With all the contrary and outright evil things going on in today’s world, what are we to do? Should we passively wait for God to supernaturally intervene or do we actively oppose and if so, how? As children of our heavenly Father, how are we supposed to act and react?
God created and designed us to begin life in this world as His offspring, intending each of us to perceive, grow, and develop as children into images and likenesses of His heart. (a) [see endnotes for Scriptures] God knows children mature better when allowed to make choices and learn to pursue the better options available to them. With all the difficulties this life presents, how do we overcome evil activity?
Submit Or Resist
Our New Testament uses the word ‘overcome’ quite often. The Greek word (nikao) is translated as ‘overcome, conquer, prevail, and get the victory’. It means – to victoriously prevail.
Scripture provides a two-step formula for overcoming and being triumphant over evil’s activity: “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (b) “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (c) When we are submitted to God and committed to His good ways, we can successfully resist and vigorously prevail over evil.
Jesus encouraged us to overcome as he did: “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (d) He said this even though the emotionally wrenching tribulation at Golgotha and the crucifixion at Calvary were still ahead. His overcoming was not a done issue, there was more to overcome.
The Greek words ‘have overcome’ are written in the ‘perfect tense’ to mean ‘a continual activity.’ Jesus actually said: “I have and continue to overcome the world.” He spoke of his attitude and an ongoing reality, as to say: “I am day by day overcoming the world.”
The Apostle John identified a few factors that enable us to be overcomers in this life. “You…overcome …because greater is He who is in you (your midst – a plurality) than he who is in the world (also a plurality).” (e) “And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.” (f) “We overcome because of the blood (life-flow) of the Lamb and because of the word of their (believers) testimony.” (g) Together we overcome, because of God’s life-flow among us.
Together we overcome, because of God’s life-flow among us.
Trials & Benefits
In the book of “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” (h) John begins and finishes his message with the proclamation of Jesus: “I am the first and the last.” (i) In essence, Jesus said “I am God’s beginning principle, example son, and finishing goal (intention) for our life.” Believers, as the many-membered Body of Christ in the earth, (j) are empowered by the presence of Christ to actively be overcomers in this life.
John also quotes Jesus identifying seven conditions among believers that we need to overcome. (k) He describes:
- Nicolaitans – controlling overseers
- Slanderous accusers
- Stumbling entrapments
- Jezebel – gods of nature
- Inactive slumbering
- World’s troubling times
- Lukewarm-ness – missing the anointing Christ-life.
Jesus also relates in each trying situation, seven life-giving blessings that repentant overcomers receive. These benefits come from the life-flow God provides in this life to produce a more abundant life. (m)
- Eat of the tree of (zoe) life
- Have spiritual (zoe) life
- Eat hidden manna
- Receive the morning star
- Are clothed in white
- Are pillars in the dwellings of God
- Sit and dine with Christ.
While God is our source of enabling grace and ability to overcome, we must arise, be involved, and do our part. For example – to overcome the giant, David needed to sling a stone. When God delivered Israel out of captivity, they had to get up and move out of their situation. The promises God gave Israel required them to move into the land, overcome its difficulties, and become productive. (n) God’s blessings come ‘as’ we follow His guidance and actively walk in His ways.
God’s blessings come ‘as’ we follow His guidance and actively walk in His ways.
Overcoming Evil Activity
It is worth noting that not every ill event or sickness is the result of evil activity. Accidents happen when we misstep or make mistakes. Additionally, natural earthquakes and storms bring destruction. We can even get sick because of poor living conditions and a lack of nutrition.
Evil activity is the result of people’s ill intentions and misguided choices. When we do not “let our light shine,” (o) we lend support to people’s cold, dark, and negative activity. Our complacent inactivity actually gives permission to evil by allowing it to exist and function.
Even though life can be very difficult, Scripture encourages us: “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.” (p) We get up each and every day with a God-given renewed energy, to overcome ill activity.
To victoriously prevail over the problems and difficulties of this life, we must be involved day by day and let our light shine. As each of us arise to let our imperfect lights shine, we form a brighter light together. The interactive Body of Christ is the greater light that glorifies God.
When our diverse differences are unified toward a common vision and purpose, our function becomes like a shining light on a hill. (q) When we share our light in discussions rather than in arguments or demands, everyone is encouraged to see more clearly. Remember, a harsh or extremely bright light can have a blinding effect on the uninitiated.
So, how do we overcome this destructive evil? We utilize the interventions that God provides. This includes miraculous healings, the insights He shares, the encouragement of one another, and the natural remedies available to us. We should not negate any of the spiritual and natural help God offers us during this natural life. So arise today, and let your light shine!
We get up each and every day with a God-given renewed energy to overcome ill activity.
a) Genesis 2:7; b) James 4:7; c) Romans 12:21; d) John 16:33; e) 1 John 4:4; f) 1 John 5:4-5; g) Revelation 12:11; h) Revelation 1:1; i) Revelation 1:17; 20:13; j) Romans 12:5-8; 1 Corinthians 12:27; k) Revelations 2-3; m) John 10:10; n) Exodus 23:30; Deuteronomy 2:31; o) 1 Peter 2:12; Matthew 5:16; p) 2 Corinthians 4:16; q) Matthew 5:14;