“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.”
An overcomer is one who conquers over an enemy or prevails over circumstances or overpowers a condition. As believers, we are referred to as Overcomers because we stand in the victory of Christ and overcome the works of the enemy in our lives and on this earth.
Believe it or not, you are in a constant battle on this earth. The devil and his cohorts do not want us to fulfil God’s purposes on this earth and are continuously fighting us for supremacy in our circumstances. Unfortunately, a lot of us have allowed him to win this battle for too long. Why? Ignorance!
“To keep Satan from getting the advantage over us; for we are not ignorant of his wiles and intentions.” 2 Corinthians 2:11 AMPC
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” Hosea 4:6 NKJV
We do not know that Christ already won the victory and we are to exercise this victory in our lives. The scripture tells us we are overcomers already by believing in Jesus:
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” I John 5:4-5 NKJV
However, despite this victory, we still have to enforce it in our lives daily as the devil keeps warring against us.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,”
II Corinthians 10:3-5
The main battle for our lives is fought in our thoughts. The devil knows our lives go in the direction of our thoughts, he therefore focuses on that and introduces thoughts contrary to the purpose of God. Our acceptance of those thoughts is what leads us into temptation and we go against the purpose of God. We allow our passions and desires to be aroused by those thoughts and it leads us into sin.
“But each one is tempted when he is dragged away, enticed and baited [to commit sin] by his own [worldly] desire (lust, passion). Then when the illicit desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin has run its course, it gives birth to death.” JAMES 1:14-15 AMP
Seven steps in temptation
Check where you are on this scale by the help of the Holy Spirit and halt the work of the enemy in your life.
The temptation of Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11) is my best example for overcoming the wiles of the devil. Let’s look at the highlights of this and how Jesus overcame:
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” Romans 8:14 NKJV
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
Galatians 5:16 NKJV
“And do not give the devil an opportunity [to lead you into sin by holding a grudge, or nurturing anger, or harboring resentment, or cultivating bitterness].” Ephesians 4:27 AMP
We are deceived into distorting the real meaning of scripture and we begin to follow a doctrine that is contrary to what God actually said. The Holy Spirit is the one that reveals the Word of God to us and walking with Him and trusting Him to explain scripture is the best way. The devil twisted the meaning of scripture here to get Jesus to fall into the temptation but Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit knew what he was up to.
Jesus knew why He came and was not going to be distracted from that in any way. Focus solely on the will of the Father and every other thing will come from Him. Check your motives always!
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,” Colossians 3:23 NKJV
The whole temptation had a central theme, the Word of God gave the victory. Each temptation was countered with “It is written”. The lessons I picked from this are as follows:
“Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” Psalms 119:11 NKJV
Feeding on the Word of God will take away the edge to hunger after less satisfying things (ungodly desires). It fills you with Joy.
“Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.” Jeremiah 15:16 NKJV
Are you ready to steep yourself in the Word of God to overcome temptations?
Share with me!
“So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them. Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” ’ ” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.” Ezekiel 37:7-10
Ezekiel went further to prophesy in obedience to the voice of God.
What has God been telling you to speak and pray His Word over? Why haven’t you done it? The Word of God is the will of God for us. His promises in the Word are for our lives and whenever we pray the word over our circumstances, our faith grows and we get our answers.
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” I John 5:14-15
The Hebrew word for “Breath” in this verse is ruach, which means “air in motion” and is used to refer to the Holy Spirit throughout the Old Testament. The same word was for Spirit of God even from Genesis 1. When we speak the Word of God over our circumstances, the Holy Spirit swings into action and there is a shaking and those dead circumstances come to life!
Are you activating the power of the Spirit over your life and circumstances? Or are you speaking death?
I challenge you today to only pray scripture over your circumstances for the next month and also pray in the Spirit to activate the work of God over your circumstances. Watch and see as the Spirit of God turns things around for your good.
“The hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” So I answered, “O Lord GOD, You know.” Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.”’” Ezekiel 37:1-6
What are you saying over your circumstances? The Word of the Lord or your word of unbelief?
In the passage, Ezekiel left it to God by saying “O Lord GOD, You know.” That was not a statement of faith but a statement of unbelief! Don’t we all do the same today? Negative circumstances face us and we say things like “If God wills it”, “God is in control now” and we NEVER do anything about it except cry and wallow in self-pity! We think we are being godly when we talk like that but it is actually unbelief!
If you were absolutely convinced that when you decree, it will happen, I am certain you will not leave it to God! You will speak life to that circumstance and expect a turnaround without question. Could it be because of your unbelief that you are not speaking the Word?
My message to you today is this:
Begin to speak the Word of God from your lips.
Do not speak out the dead hopes and unbelief from your mouth any longer.
Speak the truth of God’s Word in power over your life!
Prophesy the goodness of God over the dryness of your life!
My wedding day was such a beautiful day! I saw everything that day through a beautiful lens and there were no shadows or clouds over it. My husband and I had a small civil ceremony with just our family and closest friends. I had met my husband at the leading of the Holy Spirit and I thought all would go perfectly for the rest of our days just because God brought me to my marriage. I was so wrong.
Barely a month into my marriage, the battles started. It began with a misunderstanding regarding a loan I had taken before the wedding and spiraled out of control. The issues started overlapping at that point until it reached a climax about a year and a half into our marriage. I felt like I was in a whirlpool that I could not crawl out of regardless of what I did. We quarreled about everything and anything, name it, we argued about it. The tension in my home was so thick most of the time, you could cut it with a knife. Truly, the devil always fights us even when you are in the middle of God’s will for you. He is a defeated foe who never stops trying to get us to miss our way.
For those difficult years, I thought my husband was the enemy and I fought him that way while expecting him to change. Well, he never did change because he was just like me, fallible and prone to mistakes. What made us cross from pain to joy? From a marriage filled with tears to laughter? It did not happen by me continuing to fight the way I knew how, I learnt to fight the way God ordained us to.
““Stop your fighting — and know that I am God, exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.”” Psalms 46:10 (HCSB)
I cried to God and asked for His help. My marriage was crumbling around me and I had no idea how to save it. My journey began with God revealing who He is to me. Let me share this with you:
“The LORD is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation.” Psalms 145:9 (NLT)
I understood that God makes all my circumstances work together for good and even all the disappointments I was having in my marriage would all work out for good. I can tell you now that all has worked out for my good!
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28
These revelations changed the trajectory of my life completely. I just knew then that the atmosphere in my marriage was not God’s original plan and I needed to fight it God’s way. Constant bickering and pain was clearly from our flesh and from demonic voices intent on destroying the work God has planned for our marriage.
What is God’s way? Learning to rest and trust in Him to bring His good plans for me and my marriage to pass. My next question to God was, how do I learn to trust? How can I rest? How can I possibly win with not doing anything at all? (that was how I understood it).
God led me through the following steps after I learnt to understand His nature of love and goodness:
“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:7
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:6-7
“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Luke 10:19 (NKJV)
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” II Corinthians 10:4-5
As I practised these things over time, I started changing. I responded to arguments with a smile, a kiss and my husband’s favourite meal. My tears dried up and joy was the language of my soul. What had I done? I invited God’s presence into my family and this brought with it joy and peace.
My story became what the Psalmist said:
“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalms 16:11 (NKJV)
I live a life of deep love and joy in my marriage today and it is all because the Holy Spirit led me through the journey I have listed above. He led me to set aside my wishes and desires for His direction and love; the fruits of that obedience is what I am enjoying today! My home is so full of love and joy, it is unreal. An important point to remember is that the steps listed are a continuous thing and you should never rest on your oars. I am certain you would experience victory like I have!
Are you struggling with strife in any area of your life? Are you tired of constant bickering in your marriage without an end in sight? Have you found peace and joy in your marriage? I would love to hear your story! Please share in the comments below or contact me here.
“I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth!”
Psalms 121:1-2 (NLT)
In these times we currently live in, we have developed so many self-help coping mechanisms all in a bid to get us to depend on our own strengths and mind. Every day, I see quotes all showing us that the “power” is in our own selves and how powerful our minds are. We are told to use our minds to achieve whatever it is that we want! Alarmingly, this is also being peddled as some form of the “gospel” to Christians and we buy it hook, line and sinker. We have created our own mountains where we seek for help and have neglected our true Helper, God.
The Holy Spirit has taught me differently, let me share with you:
“”GOD, the Master, The Holy of Israel, has this solemn counsel:
“Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves.
Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me—
The very thing you’ve been unwilling to do. Isaiah 30:15 (MSG)
Psalm 121 talks about God being the source of all our help. The Christian pilgrim has been deceived into believing that they are enough in their own strength. We have been deceived into believing that we do not need to rest in God but to constantly be on the move to help ourselves. We have become like the children of Israel in the wilderness, seeking for the continuous activity that slavery in Egypt brought because of the meagre portions we got as a reward and we have chosen not to lean on the God who made heaven and earth. The One who has promised us help if we learn to rest in Him.
I recall doing life my own way for many years. Worrying, striving and constantly on the move. God was kept on the back burner of my mind and I felt that as long as I prayed when I was meant to and studied my devotionals as instructed, all would be ok with me. I was so wrong! My constant movement did not achieve anything except continuous cycles of depression and disappointment. I will let you in on the secret to my success as a believer: God is my Source 100%. I can do nothing on my own and frankly, I don’t even try to. Jesus did nothing on the earth without His Father, you should imitate Him.
“Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” John 5:19 (NKJV)
““I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NKJV)
Once you have learnt to make God your source and your place of refuge, He would send resources your way to help you every day of your life. I will close today with another Psalm reinforcing this:
“God, the one and only—I’ll wait as long as He says.
Everything I hope for comes from Him, so why not?
He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle:
I’m set for life.
My help and glory are in God—granite-strength and safe-harbour-God—
So trust Him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for Him.
God is a safe place to be.
Psalm 62:5-8 (MSG)
Today, we continue our study of the first song of ascents, Psalm 120. If you missed yesterday’s topic, you can find it here.
1-2 I’m in trouble. I cry to God, desperate for an answer: “Deliver me from the liars, God! They smile so sweetly but lie through their teeth.”
3-4 Do you know what’s next, can you see what’s coming, all you barefaced liars? Pointed arrows and burning coals will be your reward.
5-7 I’m doomed to live in Meshech, cursed with a home in Kedar,
My whole life lived camping among quarreling neighbors.
I’m all for peace, but the minute I tell them so; they go to war!
Psalm 120:1-7 (MSG)
The pilgrim here is crying out to God to be saved and goes on to describe the circumstances of his life:
“whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” II Corinthians 4:4
Today, cry out in prayer that the lies of the enemy would have no place in your life and only the truth of God’s Word will be found in your life and that of your family. Believe that the truth of God
• The judgement on the lies that are being propagated in the world (verses 3-4). The devil is the Father of lies (John 8:44) and the Bible has foretold the judgement on him (Revelation 20:10). Partaking in the lies of this enemy results in the pilgrim not living in the fullness of the truth of the Bible on this. The Christian needs to avoid joining deceitfulness of the enemy as this results in us not accessing the full promises of God (as captured in the truth of His Word) concerning our own lives. Believe God at His Word and do not allow the deceitfulness of the world take away your knowledge of His goodness. The truth of God’s Word can never birth the lies of the enemy in your life, allow the Holy Spirit teach you.
“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of (comes from) the truth.” I John 2:20-21 (emphasis mine)
• Dissatisfaction with living in the midst of evil people (verses 5-7). On this earth, we live among unbelievers and people living in darkness. The pilgrim here is talking about living among the pagans and the pain of it. The people live contrary to the will of God. This is the world we find ourselves in today. Where we are constantly pressured to be politically correct and not recognize sin for what it is! The world expects us as believers not only to be permissive of the sinful acts of the world but conformity is expected.
My challenge to you is that despite the evil you see all around you, remember that you carry the Holy Spirit on the inside of you and you are to shine as light in the world. Also, the Word of God has given us a promise and an instruction concerning the darkness we currently live in:
“For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people;
But the LORD will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you.” Isaiah 60:2
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light”
Resolve to turn away from the darkness that covers the whole earth. Repent from being an active participant in the darkness of this world and turn fully to the light of God’s Word.