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  • ~Kimberly Oden

On Becoming Victorious Overcomers

The other day I received a voicemail when I was at my Monday night Bible study. I thought it odd as the caller knew I was at study and doesn’t usually leave messages. As I hopped in my car to drive home, I played the VM and suddenly had the breath sucked out of my lungs as I listened to a conversation captured by a “butt dial” – a conversation I was not meant to hear - a conversation that directly affected my relationship with this person. As I type this, my heart begins to pitter patter once again because it hurt sooooo deeply. Two days later, I discovered by happenstance that someone near and dear to me had lied to me about something. That same week, a rift of anger was launched in my direction from a close friend. What in the world? As I look back to that week, I confess that I didn’t feel like much of an overcomer…to be honest I felt flat out defeated and wanted to throw in the relational towel in all three circumstances.

Later that week, however, I chewed on a thought that had been seasoned with feelings of yuck… a not-so-good thought…and then the Holy Spirit gently whispered, “What if others were privy to YOUR private thoughts?” Ha, it was kinda like a Divine butt dial! The Lord knows the deep recess of our hearts and at that moment, He wielded my unbecoming thought to call me out. He made me aware ONCE AGAIN of ALL that I have been forgiven…of the undeserved love, mercy and grace that had been extended to me. He reminded me that this well of Living Water within is not mine to have and hold but rather, as His follower, it is my responsibility to allow that love, mercy and grace to flow in and through me towards others in my life – even the ones that hurt my heart…

I have been studying 1 John recently. In chapter 5, verses 1-4, John writes that everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and that everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. Did you catch the word, “whoever”? This means even those who are hard to love!

He goes on to write, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God - that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that overcomes the world – our faith.”

As I mentioned above, I didn’t “feel” like much of an overcomer that week and you can bet your bottom dollar that I didn’t feel like loving the ones who hurt my heart…I was hurt and sad and mad and so much more that you don’t need to know…but THIS! This Truth is a foundational Word that supersedes my feelings, if I will allow it! I can - you can - we can all become overcomers even in the hardest of circumstances, but the only way that’s done is through faith in Jesus Christ.

But then the questions bubble…

  • Do I have faith that Jesus can mend the hurt in my heart so that I can love?

  • Do I have faith that He did indeed forgive all of my sins SO THAT I can then extend that same forgiveness to others? (See Matthew 6:14-15 – FYI it might sting a little…)

  • Do I have faith that he can restore the brokenness that unfolded in each of these relationships? That faith is the ONLY gateway to victory – the pathway to overcome any boulders that block the pathway before us.

The bottom line is that there is no other weapon, no other strategy nor any other way to steadfast and eternal victory except in and through the free gift of Jesus’ salvation AND choosing to follow His lead and submit to His eternal Lordship!

What is fascinating is that I looked up the word “overcome”, I discovered that it comes from this Greek word:

Yep! The word, “nike” means victory, but it actually means much SO more than that simple word – here is a screenshot of the explanation from BibleHub:

Isn’t that just incredible?!?! That little Nike brand swoosh that we see all over tarnation is actually a reminder of the victory that is ours to have, a victory that results only from obeying the faith that Jesus imparts to us!

I love that it says, “…His inworked persuasion”! My flesh was persuading me to anger, bitterness, sadness and tempting me to withdraw from these people whom I love so dear…and yet JESUS! Jesus’ inworked persuasion wooed me to a higher and eternal victor that is far beyond anything I could ever fathom, hope or imagine!

We here so often about how culture impacts us, our children, our families…what if every single time we see this company logo that we allow it to become a consistent reminder of the victorious hope we have in and through Jesus alone!

That when pressures, stress, circumstances and even the beloved people in our lives tempt us to defeat, we recall the victorious faith we have in our Savior, Redeemer and Hope - hope that can only be found in Christ alone!

He is our Rock!

He is our Way!

He is our steadfast and eternal victory that is above, across, around and through any obstacle that we may face!

p.s. Here is an oldie but goodie, In Christ Alone, sung by Kristene DiMarco | Bethel Music Worship that proclaims,

In Christ alone my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song This Cornerstone, this solid Ground Firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace When fears are stilled, when strivings cease My Comforter, my All in All Here in the love of Christ I stand....

It is well worth the listen! :)

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