1 John 5:3-5: For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
1 John 5:19: We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
This time of year is such a temptation to us. Every store, magazine, catalog and website makes you compare what you have with what they say will make your life better and your holiday the best. So, how do we overcome the world? John says everyone born of God has victory through faith (1 John 5:4). When we choose Jesus as Lord, we have taken sides. We have joined the armies of heaven to battle evil. John says we overcome by believing that Jesus is the son of God (1 John 5:5). There is power in believing Jesus in us is greater than he who is in the world.
What does it mean to overcome the world? Jesus said he has overcome the world. As a man, he was tempted in the desert for 40 days. He was tempted with what represents the world: the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. Larry Stockstill says Jesus overcame by controlling his appetites, attitudes and ambitions. The eyes activate appetites, so we are to guard what our eyes see. Attitudes come from thinking more of yourself than is appropriate, especially in independence, self-sufficiency, and the pride of life. Humility will help us overcome conceit. Ambitions are the fleshly lusts for power and control, using people as a means to an end. Contentment will keep you from making compromises here. Jesus quoted Scripture as he spoke words of God’s truth over the temptation. His overcoming empowers us to be overcomers!
As John says, the world lies in the power of the evil one (1 John 5:19). But when we are born of God we belong to him; his love is ours and his love wins. We are freed from the grasp of the evil one. When we are born of God, the evil one cannot touch us (1 John 5:18). Believing this will give us power to have self-control, be content, and walk in humility. Our love for God motivates us to please him and choose him in all things. We will be empowered to obey and delight in his design for our lives. Today, seek to memorize and internalize 1 John 4:4, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” Keep these words deep in your heart, in the front of your mind, and on the tip of your tongue, ready to confront every tempting test. May Jesus’ victory bring you peace this time of year.
John 8:31-32: “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
By Donna Burns