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“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (I Jn. 4:4).
God speaks here to heavenlings living in this world but not for this world. They are Christians “born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (Jn. 1:13). They can ill-afford to lose conquered territory, so God is encouraging them in their battle against the spirits of false teachers.
To “overcome” (nikao) means to conquer. God supplies His children with the Spirit of holiness, who is greater than all adversaries, even the prince of darkness. The Holy Spirit overcame the Egyptians imprisonment of Joseph with his prime ministership; He overcame Goliath’s javelin and Saul’s spear with David’s kingship over Israel; He overcame Jonah’s disobedience by the belly of a sea monster and with a revival rivaling all others.
Saints are pilgrims in an unwelcoming ecosystem wrestling inch-by-inch for their Beulah land because “through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). You must remain steadfast amidst fractious circumstances. Christians risk daringly where others express fear.
Jesus is Christus Victor, the victorious Christ. He transforms the poor into the rich and the blind into the seeing. He reverses shame, making it honor; He overcomes death with life. Jesus loves the unloveliest and He takes to himself tax gatherers, lepers and harlots. The Son of Man is alone in the tablets of all men because He conforms to the standards of righteousness of all eras in every culture. He stands the tests of time and of eternity, and He is seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
The Spirit within you is the same Spirit who was in Christ and He is greater than the spirit of Satan who is in the world. The Spirit of Christ dominates the spirit of the antichrist – He did in the first century and He does today. Though all worldly munitions aid the satanic spirit, they are no match for eternal munitions because the worldly armaments are passing away, whereas Christ’s armaments are not.
The Holy Spirit is not going to pour into you what will be wasted due to gaping holes in your Christlikeness. The feebleness of most Christians is the result of them avoiding their responsibility to fittingly surrender – shallow Christians have surrendered to the flesh rather than to the Spirit. You cannot perfect a Spirit-initiated work by fleshly means (Gal. 3:3). Your responsibility is to “lay aside the old self” (Eph. 4:22).
Scores of Christians think they are living in the power of the Holy Spirit, but they are not. Ask God to examine your life and reveal where you are living more in the flesh than in the power of the Spirit (Ps. 139:23). Christian, you are now engaged in warfare, but this strife will end and you will exchange the battle helmet for the crown of glory that cannot be taken away.
“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet” (Ro. 16:20).