How To Move From Simply Surviving – To Being More than a Conqueror
Some thoughts on Romans 8:35-39
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities,
nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
It seems a lifetime ago that I used this portion of Scripture as the Quote for my Picture in the Training College Commissioning Magazine. This has always been a favorite Scripture of mine along with Isaiah 40:31 which says, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
During those early days of Ministry there were feelings of “Winning the whole World for Jesus!”. That was the mindset of early ministry. Now, some 30 plus years later and realizing that there are only 3 years to retirement, there seems to be a sense of weariness and, dare I say, lassitude or being weary to point of being “Sick and Tired”.
It seems as though there is not much of “Mounting Up with Eagle’s Wings” and a lot of “Fainting” especially during these days of COVID 19 and now, invasions and threats of War!
Someone once said that “I am Sick and Tired of being Sick and Tired!”
Are you there?
How can we regain that early zeal and Ministry Mindset? How can we “Mount Up with Eagle’s Wings” and soar once again… to be more than a conqueror, to gain a surpassing victory?
Chuck Smith says, “Do you know what it is to be more than a conqueror? Hey, it is to have the victory in the midst of the battle. While things are still raging around me, while the outcome still seems to be very uncertain is to have the glorious victory and rejoicing, that is more than a conqueror. We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us.”
David Guzik says, “How is the Christian more than a conqueror?
- He overcomes with a greater power, the power of Jesus
- He overcomes with a greater motive, the glory of Jesus
- He overcomes with a greater victory, losing nothing even in the battle
- He overcomes with a greater love, conquering enemies with love and converting persecutors with patience
All of this because…”The security of the believer is God’s love.”
The fact that He chose me and began a good work in me proves that He’ll continue to perform it. He wouldn’t bring me this far and then dump me.” (Smith)
(Rom 8:14-15) Living in the Spirit means living as a child of God.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
- These are the sons of God: It is only fitting that the sons of God should be led by the Spirit of God. However, we should not think that being led by the Spirit is a pre-condition to being a son of God. Instead, we become sons first and then the Spirit of God leads us.
- Paul didn’t say, “As many as go to church, these are the sons of God.” He didn’t say, “As many as read their Bibles, these are the sons of God.” He didn’t say, “As many as are patriotic Americans, these are the sons of God.” He didn’t say, “As many as take communion, these are the sons of God.” In this text, the test for sonship is whether or not a person is led by the Spirit of God.
- How does the Holy Spirit lead us?
- We are led by guidance
- We are led by drawing
- We are led by governing authority
- We are led as we cooperate with the leading. “It does not say, ‘As many as are driven by the Spirit of God.’ No, the devil is a driver, and when he enters either into men or into hogs, he drives them furiously. Remember how the whole herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea. Whenever you see a man fanatical and wild, whatever spirit is in him it is not the Spirit of Christ.” (Spurgeon)
. Where does the Holy Spirit lead us?
- He leads us to repentance
- He leads us to think little of self and much of Jesus
- He leads us into truth
- He leads us into love
- He leads us into holiness
- He leads us into usefulness
Do You See It?
Step 1 – Repentance
I have been doing a series of “Table Talks” on the book of Nehemiah where the rebuilding of the Walls of the City started with a Prayer of Repentance!
The Holy Spirit leads us into repentance…That’s where it starts…or, should I say…that’s where it RESUMES!
We need a REVIVAL in our own hearts and souls…if we ever want to get that “Holy Ghost Fire” rekindled again!
Remember, Revival is not for the unbeliever…it is for the Saved and the Sanctified.
The Signs of True Revival
This brokenness of heart has led them to humbly come before God and hear His Word. A sure first step of revival is this brokenness of heart.
A second sure sign of revival (following brokenness of heart) is reflection on the goodness of God. When our pride is cast down, and our hearts humble before God, we can begin to see Him for who He is – and when we see that, we see how good God is.
A third sure sign of revival – recognition of our own sinfulness. When we humbly seek God, and see His goodness, we can’t help but next to notice our own sinfulness – the blackness of our sin stands out against the brightness of God’s purity and goodness.
The fourth sure sign of revival – after brokenness of heart, after reflection on God’s goodness, after recognition of our sinfulness, is a renewal of our obedience. We come to a place of decision, so this work of God is not just a wonderful experience, but something that shapes our future.
God’s work in us often must come to a place of decision – where He wants us to make a stand for Him, and against some other things. If you need a point of decision, Alan Redpath gave these self-examination questions, to give an idea how:
What about my relationship with men?
Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am a better man than I really am?
Is there the least suspicion of hypocrisy in my life? Am I honest in all my words and acts? Do I exaggerate?
Am I reliable? Can I be trusted? Do I confidentially pass on what was told to me in confidence?
Do I grumble and complain in the church?
Am I jealous, impure, irritable, touchy, distrustful?
Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
Am I proud?
Do I thank God I am not as other people?
Is there anyone I fear, or dislike, or criticize, or resent? If so, what am I doing about it?
What about my devotion to God?
Does the Bible live to me?
Do I give it time to speak to me?
Do I go to bed in time and do I get up in time?
Am I enjoying my prayer life today? Did I enjoy it this morning?
When I am involved in a problem in life, do I talk about it or pray about it?
Am I disobeying God in anything, or insisting upon doing something about which my conscience is very uneasy?
When did I last speak to someone else with the object of trying to win him for Christ?
Am I a slave to books, dress, friends, work, or what others think? How do I spend my spare time?
Spurgeon said, “WHEN A MAN’S CONSCIENCE is so awakened to the existence of sin that he cannot perceive any plea for mercy within himself, it is his wisdom to look for a plea in the nature and character of God. …”Where look for grace but to the God of all grace? Where for all but to the All in all? If what I am makes me despair, let me consider what God in Christ is and I shall have hope.”