I read a verse on my calendar yesterday & immediately the thought that went through my head yesterday was, “I always want to be an overcomer!” Seriously, like who does not want to overcome every & all obstacles that get in the way of life?
“Overcomer” as defined by dictionary.com:
- to get the better of in a struggle or conflict
- to prevail over; surmount
- to overpower or overwhelm in body or mind
And then quickly my thoughts were reeled in by the Holy Spirit, “You want to overcome for the right reasons & with the right motives.”
John, exiled to Patmos for preaching the word of God, knew when it was the Lord’s Day & worshiped God in the Spirit (Revelation 1:10 NLT). No complaining, no whining – just worship. Now that’s a man that can teach me about overcoming! God gives him a vision which he records for us in the book of Revelation. This morning I checked out what John wrote about overcoming because that is what I want to develop. I am not looking at these verses in context of prophecy or the history of the church. I am looking at these solely from the aspect of learning exactly what God has to say about overcoming. So with that said,
What does God give or do for the ones who overcome?
- Fruit. “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7 NIV). In a time of entitlements & rights, we are getting the right to eat from the tree of life. If we hear what God says & overcome.
- Protection. “He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.” (Revelation 2:11 NIV). If we hear what God says, accept Christ as our Savior, we have eternal life.
- A New Name. “To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.” (Revelation 2:17 NIV). Can we even imagine? He is going to give us a name personally selected by Christ Himself! How precious will that be! I think I will be carrying my white stone with me for all eternity!
- Authority. “To him who overcomes & does my will to the end, I will authority over the nations- “He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery” – just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give him the morning star.” (Revelation 2:26-29 NIV). Christ promises that those who are obedient will share authority with Him one day.
- Acknowledgement. “He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father & his angels.” (Revelation 3:5,6 NIV). Overcomers have the assurance of eternal life.
- Security. “Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God & the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.” (Revelation 3:12 NIV).
- Seating. “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame & sat down with my Father on his throne.” (Revelation 3:21 NIV).
As I read each of these promises made to the churches in Revelation, it became obvious that the Lord has much to say about being an overcomer. He has promised much to those who overcome.
It is a bad world, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet & holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of our sinful life. They are despised & persecuted, but they care not. They have overcome the world. These people are the Christians – and I am one of them. (Cyprian)
This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:4b-5 NIV)