|Posted on June 23, 2020 at 1:30 PM|
“Be not overcome with evil but overcome evil with good”. These words written by the apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans are a simple , but profound statement of the life believers are to live in this world. Certainly evil abounds in the world today just as it did two thousand years ago when these words were written and the need to overcome it with good is just as relevant today as then. But how do we do it? What does it take to overcome evil with good? It seems like a never ending and impossible task.
John sheds some light on these questions by assuring us that we are, in fact, overcomers. In 1 John 3: 4-5 John writes, “Whosoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that beleiveth that Jesus is the Son of God?” The first and greatest way we overcome evil with good is to believe what God says is true. Jesus told his disciples that what defiles us is the “evil thoughts” that proceed out of our hearts. Those are the thoughts of trusting and depending on everything and everyone but God in our lives to make us secure and significant as persons. Believing that God has already done everything necessary to make us worthy in Christ is the way we overcome evil with good.
Although our beliefs, especially about ourselves, are vital to overcoming evil it is just the starting point. The personal hope we get from trusting that God has made us worthy allows us to remain strong resisting the evil forces in this world. Being engaged in a spiritual war we must “put on the whole armor of God” and stand fast against the continual onslaught of evil. That armor includes the “under armor” clothing of truth, the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the boots of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, and the sword of the spirit. It is our protection from the lies, the doubts, the fears, the accusations, and the apathy meant by the enemy to destroy us. Our offensive weapon is the “sword of the Spirit”, the Word of God, which is alive and powerful able to cut through the confusion and break the chains of those in captivity.
Believing the truth of our new identity and worth in Christ and standing firm in hope against the continual opposition of evil in this world, we are ready to be deployed according to the strategy of the Captain of our salvation, Jesus. Only the Lord of Hosts has the battle plan against the evil of the world and only his Spirit can direct us in our individual missions. Our responsibility is to give “attention to orders” continually trusting the indwelling Spirit of God to direct what we do and say each day. Regardless of the job we are assigned to the mission we are given, all overcomers are engaged in a ministry of eternal value. There is no big or little, no essential or unessential, important, or unimportant work to be done in loving others like Christ.
As believers each one of us has been given the privilege of overcoming evil with good. We are not at the mercy of the evil of this world but are made “more than conquerors” in Christ and called to be his ambassadors on earth. Despite the continual threat from various forms of evil in our day, the promise of Jesus remains the same, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16: 33).