Tag Archives: Overcome

What’s My Excuse this time?

no excusesHave you ever noticed the only time a person makes excuses when their behavior hasn’t measured up to their own expectations or even the expectations of those they respect.  Otherwise, we don’t have to make any excuses when we are operating at our peak and everyone around appears satisfied with us.  Excuses are made when there’s the need to try and remove blame from yourself.  To seek an excuse is to admit, as humans, we are not perfect, and we will not always do as needed or expected.

It’s easier to make an excuse than to come to resolution.  Sometimes people would rather have their behavior excused and overlooked by others rather than resolve what is causing the issue.  Resolve the issue, change behavior, and there is no longer a need to make excuses.

I’ll assume most who are reading this blog are Believers, Christians….Children of God.  So, are you living as His Word directs you to, and if not, why not?  What’s your excuse?

No, I’m not trying to be condemning or sarcastic but realistic….if you’re not being what He’s called you to be then what do you claim is the reason to excuse yourself from living as you should?  I doubt I’m alone on this, but I’d rather heal what’s broken, so I don’t have to be confined a crutch the rest of my life.

Let’s consider that Jesus came to release us from the excuses which keep us from living optimally for Him.  When the woman with adultery was brought before Jesus (John 8), it would be easy for her to justify her life.  There was nothing else she could do as she became a product of what others thought she was.  Maybe she could have excused her behavior saying everyone had faults and this just happened to be hers.  She could have even excused herself saying she didn’t have the opportunities others had, and she was doing the best she could with what was dealt to her.

Let’s not be so easily diluted because Jesus died and rose again, so we would no longer need to make excuses because He was all-sufficient to change us.  Jesus said He came so that ‘they may have life, and have it to the full.’ (John 10:10b)  So much for our excuses.  When I focus on Him, I become a product of His redemptive work in my life and not what others think.  When He is my goal, it matters little what others do because I desire to be like Him.  When I understand He is in control of my life, I praise Him for the opportunities He brings, and I won’t desire what He doesn’t present to me.  There is nothing lost if He has chosen to withhold it from me.

Be encouraged today how you, as a Child of God, don’t need to be stuck in the rut of making excuses.  Jesus has made a way for us to live for Him and because of Him, each of us is overcomers (Romans 8:28).  I may not be perfect, but He is perfecting me.  I may still fail, but I don’t have to be a failure.  I may sin, but I no longer have to be bound to it and can find freedom from it in Jesus.  Part of Jesus’ victory on the cross reminds me I can accept who I am, without excuses, as He is making me into who I am.  That’s good news!

 

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I May Be Down, but I’m Not Out!

sickBeing sick is never convenient.  It slows us down and can knock us out of our daily routine.  We get sick, but we have deadlines to meet, problems to solve, and a life to live….we don’t have time for being sick!  I don’t get sick often, and I won’t allow it to knock me out of my routine completely.  It’s rare for me to confine myself to bed for rest since it’s impossible to rest while thinking about all I need to do.  I’ll do whatever I have to do to fight through it and stay productive.

Sickness never comes at an opportune time, right?  I mean, no matter what stage life is at, or what there is to do, being sick is a big inconvenience whose occurrence some other time wouldn’t be any better except that it wouldn’t be happening now.

Our struggle with difficulties is much like struggling with sickness.  It has the ability to knock us down, but it doesn’t have to knock us out.  So, how do we ensure we can stay standing when life hits us hard and unexpectedly?

Keep following the doctor’s orders…

We generally only go to the doctor when we do get sick, and he will tell us what we need to do, and we will do that for a time but then begin to slack off.  For instance, I’ve been told to take Vitamin D, especially during winter months, because we generally aren’t exposed to the sun as much as we are in the summer.  Being in the sun helps produce vitamin D in the body….or something like that I’ve been told.  So, if I would take Vitamin D all year long, my immune system would be stronger, and I wouldn’t get sick as often.  That makes sense.  Rather than take something only when I’m sick, I can follow the doctor’s orders and take some preemptive steps to combat sickness.

Ephesians 6:10 says ‘Be strong in the LORD.’  It basically means to follow the doctor’s orders by staying connected with Him.  Our lives easily start to spin out of control, and we begin to feel beaten down and ready to give up due to a coming knock out when we fail to remain in His presence, under His influence, and following His ways.  If you’re not following me, what I’m trying to say is this – the believer is capable when he is connected with God because God is able.  Don’t wait for your life to get difficult before crying out to God and then when all is well to settle into your old ways until you need Him to bring health back to your life because you’re spiritually sick.  If we would stay connected to Him and abide in Him, we would still face difficulties which may get us down but would be unable to knock us out because He is close and always available to strengthen us.

A daily dose of what you need the most….

Your body is able to stay healthier when it has the proper amount of vitamins, nutrition, and water in your system.  Even drinking 8 glasses of water a day boosts your immune system.  If we want to keep our spiritual lives boosted, so we can stand up under the most incredible pressures in life, we understand what Paul says next in verse 10, ‘and in his mighty power.’

Your not able to live the life of a believer without the strength of God.  Compared to God, we have little strength and life stretches us beyond our limits.  It’s here where are limits are reached that God shows He is limitless by giving us the strength to get up and keep pressing on…..we may go down momentarily, but we aren’t out by any stretch of the imagination.  When I can’t, He can.  When I come to the end of myself, I have found the beginning of Him.  When I feel as if the way ahead is too difficult, He bears the burden as I give it to Him.

Maybe the pressures, difficulties, and perceived impossibilities are slowing you down and you feel as if they are about to knock you out.  Right now, and every day from this point forward, seek the LORD and keep connected with Him and draw on His strength.  Be encouraged by His promises, and trust in Him.  Then, when life becomes more settled, stay connected and keep depending on Him and rather than get knocked out, you’ll be able to press on!

The Overcomer

overcomerYet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us – Romans 8:37.

With reading that passage, I can just imagine the mass of believers saying, “Amen!” to this passage and thinking how true it is, but possibly never really experiencing the valid truth of it all.  If I haven’t experienced the overcoming nature, is it because of my circumstances, some person standing in my way, my upbringing, culture, or maybe its not my gift!?!  No matter what the excuse, you’d be wrong whichever way.  To be an overcomer isn’t a matter of what is hindering me as much as it is about who’s enabling me to live in the reality of this passage?

Make a critical decision…..

…..to be an overcomer.  I know, you’re thinking, “Seriously?”  Yes, I’m serious.  To overcome begins with a decision to be what God’s Word says, and in addition to this, you have to make a decision on how you are going to view circumstances.  You can look at all the successful people around you and say they have it easy, or something worked in their favor which is not available to you, but you would be mistaken.  All people face circumstances and those who overcome have chosen, at first, to overcome the issue.  Those who haven’t made a decision to overcome at some point decide to lay down and die…RIP!  Are you a believer who is struggling with living the overcoming life?  If so, you need a new way of thinking through your challenges.  You need to see them not as issues to discourage you, but they can be your greatest motivator.  Maybe you’re not following completely yet, but just keep reading!

Get a Transformed Mind…

…..if you want to start succeeding in faith.  Romans 12:2 tells us this, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”  What does this mean?  Well, it’s as simple as being disciplined enough to think……Godly!  If you are praying and wanting God to just drop the overcoming life, or a transformed mind on you then you’re missing your responsibility to have your mind transformed by Him.   You’re going to have to get into God’s Word and spend some time with your LORD in the pages of your Bible and allow that living Word to find a place in your thoughts, heart, and your life.  It will take more than just a five minute prayer life, and you need to start spending some quality time talking and also listening to your Father.  Yes, you need to spend some time communicating with Him, and you’re going to need to draw near to Him, so He can draw near to you.  I can’t imagine hoping a complete stranger who has the keys for my life is actually going to help me if I never develop a relationship with that person, but we do this with God.  We think we are close to Him just because we attend church, or follow some basic Christian disciplines, but we’ve failed to know Him.  Even so, we’ve failed to become known by Him as His child, and His servant.  The more time you spend with God and experience who He is, what He thinks about you and His love for  you, and what His plan is for you…..this will increasingly transform your mind from, “I can’t ever….”, to “With God, all things are possible.”

My Response should be like…

…..King David’s.  He had to come face to face with the champion of the Philistines, Goliath of Gath.  (1 Samuel 17:23-27)  David shows us what the response of an overcomer is and how it is practiced or lived out in our lives.

1.  Overcomers respond to the challenge, not the problem.

How many times has someone said something about someone else and that person, to stand up to what was said, chooses to say something derogatory about that other person?  It’s a real low blow and pretty immature.  David was better than that because the situation wasn’t really about him.  He didn’t respond to Goliath as if he were his problem but as if his words were a challenge to the God of Israel and he was right!  Goliath was challenging God and David knew his God was up for the challenge.  It’s critical how you perceive the problems in your life and how you perceive God.  If all you can do is focus on problems then it’s hard to focus on your God who is up for the challenge.  When obstacles come, the challenge for you is this…..how much do you know God and trust Him to be faithful and able?

2.  Overcomers don’t allow themselves to be shaped by circumstances, criticism, or the opinions of others.

In 1 Samuel 17:28-33 we see David’s older brother, Eliab trying to deflate David’s champion attitude into some kind of defeatist attitude.  He was embarrassing and belittling David and even went as far as questioning his integrity.  In the same way, the enemy is always trying to tear you down, insert doubt, and give you reason to focus on your own powerlessness.  The enemy may be right that you can’t do it on your own, but you aren’t on your own!  We allow others to overly influence us, and we focus on their words rather than God’s Word about us.  When the circumstance or opinions say, “YOU CAN’T!” is when you have to know what God has said and go with that instead.

3.  Overcomers live by what God’s Word says, not by what they see, hear or imagine to be true.

Before David even took up his sling there was a battle of words and Goliath was shouting at the top of his lungs and intimidating the armies of Israel with his boasting.  It was Goliath’s word against God’s Word!  David responded with a word from God…”I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have defied….”  David didn’t get in a shouting match, He spoke what God put in his mouth to say and then he let the stone fly and God did the rest!  Speak God’s Word over your situation, call on your God to come to your aid, ask Him for insight, help, and strength, and you will see God’s hand move in your life.

4.  Overcomers respond with courage to seemingly impossible challenges.

We each face incredible opportunities that are camouflaged as impossible situations.  Your problems are not unsolvable, impossible, or unfair.  It’s here where your thoughts have the ability to guide you….your thoughts about situations, your thoughts about your God and His love for you, and even God’s availability to you and His ability.  We all have Goliaths, but how are you going to respond?  Each of us can be like David, draw on God’s courage within our spirits and rise to the challenge because God is with us and we never stand alone!