(Defenses That Are Difficult To Destroy)
1. to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; conquer; defeat: to overcome the enemy.
2. to prevail over (opposition, a debility, temptations, etc.); surmount: to overcome one’s weaknesses.
3. to overpower or overwhelm in body or mind, as does liquor, a drug, exertion, or emotion: I was overcome with grief.
4. Archaic. to overspread or overrun.
5. to gain the victory; win; conquer: a plan to overcome by any means possible1.
As believers in Christ, we are engaged in a daily battle. Our old sin nature is opposed or contrary to the effects (spiritual qualities) of the Holy Spirit. In order to be an overcomer, in the sense of our sin nature not being in control of our souls, we must walk in the Holy Spirit.
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
If we recognize sin, which is thinking, feeling, or acting contrary to God’s mind or word; confess it to God the Father; and then apply God’s truth by coming into agreement with his word regarding those sinful thoughts feelings or actions, then we can become Christ-centered and not self-centered.
The following sections in this book refer to being able to overcome our old sin nature, with all of its lusts and passions. Overcoming does not mean to eradicate our passions and lusts, but to be able to recognize them, take our mind off of them, and focus on God’s scriptural viewpoint in these areas. When past memories remind us of what we have thought, said, or done, we can respond by applying God’s word as it declares to us that we are now new in Christ.
Do not be alarmed by thoughts of lust or jealousy; a desire to take what others have, to injure another who has wronged you, or even to physically harm another for no reason; to engage in an unlawful sexual act with another, etc. Remember, all of us have a sin nature which prompts thoughts, desires, or actions that are against the restraints and influences of the Spirit.
We still have memories of past decisions or actions. When you have these thoughts, do not focus on them, be preoccupied with them, or be shocked by them. Immediately go to God’s word and replace these thoughts with scriptural thoughts. If you become preoccupied with these thoughts, then confess them as sin to God, and then go to God’s word and replace these thoughts with his thoughts.
God does not bring forth trials or testings in order to induce us to sin. In any trial, we can be induced to commit sin, whether it be by complaining, by murmuring, by apostasy, or by yielding to sin2. We can also be induced to reveal the preparations, the mind of Christ, that God has previously made available to us through his word.
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
I have designed each of the overcoming sections that follow as a spiritual meal for you to partake of and become stronger. Hopefully, you will memorize some or all of the scriptures that accompany each section so that you can apply them when evil thoughts rear their ugly heads.
Our ultimate goal is to have the inner joy, and the peace that passes all understanding so that the Holy Spirit can be increasingly effectual in our lives.
Don’t give up. Each day allows us to put on the mind of Christ.
For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again:…
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