sin;

More Than Conquerors!

Are you facing any struggles in your life right now? Are you in any kind of pain? Fighting a physical illness? An annoying co-worker or client? Fighting against fear due to unemployment, debt, or financial troubles? Are you struggling with an addiction? Are you battling sinful thoughts in your own head? Whatever it is that you are facing, God longs to remind you that you are “more than a conqueror through Him who loved you!” (Romans 8:37) What does ‘more than a conqueror’ mean? Isn’t it enough to be a conqueror? Yet, God says we are “more than conquerors.”

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Think of the shepherd boy David, who later would be made King of Israel, when he went into the valley to slay the 9’ 9” giant Goliath who taunted and mocked him. There were enormous consequences at stake in this battle. If David lost, he certainly would die, and all of his countrymen— including his brothers— would be made slaves. However, even knowing that, David approached Goliath with bold confidence, as if he had already won the battle. How could he do that? He focused his attention on God, on His power and His past faithfulness, not on his own abilities or the circumstance in front of him. (1st Samuel 17:36-37) David’s mouth spoke prophetically of God’s divine victory over this formidable foe because he knew the character of God and put his faith in Him!

Next, David picks up five stones as he prepares to kill Goliath. David did not pick up five stones in case he missed Goliath with the first one or two. David picked up five stones knowing that Goliath had four brothers who may join the fight after Goliath’s demise. David came as a conqueror spewing words of faith and victory before the victory was won! He also came to the battle equipped for the possibility of more battles to occur in the valley. Are you expecting to win, yet prepared for more attacks that may come, relying on the Stone that is in your possession?

Jesus is “the stone that the builders rejected…” (Psalm 118:22, Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11, 1 Peter 2:7) Are you looking to Jesus and His strength to win your battles, or are you trying to fight them in your own power? It is only through Him that we are more than conquerors! He is our “Rock”, and our sure foundation.

God has made us victors in Christ. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our

Lord.” (Romans 8:31-39)

Nothing can separate you from this love that promises victory in Christ Jesus. You are more than a conqueror. You have gained access to all authority on heaven and earth through Jesus

Christ. Do not doubt this truth. In your valley, begin now to speak and pray as if your battle has already been won; see yourself as the fearless victor through Christ’s strength at work in you. Then, like David, you will be able to claim, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1) 

 

Written by Jamie Shaver

Are you curious to know how much fear, worry and anxiety is impacting your life? Take our free quiz to learn how fearful, worried and anxious you really are?

Yes, Words Matter!

  The latest buzz among the celebrity world is Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s “Ban Bossy” Campaign. The goal is to eliminate using the word ‘bossy’ for women. Celebrities Beyonce, Jane Lynch, Jennifer Garner, Diane von Furstenberg, Condoleezza Rice, Jimmie Johnson, and the CEO of the Girl Scouts are all on the bandwagon marketing this campaign.  The campaign is predicated on the belief that changing the word will change the way people perceive women who are bossy: pushy, stubborn, assertive, outspoken, determined women.  During the video clip promoting the campaign, it accurately states, “words matter.”

Yes, our words do matter!  Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” Jesus, ‘The Living Word’, says in Matthew 12: 36-37, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Satan also knows that the words we use matter. That’s why since time began his goal has been to twist, change, and eliminate God’s Word. The word Satan would most love to ban is the word ‘Jesus’, because there is life-giving power in that Name! (See our blog “What’s In a Name? Everything!”). Another word that Satan seeks to ban because it is inextricably linked with Jesus is the word ‘sin’. As Christian author Basilea Schlink writes, “the Savior and the sinner are inseparable”*. Sin literally means ‘to miss the mark’ (of God’s commands) or ‘to wander from the path of righteousness’, ‘to wander from the law of God’. Sin, therefore, necessarily means the acknowledgement of God— something that Satan definitely does not want us to do.

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Satan has been the instigator behind trying to remove the word ‘sin’ from our public arena, and even from seminaries and the pulpits of many churches.  Rather than calling those things that violate God’s commands ‘sin’, we now commonly use euphemisms for sin that are far more benign, such as: an ‘indiscretion’; ‘human nature’; alternative lifestyle; addiction; disorder; predisposition; bad habit; character flaw; or even one’s ‘choice’.

So does it really matter what we call something?  Yes! It can be the difference between freedom and bondage; between life and death!

Envision this scenario:  You have cancer and go to your physician who tells you that you merely have a bad cold, so he gives you a prescription for cold medicine.  Does it make a difference if he calls it cancer or a cold?  You bet it does! The severity of cancer and the treatment for it is markedly different than the severity and treatment for a cold.  Similarly, if we do not call sin what it is, people will be deceived and either ignore their incurable condition or spend time, energy and their very lives looking for a remedy that can’t cure them. And sin always leads to death…unless a person receives the only ‘cure’… faith in the atoning work of Jesus’ blood that was shed on the cross to pay the penalty for their sin.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

Satan, the author of death, desires that you and I ‘misdiagnose’ our  ‘sin condition’ so that we won’t seek after Jesus, the Great Physician and the Only One Who has the cure for sin. Only Jesus can set us free from the penalty of sin! Only Jesus can set us free from the power of sin!

Ignoring our sin or calling it something other than sin does not change the reality that it is sin; sin ignored, and sin ‘by any other name’ that we choose to call it, still leads to death.

The only cure for your sinful, fateful condition is found in believing that Jesus, the Son of God, died on the cross and took on your sin and also the penalty that your sin deserved. It means humbling yourself and confessing that you are indeed a sinner, recognizing that you have violated the law of God and therefore deserve the penalty for doing so, which is death.  To be set free from the power of sin in your life requires repenting of your sin, or in other words—turning away from it— and choosing to live for the glory and purposes of God.

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We are promised:

“If we confess our sins, He (Jesus) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  1st John 1:9

“For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning [to Me] and resting [in Me] you shall be saved; in quietness and in [trusting] confidence shall be your strength … “Isaiah 30:15 Amplified

"Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you…” Acts 3:19-20

When we call sin for what it is and repent of it, we will be freed from the bondage of our sin, saved, and able to experience joy and rest in the arms of Jesus, Who gave up His life so that we could have abundant and eternal life in Him.

Ask the Holy Spirit to convict you of any sin in your life that you may be ignoring or calling by another name. Ask Him to forgive you of your sin and to give you the strength to turn from it. Jesus longs for you to experience the freedom and joy that comes from confessing and repenting of your sin!

*From I Found the Key to the Heart of God by Basilea Schlink

Written by Julie Van Gorp

Are you curious to know how much fear, worry and anxiety is impacting your life? Take our free quiz to learn how fearful, worried and anxious you really are?