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Sermon Transcript — February 7, 2004 Overcoming by Mr. Dave Myers Brethren, do you have some plaguing sin, some point of weakness, perhaps secret, that you've been unable to overcome? Have we ever met with temptation, struggled with it, only to wake up a little later to the remorseful fact that we've slipped? That we've failed to overcome? That we've sinned? Perhaps you're struggling with some old habit that holds you as its slave, struggling, wrestling, always fighting, yet somehow never, never able to conquer it, continually finding ourselves beaten by that nagging weakness that just won't seem to be defeated. These things are serious because they're sins that discourage us, that deflate our confidence, can bring us into a type of spiritual depression, and they can be, if not overcome, we know the very things that will disqualify us from being a part of the family of God. Turn with me if you would to Rev 3:20. In one of the messages to the seven churches, Christ talks about overcoming. Rev 3:20 – Christ says, "Behold, I stand at the door and I knock: if any man hears My voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will be with him or dine with him, and he with Me." We kind of having a mental picture there; wouldn't that be great having a meal with Christ, having Him invite us over for dinner to sit and talk? verse 21 – "He (meaning the person, the individual, he or she,) who overcomes" "I'll (I will) grant him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne." It is to the overcomer that reward is given. It's to the overcomer that life in the family of God is made available. So when we talk about our sins, those difficult ones that seem to be deeply rooted, we need to talk about the concept of overcoming. And so during the course of the sermon today, I would like to discuss that issue of overcoming and hopefully encourage us all to continue to fight the good fight against sin. So to do that, I've jotted down a number of points about overcoming that I thought you might find helpful. They certainly have been helpful to me and continue to be, and I've always found that if a sermon applies well to me, it'll probably be helpful to some of you as well. Let's jot down a few points about overcoming. First of all, overcoming means victory. Here in Revelation 3:21 where we just completed reading, it mentions that he who overcomes is going to be the one who is rewarded, to be granted that opportunity to sit in rulership with Jesus Christ. The Greek word for "overcomes" is nikao meaning to gain the victory. He who gains the victory. Now, if you look at your life like I look at mine, you'll probably see that, you know what, we haven't made it yet. We haven't gained the victory over sin. There's some things we do pretty well, but there's still some other things that hang on – that don't seem to want to budge. Interestingly, this same word is used in Romans 12 when Paul said not to be overcome with evil. Don't let evil have the victory, but he says, "Overcome evil, or have a victory over evil, by doing (with) good" Romans 12:21. The same word, it means to gain victory. But we look at our lives and we find that boy, you know what? We haven't gained the victory yet. But we are on the road. So ultimately overcoming is gaining victory. Point number two, following close behind, is that overcoming means maturing. Overcoming means victory in the ultimate sense, but in the meantime, overcoming has to do, overcoming means maturing. It means being on the road, it means growing along a path, not so much as a destination as a path that we are traveling. Matthew 5:48 – Helps us to understand that we do have, yes, a destination in mind, but overcoming is a growth process. It's not a rest stop on the destination. It is not where we are at this point. We can't pull off to the side of the road and say, "I'm there. I've become an overcomer." It's a process. Matthew 5:48 – Christ says, "Be you therefore perfect," It is the overcomers that will be given reward. "Become ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Now again, we understand that the word "be" might just as well be translated "become," but it is the word "perfect" that is so difficult. Does he really mean being perfect? And the answer is "yes," because he says, ". . .like your Father in heaven is perfect." So the standard that Christ holds up for us is that we become perfect; we become without fault, without shortcomings, without sins, without offenses, and without weaknesses. When we overcome all those character flaws, we will be perfect. That is the goal for all of us as Christians. The word "perfect" here is the Greek word, teleios, and it means to be complete. We're to be complete like God, the Father, is complete. Other translations render that "be of full age." In other words, mature. To be complete or full of age. In other words, mature. Become as mature as God, the Father is. I like using the word "mature" rather than perfect because it indicates that we are in a process. Being perfect is what we eventually will attain to. In the meantime, what are we to be doing? We are to be growing, maturing. When you take a ten-year-old and say, "Would you grow up!", what do you mean by that? First of all, a ten-year-old is ten years old. They're not fifty; they're not thirty. Isn't it true that as parents we expect our small children to be more mature than we ever were at that age or more mature than we may even be at this age? Maturing is a process. It comes by experience; it comes through growth. Sometimes it comes through trial and error. So God does want us to be an overcomer, but more important, he wants us to be in the process of overcoming. It is a path. It is a road, not necessarily just a destination. And that can give us great encouragement because we realize we're not there yet, but we're sure fighting, we're sure struggling, and our desire is to arrive there. This is not to give ourselves an excuse and say, "Well, I can't be perfect now." But it is a destination that we eventually want to arrive at. And we only arrive there through the process. If you'll turn with me over to Hebrews 6:1. Hebrews 6 is known in the first few verses for the great and fundamental doctrines of the church of God. The six basic doctrines of the church of God are listed after, or built upon, what is called the foundation, the elementary principle or doctrine. So Hebrews 6:1 let's notice: Hebrews 6:1 – "Therefore leaving the elementary doctrine of Christ" (that's the way the New American Translates it or I should say the RSV) ". . .leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ." The elementary, the beginning of the word. In other words, Paul is saying here that our Christian faith and belief and understanding has a bedrock, has a foundation and that foundation is understanding Jesus Christ, what He's done for us, what His role is, what His future is. That's the bottom line, that's the bedrock. And you might say the bedrock is really the Father. You could talk about all those things. From Paul's perspective, the fundamental is understanding Christ because when you understand Christ, you also understand the Father. You understand His role and Their relationship to each other. You understand the family of God. But the point is, there is nothing if you don't understand Jesus Christ and His role as Savior, there is nothing beyond that that's of any value. So that's the foundation, and then he says, Hebrews 6:1 – ". . .Let us go on to (unto) perfection." Again a form of the Greek word, teleiotes in this case. "Let us go on to (unto) perfection." The word teleiotes means a completer. Remember, teleios means to be complete or mature. In this case, he says, "Let us go on to be a completer." Literally, that might be a translation. "Let us go on to be a completer." Or a finisher. Now we begin to understand why Paul would use phrases like, "You are involved in a great race." "Let us run the race of faith." He talks about shed that weight of sin that so easily besets us. We hear Paul using phrases like, "Fight the good fight." "Keep at it." "Overcoming is a process." It will eventually be a destination, but in the mean time, it is a process. Now Paul goes on to list the fundamental and basic doctrines that are built upon the understanding of Christ. The issue of repentance and faith and baptism, the laying on of hands, the resurrections and eternal judgment, those basic teachings, but he says, "We are to be a completer, a finisher." In other words, the New American Standard renders this, "Let us go (press) on to maturity." So, brethren, being an overcomer means being one who is growing, one who is in the race, one who intends to be a finisher or a completer, not one who is giving up along the way. So that indicates, point number three, overcoming means work. Overcoming means work. If we're to be going on to be a finisher, it shows us that we have a goal, that goal of perfection, but that we're in the process, we're still struggling; we're still trying; we're still in the race. We want to be a finisher; we're not there yet. I don't know that any one of us could say, "Well, I've overcome that sin." We might say, "I think with God's help, I've got that sin in check for right now." And if you're like many Christians, it seems as though some of those things we talked about earlier, that nagging sin, that when we fall short, it's usually in that particular area. It's that nagging weakness that we struggle against. What God expects is that we be on the road, that we're in the race, that we intend to be a finisher, we intend to have a time when that sin does not bother us ever again. We may not be there yet, but that's where we're working. Overcoming means working. Turn to Revelation 2:26. Again, embedded in one of the messages to the seven churches is another statement about overcoming. And a real key about overcoming I think is contained here. Revelation 2:26 - Christ said, "And he that overcomes. . ." He being generic, meaning the person. We might say in modern English, "The person that overcomes. . ." ". . .and keeps My works until the end, to (him) this person I'll give power over the nations." What did we read in Revelation 3, it's to the overcomer that will be allowed to sit on the throne with Christ and rule. Notice what it says here, ". . .he that overcomes, and keeps my works." One of the keys to overcoming, brethren, sometimes we think of overcoming as basically sitting in a chair, waiting for the temptation to come, and we're going to steel ourselves to that temptation. We're not going to let that temptation get us. We're going to take it on. And what usually happens, it knocks us over out of the chair before we ever get up and have a chance to fight. What he's talking about here is much of the issue of overcoming. It's rather than sitting and waiting for temptation to come and hope we can resist it, much of overcoming is doing the works of God so that when temptation comes, we're so busy doing God's works, we hardly notice it. We're too busy serving; we're too busy giving; we're too busy helping; we're too busy doing other things, doing the works of God. And it mentions here, he that overcomes, the same Greek word as later, "nikao," meaning having a victory. He that gets the victory, or obtains the victory, or gains the victory, and "keeps my works to the end," to him I'll give power. So much of overcoming, brethren, has to do with keeping the works or deeds of God to the end. So rather than thinking of overcoming as stopping temptation when it comes to us, we should also think of overcoming as what should we be doing so that temptation is not as big an issue to us. Isn't that an interesting thought? God is calling us today, brethren, to a life of separation, a new and a different life of being led by God's Holy Spirit. When we think of being led by God's Spirit, we don't think of sitting in a chair, waiting for temptation to come and hoping we can resist it. Being led by God's Spirit means there's movement. So what do they say? Put your head down and do what to the wind? You face the wind. You don't just stand there and hope the wind doesn't knock you over. You put your head down and walk into the wind. So when the wind gusts, you've already got momentum. You've got strength; you've got movement; you're going in the right direction. God does want us to be holy and completely cleansed of sin, growing in His word, in His grace, in His knowledge because we're being trained and fitted for a position in the responsibility in the family of God. God wants us to be ready for that. We're being trained for a solemn responsibility of being a king and a priest, and it's only those who overcome during this lifetime that will be there to reign alongside Jesus Christ. So think of overcoming as what should I be doing that may, frankly, be completely unrelated to the sin I often succumb to. What should I be doing so that when that temptation comes, I'll be too busy to worry about it? Turn, if you would, over to Revelation 21. Almost to the end of the book of Revelation, only a chapter and a half or so after this scripture. Revelation 21. Here's a wonderful promise to those who are working the works of God. You know, sometimes you say, "I just can't get this out of my mind. I can't get this sin out of my mind. I can't stop that." I would suggest at times putting that aside, not worrying about it, but rather asking the question, "What should I be doing with my time? Whom can I serve? Where can I step in and be a servant to someone? What can I be doing so that I don't even have time to worry about that or think about that?" Revelation 21:7 - Again, a scripture about overcomers. " 'He the individual that (who) overcomes shall inherit all or all these things,' " This wonderful picture that was written about in the first six verses. ". . .and I will be his God and he shall be My son." So it's the overcomers; it's those who are keeping the works of God who have a plan who are going to be in the family of God and rule in the world tomorrow. So we strive now to live a life of overcoming. Why? At least one reason is in hopes of receiving the precious gift of eternal life later. We know we can't earn that gift, but we know we have to be in the mix. We know we have to be on the road for God to grant us that gift. You see, if an overcomer is on the road, their head is down, and they're faced into the wind, and they're fighting and they're struggling, all they need is more power. All they need is more power, and God will grant that power when you're born into the family, because some have thought, "Well, boy, how can I ever be brought into God's family when I'm not perfect." Well, if you're on the right road, if your attitude is right, your direction is right, if your head is down, and you're facing into the wind, and you're working at it, all you need is more power. That's all we need. So, this leads us to point number four. Overcoming means following Christ. Overcoming means following Christ. Turn with me to Hebrews 4:14 because we've always all, I should say, brethren, been in the situation where we know what's ahead. We know the great reward that's still out ahead, and yet we still stumble; we still fall down to sin even when we strive and struggle and pray; we sometimes fail to overcome some vicious clinging habit. That's very discouraging to us. Part of the solution is following Jesus Christ. He stands down that road further, breaking the wind for us, we might say. Hebrews 4:14 - "Seeing, or since then (that) we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession." Or as the King James has: ". . .hold fast to our profession." You ask yourself, as I have to ask myself, "Am I a professional Christian?" If someone were to describe my life, is that one of the things that just jumps out at them? This person really tries hard to be a Christian. Think of it as a profession, as a confession, something that shows from the outside as well. Verse 15 - "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." Jesus Christ lived this life. Sometimes when we think of overcoming, we think of having sinned and then no longer sinning. But overcoming is also, even though you have not sinned, it's resisting temptation that comes to you, and that's the situation Jesus Christ found Himself in. He never sinned, but He was tempted with all arenas of sin just like other human beings. Now obviously He couldn't have been tempted with every single possible human temptation, but He was tempted in every arena of sin, just like you and I are, just like we are, and yet He was without sin. He is our perfect example, the perfect example of an overcomer. What was He doing? He was working. What did He say? "My meat, or My sustenance, My food, is to do the will of Him who sent Me." So one of the keys to overcoming is following Christ in that approach. Again, not just thinking of resisting temptation when it comes to us, but what should we actively be doing so the temptation does not get a hold of us. What can we be doing? What should we be doing? Isn't it interesting, when the Bible talks about overcoming, it doesn't necessarily give us six steps. Okay the first thing you have to do is get up at five-thirty in the morning. I'd fail just with that one. Then you pray for an hour and a half, then you study for an hour and a half, then you put blinders on your eyes so you don't see anything bad; you put earplugs in your ears so you don't hear anything bad; it doesn't give us that kind of prescription, does it? It gives us general principles. We follow Christ. Notice what Christ said in John 16. What is the key that we may be overlooking or neglecting that Christ constantly observes? John 16 makes a statement about Christ. John 16:33. Was there a key, other keys, in Christ's life that could be helpful in our overcoming of sin? We know where to follow Christ's example. Notice here: John 16:33 - "These things Christ says I have spoken to you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." Again, Christ never sinned. When temptation came to Him, though, He rejected it. Part of the reason was because He was so involved in doing the work of God, keeping the works of God to the end. Christ could confidently say that He had overcome the world. The very fact that He has been successful, and that He is our elder brother shows us that it is possible for us to likewise overcome sin, to have the same peace that Christ says He has. So we need to learn the same principles that Jesus did so we, too, can be an overcomer. Whether it's resisting sin that's new to us, or whether it's stopping sin that we have become comfortable with and not doing it in the future. We can succeed because the Bible gives us the key to show us how to be successful in this life and death struggle against sin. We know Philippians 2:12. What does it tell us? Philippians 2:12 - ". . .work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." We already said overcoming means work. Overcoming means following the example of Jesus Christ. Jeremiah 10:23 - Okay, we know we need to work; we know we need to follow the example of Jesus Christ. We want to pause for a moment to say, "Do you have what it takes to overcome?" The answer is, "No." At least, not within yourself, not within myself. I don't have what it takes to overcome sin of and by myself. Jeremiah makes that very clear here. If you've ever listened to a number of "self-help" kind of tapes, self-improvement seminars, one of the common themes, it seems, is that you reach deep down within yourself, and you pull together whatever it is that's there, and you do what you need to do. You make the changes you need to change. Well, brethren, we've all probably tried that in regards to sin and failed. Why? Because the real ability to overcome sin is not present naturally within us. That's what Jeremiah says here: Jeremiah 10:23 - "O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself;" Boy, isn't that true? Jeremiah knew it firsthand; you and I do probably as well. He goes on to say, "It is not in man who walks to direct his (own) steps." We don't have it naturally within ourselves. The ability is just not there to attain salvation on our own no matter how much we work at it. We don't have that ability. We cannot earn our own salvation. Our effort, our righteousness God simply calls, "filthy rags," because usually it's human vanity. So no matter how good we are, we're never good enough. We need help. We need greater help because when we're talking about overcoming and becoming perfect, we're talking about keeping the ten commandments of God without flaw. It means keeping the law of love of God, love of neighbor without flaw. Perfectly practicing God's law, never veering off the path. That kind of situation is simply not within human beings, so we need greater help. So that leads us to point number five. Overcoming requires God's Holy Spirit. Overcoming requires God's Holy Spirit. Now another way to say that might be overcoming means expressing Godly love. If you'll turn with me to Romans 5. Expressing Godly love is another way of saying, using, or having, or possessing the Holy Spirit. Romans 5:5 the key to understanding, brethren, in regard to overcoming is that we cannot do it on our own. That we can fight and struggle and sweat and cry, but if we're doing it on our own power, it's not strong enough. It's not strong enough. No wonder so many of us become discouraged. Sometimes we feel like we might want to give up in the fight against sin because we don't have within us even the kind of love that can fulfill God's law. Romans 5:5 "Hope makes not ashamed" In other words there is hope. That hope will not be disappointed. Why? ". . .Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, by the Holy Spirit which was given unto us." I like the way the New American Standard translates this verse. It says, ". . .Because the love of God is poured out within our hearts. . ." That's what Paul's actually referring to. How do we receive the love of God so that we can overcome, so that we can fight the fight? It comes from God, Himself. So when Jesus said that God is all and in all, and that's the goal, that's certainly true. We need to be filled with God's Spirit. It takes spiritual love to fulfill God's spiritual law. It takes something outside of ourselves being given to us by God so that we can then apply it, that we can use God's Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit within us becomes the law of God in action. It is love in action. The love of God is poured out in our heart by the Holy Spirit. So since it's God alone who can supply this kind of love in us, it's God righteousness working in us. We don't get any of the credit. That's why Paul could say, "God gets all the credit for this. I'm just an instrument, the tool. God gets the credit; His love, His righteousness working in us." So turn with me to Philippians 3. That's why Paul said what he did, at least in part why he said what he did in Philippians 3: 8 and 9. Philippians 3: 8 and 9. I'll read this to you again in the New American Standard translation of the scripture. Paul says: Philippians 3:8 "More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I've suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, Verse 9 - "and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the law," There are a lot of people who are doing that, try to be nice people. That's a good thing; there's nothing evil about that, but Paul says that's not good enough. That's just human good, and what comes with human good is oftentimes quite a mixture of human bad as well, human evil as well. But he says, I'd rather not have my own ". . .righteousness. . . derived from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith," So it's that love of God shed abroad, or poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, coming from our relationship and our faith in God. So it is this love of Jesus Christ that must be through in us through faith. It's His righteousness, not ours. It's something He puts in us as we yield ourselves to Him, which leads us to point number six. Overcoming requires submitting to God, because if we're going to receive more of God's Holy Spirit, we must be submitted to God. We must be yielding our desires and our purposes and our will to our Father in heaven and asking Him in real and earnest and perseverent prayer trusting that He'll give it to us. So we have to be an overcomer. We have to have the faith and the love of God working in us and that comes through submitting to God. Turns to James 4:7 Very simply, brethren, our part is to submit or yield to God. Yes, it requires work. Yes, as we spoke about it, it requires putting our head down, facing the wind, and walking into it. But for that to be truly possible, we must give ourselves up to God. James 4:7 says it this way: James 4:7 - "Submit yourselves therefore to God." Yield to God. We must give ourselves over to God to mold us, to shape us, to use us in whatever way He desires. We must let God use us, which is one thing in our western culture we tend to resist. It has very negative connotations, doesn't it? Oh, he was "used," or she was "used." You see one of the mantras of our culture is "Nobody's going to tell me what to do. I am my own boss, thank you very much. I will tell you what to do, if anything." But to say "I'm someone's slave. I'll do whatever he says I should do." To be completely yielded to God is a very rare thing, and it takes hard work to submit ourselves to God, to not allow our own desires, our own will to block what God is doing. It's a mental struggle that can be exhausting, and that is part of our part to play, to submit ourselves to God, to really ask, and then answer His call. Ask, "What do You want me to do? How do You want me to do it?" And then follow that. To be close enough to hear that voice, we might say. James 4:7 - "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." Isn't it interesting that resisting the devil goes hand in hand with submitting to God? Because we either submit to God, or we welcome the devil. We submit to God AND resist the devil. Turn over a few pages to I Peter 5, just a few pages back toward Revelation from where we are. I Peter 5:6, kind of a parallel to what we just read in James 4. I Peter 5:6 - We're told: "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God. . ." Submit, turn our lives into God's hands. We're his property. We truly want Him to do whatever He feels is best in our lives. "Humble yourselves before God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, Verse 7 - "casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. Verse 8 - "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Verse 9 - "But resist him. . ." There's that same parallel, submit and resist. ". . .resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world." So the issues expanded. We're told that overcoming requires humbling ourselves, casting our cares on God's very capable shoulders. It means being serious; it means being vigilant; it means resisting with all our might, and maybe the key to all those five keys here in these section of verses is to be vigilant, to be on our guard, to be ever watchful, to be prepared. Not to be caught off-guard. Resisting sin takes constant and consistent effort. Never letting down. Let's go back to the book of James, where we were, James 4 again. James 4:8. We read in James 4:7: James 4:7 - Submit to God. ". . .Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Verse 8 - "Draw near to God. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you." We'll just pause there. When temptation comes, sometimes we are simply too far away from God. We haven't drawn near enough. He's distant to us because we've not been drawing near to Him as we should. And at that time we're unable to suddenly on the spur of the moment draw close enough to God to get the help and the deliverance that we need. We fall to sin. It reminds one of the story of the little boy who was very careful to stand next to the teacher before he made faces at the school bully, and he stuck out his tongue, and he made the bully, what do they call those? Anyway, the ears, the moose horns, whatever you call them; I don't remember. And he blew the raspberry, you know, at the bully. And the bully started to march closer to him, and he turned to grab onto the teacher's hand. Unbeknownst to the little boy, the teacher had taken a walk during this tirade. And so he wasn't close enough to the teacher to receive the help that he needed and the protection. And sometimes we're that way with sin, not that we're making faces at Satan, but we think we're just standing still, instead, we're not following the teacher; we're not staying close to God, and we turn for that help, and the teacher's not close enough to give that. Not that they couldn't, but it's our problem. We didn't stay close to the teacher. So then it's like being put in the ring with an experienced prize fighter without any training on our part. All of a sudden we've got this brute that's going to bet the living daylights out of us, and we're not prepared; we're not strengthened; we're not close to the trainer to be able to know what to do or how to do it. So brethren often our challenge is then temptation suddenly assails us, and no matter how hard we try or cry out to God at that moment, we're simply too far away. We're too far away. So brethren, sometimes we need to think about our spiritual training. Are we close enough to God? Are we focused on spiritual things? This leads us to our final point. Overcoming requires spiritual thinking. Overcoming requires spiritual thinking. Turn to Colossians 3:1 through 3. Overcoming requires spiritual thinking. In other words, having our mind focused on the spiritual. Again, getting our minds busy with other things so the temptation doesn't often even have room to gain a foothold. Colossians 3:1 - "If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ (sitteth) sits on the right hand of God. Verse 2 - "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Verse 3 - "For (ye) you are dead," to this physical life. ". . .and your life is hid with Christ in God." So could it be that many of our minds are sometimes too wrapped up in physical pursuits of life? Are our minds filled with earthly material cares and interests? Are our minds simply too carnal to be really focused on the spiritual? We're told to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Do we lie awake at night worrying about how to pay bills? Or do we lie awake at night imagining what the kingdom of God is going to be like? How this world needs to be rescued. Who specifically we might look forward to really teaching the truth of God to? Are we simply too wrapped up in the physical? We might be. That makes overcoming difficult, and sometimes it takes a siege of fasting and prayer, earnest and determined persevering prayer, seeking God with all our might, staying with it until we get through to truly deal with some of the sins that we have to face. David said this in Psalms 119. He said: Psalms 119 - "Establish my footsteps in Your word and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me." So sometimes it's the study of God's word that helps prepare our mind for God's Spirit. Praying and studying. Turn finally to Revelation 3:12. Brethren, our challenge is to keep our minds on the spiritual, to truly be on the road to overcoming, to be so busy doing the good things, the work of God that Satan doesn't have a chance to establish a foothold and turn up the temperatures of temptation upon us. Revelation 3:12 - Again, imbedded in the messages to the churches is a great promise for our future, for all overcomers. "Him that overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God, and my new name." So brethren we desire to be overcomers; we want to be overcomers. We've got several reminders as how to be overcomers. There's great reward in the future for all overcomers. So let's do the best we can to fight the good fight, to stay on the road, to draw as close to God as we can and be about the business of overcoming.
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