who was present when Jesus taught the twelve that prayer, wrote this in 1 John 2:

“1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.

  • We see little children are to learn sin is not acceptible

13 I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one.

  • Overcoming the evil one begins with saying yes to God, His word, will and ways

14 I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.”

  • God’s word does more than instruct us, it empowers us

Jesus fully expected Peter, and all of His disciples throughout every generation, to grow up quickly so that being an overcomer would be normal, not rare!

Jesus’ statement to Peter was approximately 3.5 years into Peter’s discipleship training process. Peter, having access to Jesus for 360 days a year for 3 to 3.5 years seems to give him an advantage in the maturation process. But Jesus said this, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” [John 16:7]

Discipleship comes with, and every true disciple of Jesus post resurrection, ascension and Pentecost outpouring, have an advantage over those who walked with Jesus in the flesh 2000 years ago.

With that being true then why do so many disciples of Jesus fail Him and fail to rebound quickly, if ever at all?

There are too many reasons to write about here but a main issue is the lack of reading, study and understanding Scripture and our identity in Christ.

Are you like the Jewish religious leaders of Jesus’ day, “Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God?”

John gives great insight to his readers:

1. He writes to ‘little children’ in verse 1. Those children have matured to the level of living solely to honor God and to defend His honor at all costs.

2. He writes to young men in verses 13 and 14 and describes how these young men matured to become overcomers.

a. They are strong

b. The Word of God abides in them

c. They attack the devil [they overcome him] – they are not praying for protection from him

d. Their identity in Christ is revealed, and unleashes the Christ that is in them

Listen [well read and understand] friends, do you scare the devil enough that he demands permission from God to attack you?

Are you still a pebble in your own eyes or the pillar that God sees when He looks at you?

Is God looking at you, or for you?

Where are you?

Receive and steward God’s passion, power, presence, priority, process, promises, protection, provision, pruning, purging, purity and purpose!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin
A spiritual revolutionary

 

Keep Your Charge

There is something to be said about a person that can remain faithful when very little or nothing they are believing God for comes to pass while they are alive.

Abraham was such a person. God called him out of darkness in Ur of the Chaldees to go to a place that He would show him. The writer of Hebrews tells us that Abraham, along with Sarah, Isaac and Jacob never received all that God promised – ouch!

I don’t about you but that causes me to pause, take inventory, and seriously consider why I am living passionately for the Lord, who has promised me a lot of really good things.

Why do we believe God? Please notice I did not say “believe in God!

Why do we follow God?

Why do we obey God when He asks us to do things that are way beyond our ability to comprehend all that He has shown us?

I have asked myself these questions. I have to confess that I have had to face the fact that some of my motivation is selfish. I hated it when I came to realize that a part of why I am paying such a high price for a call that I did not seek was so that I could look good by obeying. I like to get credit for doing good.

Being a word of affirmation needy person I really do want to hear, “Well done My good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.” According to Jesus receiving the joy of the Lord is the reward for faithful service even if it does not always look like you thought it would.

Getting back to Abraham, in Genesis 26 we find a tremendously important reason to keep our charge.

1 Now there was a famine in the land, besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. So Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines. 2 The LORD appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I shall tell you. 3 “Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham. 4 “I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by R734 your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; 5 because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My law.””

Abraham’s faith[fulness] guaranteed his descendants would receive all of the promises. I hope you get what I just said. If you have totally surrendered your life to Jesus Christ, believing that He is the Son of the living God [God who came in the flesh], died on a cross to pay for all of your sins, was raised from the dead on the third day after His death, and confess Him to be your Lord and God – then you are one of Abraham’s descendants and a rightful heir to all of God’s promises.

I will not attempt in this blog to outline all of the blessings that are yours by inheritance but here are just a few of them, taken from the life of Isaac [extreme joy and laughter] in Genesis 26 –

  • Having encounters with God and receiving His guidance [vss 1-3]
  • Receiving personal promises from God [vss 3 ,4]
  • Having God tell you why your are going to be blessed [vs 5]
  • Protection from stupid decisions [vss 6-11] – It’s better to never make stupid decisions. Isaac made the same mistake Abraham made twice.
  • Overcoming extreme economic obstacles [vs 12] – Isaac exercised extreme faith
  • Financial abundance in spite of the current economic picture [vs 13]
  • The standard bearer in the land [vs 14] – Your success may cause others to be jealous but be successful anyway. You may provoke someone to trust God!!!
  • Additional obstacles that must be overcome by faith and hard work [vs 15]
  • Recognition that you are powerful and influential [vss 16, 17]
  • Restitution of what was stolen [vs 18]
  • Discovery of new resources [vss 19-22]
  • Success in spite of the opposition [vs 22]
  • An end to striving [vs 22]

All of these blessings came to Isaac because of his father’s decision to stay true to God and to God’s call [charge] on his life.

Friend, I don’t know what you are facing today but the decisions you make will have an effect on your descendants and the world around them long after you are gone.

Will the decisions you make today make it easier or more difficult for them to succeed?

Will the decisions you make today set an example of faithfulness or faithlessness?

The choices you make today will have an impact of some kind. Your life is about so much more than you. Your life is about so much more than today. Your life counts for far more than you can see right now.

So please, keep your charge!

For HIS Glory!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury A Hisstorymaker