It’s a sure truth that as we go through life as Christians we are going to run into people who don’t like us and may want to do us harm. This is never pleasant, but when we see God’s Plan and purpose for our lives, we can take it in our stride and not be too bothered by it.
On the earth there are 2 families: the family of the devil and the family of God. These are in 2 kingdoms: the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. Because of the New Birth we: “Give thanks to the Father, Who has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the Kingdom of the Son of His love,” (Col.1: 13 Amp.).
The 2 kingdoms are in fact at war.
The devil is: “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that works in the children of disobedience,” (Eph. 2:2).
In our warfare with evil: “We are not wrestling with flesh and blood (contending only with physical opponents), but against the master spirits who are the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly sphere,” (Eph. 6:12 Amp.).
Behind that overbearing dominant family member or that obnoxious boss you have to work for, there are demon spirits at work wanting to destroy your life. These spirits, rather than the people themselves, are the real enemy.
Any of us who in this world want: “to live godly lives shall suffer persecution,” (2 Tim.3: 12). This is what the Apostle Paul warned his spiritual son Timothy.
Jesus Himself gave a similar Word to His disciples: “In the world you have tribulation and trials, distress and frustration; but be of good cheer (take courage be confident, certain, undaunted)! For I have overcome the world and deprived it of power to harm you and conquered it for you,” (John 16:33 Amp.).
In scripture we read about many godly men and women who were harassed and persecuted. Classic examples are of course David facing Goliath and Jehoshaphat facing a coalition army of Moabites and Ammonites.
Let’s see what we can learn from these 2 godly men and how they overcame their enemies.
In 1 Samuel 17: 46 David spoke confidently to the Philistine giant: “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will smite you and cut off your head. And I will give the corpses of the army of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.”
Because of these prophetic words of David, Goliath was dead before he was struck by the stone and beheaded by the sword.
David knew there was power in the words of faith that he proclaimed. He had decreed the outcome of the fight before it took place. He knew that: “Death and life were in the power of his tongue,” (Prov. 18: 21). He also knew that: “ You shall decree a thing and it shall be established unto you, ” (Job 22:28).
The giant had no chance.
Similarly Jehoshaphat when facing foreign invading armies, listened to the prophetic word of Jahaziel: “Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s,” (2 Chron. 20:15 Amp.).
By faith the king: “appointed singers unto the Lord that they should praise the beauty of His holiness that went out in front of the army, and when they began to sing the Lord set ambushments and the enemies started destroying each other,” (2 Chron. 20:21,22).
That word from the prophet changed the whole spiritual landscape.
Jehoshaphat and the singers celebrated God’s power even before the battle.
Let’s return to the story of David’s victory. Here is the truth. Before Goliath, David was a shepherd looking after his father’s sheep. He was an unknown insignificant man. But after the victory he was given king Saul’s daughter in marriage and became a member of the king’s household.
Why? Because he had overcome the nation’s enemy the Philistine giant.
How can these Bible characters help us as we live our lives, centuries later?
If we study the book of Revelation, we find that God sent angel messengers to the 7 churches. Each time there were corrective words that needed to be obeyed, but what I want you to notice is that each time God made a promise to a particular set of believers.
At Ephesus: “To him that overcomes I will give to eat of the tree of life,” (Rev. 2:7).
At Smyrna: “He that overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death,” (Rev. 2:11).
At Pergamos: “To him that overcomes I will give to eat of hidden manna,” (Rev. 2:17).
At Thyatira: “And he that overcomes and keeps My Words to the end, I will give power over the nations,” (Rev.2:26).
At Sardis: “He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment and I will not blot his name out of the Book of Life and I will confess his name before the Father and before His angels,” (Rev.3: 5).
At Philadelphia: “He that overcomes I will make a pillar in the Temple of My God, and I will write upon him the Name of My God and the name of the city of My God, New Jerusalem,” (Rev. 3:12).
At Laodicea: “To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne, even as I overcame and am sat down with My Father in His Throne,” (Rev.3:21).
Just typing out these promises strengthens my resolve not to give up.
Did you notice that these ultimate promises of supply, protection and His presence were given to one type of believer, a special class of Christians.
They are called the overcomers.
Now to overcome we must have had to face enemies. David overcame the lion and the bear as a shepherd boy. Then he overcame the giant.
Jesus overcame death and the grave by the Resurrection. In fact : “He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death” (1 Cor. 15:25,26).
Now what about us, and the enemies we face in our everyday lives? Perhaps we have resented them and even considered them to be giants, too big to overcome.
Remember Jesus tells us to: “cheer up, for I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33).
David checked out what the person who killed Goliath would receive. He needed incentive to fuel his courage.
I have listed what we will receive from our wonderful Lord, if we take heart and be determined to see our “enemies as bread”(Num.14: 9 ) as Caleb did.
Caleb was a man of faith and was determined to take Jericho. He was an overcomer even at age 85.
Let’s adopt a new understanding of our enemies. Without them we have nothing to overcome. Face them with overcoming faith (1 John 5:4) and see them as mere stepping stones to God’s wonderful promises being ours. Because of them we can become overcomers.
“Thanks be to Christ Who always causes us to triumph,” (2 Cor. 2: 14).