According to Merriam-Webster.com an overcomer is “a person who overcomes something :one who succeeds in dealing with or gaining control of some problem or difficulty”. Over the last several months God has continually brought this word to my attention. I knew I had to write about it but I had no idea where this journey would take me.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 NIV
One Friday afternoon I watched the 2019 movie, Overcomer. I am sure many of you are familiar with it, but for those of you that aren’t; I have given you the synopsis and the trailer below.
“High school basketball coach John Harrison and his team face an uncertain future when their town’s largest manufacturing plant shuts down unexpectedly. As hundreds of people move away, John reluctantly agrees to coach cross-country, a sport he doesn’t even like. His outlook soon changes when he meets Hannah Scott, an unlikely runner who pushes herself to the limit. Inspired by the words and prayers of a new friend, John starts to train Hannah for the biggest race of her young life.”
During Blogger Chat, Matt of JesusLuvsAll shared the video below.
I was also invited to participate in and review the 6-week Overcomer Bible Study & Video series by Dr. David Jeremiah. At first I thought I was supposed to lead a small group discussion but as things progressed I realized that God wanted me to go through this on my own. this study looks at the armour of God in a way I have never experienced it before. The study ran 11/9/20 – 12/20/20 (with an extra week at the end if you missed a week for some reason). My thoughts on the study and the lessons that I learned are included below.
WEEK 1 – Overcoming Falsehood with Truth – The Belt of Truth holds everything together, it is what fits us for the life of an overcomer. We must learn to speak and receive the truth in love to overcome the lies of Satan. Live the truth by clothing yourself with truthfulness, integrity & sincerity — no pretending. Open yourself up to God and ask him to show you truth about yourself, even if it is hard.
WEEK 2 – Overcoming Evil with Good – The Breastplate of Righteousness protects our heart. We need to have a proper heart guard when we step into the battlefields of life. Spiritual rightness protects out hearts from evil. Jesus’ death on the cross indicates that He took on our identity as sinners. In exchange we took on His identity as a righteous child of God. This transition happens at the moment of salvation and continues of the rest of our lives. Therefore, God sees us in the righteousness of Christ and not our sin! Be proactive not reactive in response to evil. Mitigate evil with good. Don’t curse it. Don’t rehearse it. Don’t nurse it. Just reverse it! Jesus suffered an unjust trial and crucifixion: but when he looked at his attacker he responded with love. Choose love and forgiveness daily.
WEEK 3 – Overcoming Anxiety with Peace – The Shoes of Peace provide the stability that we need on our lives. We need shoes that won’t slip when when we experience the pressures in battle. There are two kinds of peace; peace with God & peace of God. On any given day we can be confronted with change, conflict, criticism, concerns or crisis. There are 2 types of prayer that can help us overcome anxiety; progressive prayer & proactive prayer. Also consider, what are you thinking about and who you are following? Are you living in the past, the future, or the present?
WEEK 4 – Overcoming Fear with Faith – The Shield of Faith deflects the enemy’s attacks against us. Satan fires two types of darts at us; darts of doubt & darts of deception. Faith is the substance of things hoped for & the evidence of things not seen. There are five basic strategies to grow your faith:
- To hear the Word preached
- Experience problems
- Be accountable to others
- Accept the projects that God brings to you
WEEK 5 – Overcoming Confusion with Wisdom – The Helmet of Salvation offers protection from the confusion the enemy tries to bring into our lives.
Strategies to acquire God’s wisdom:
- Have a devoted mind
- Have a dedicated mind
- Have a disciplined mind
- Have a determined mind
- Have a diligent mind
WEEK 6 – Overcoming Temptation with Scripture – The Sword of the Spirit is the word of God (The Bible). Jesus used this weapon better than anyone else. Consider when He was tested in the wilderness:
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. – Matthew 4:1-11 NIV
How can we wield the Sword of the Spirit Effectively?
- Stay in the Line of Fire
- Be Familiar with Scripture
- Start Collecting Your Swords Today
BONUS: EVERY battle should be covered in prayer
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. – Ephesians 6:13-18 NLT
Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe. – Proverbs 2:11 NLT
The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart triumphs, And with my song I shall thank Him. – Psalm 28:7 NASB
Along the way I came across this quote “When my heart is overwhelmed lead me to a rock that is higher than I”. The ROCK they were referring to is Jesus. So when you feel overwhelmed, run don’t walk, into the arms of Jesus. You too can be an overcomer!!
#BGBG2 #BIBLEGATEWAYPARTNER #GOODREADS