Word of the Month

Overcoming

February 2011

Overcoming is a major theme in Revelation. In the letters to the seven churches, great promises are given to those who overcome. They are crowned by the assurance: “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son” (Revelation 21:7) If we consider what it means to inherit all things, we might be tempted to conclude that overcoming has to do with monumental matters or with battles for which we must summon up all our strength.

But the more we occupy ourselves with the idea of overcoming, the more we come to the conclusion that it has more to do with the little things. After all, it is usually not the big, malicious habits we have, but rather our very ordinary human mode of conduct which often does not coincide with the will of God and must be overcome. Let us consider Moses, for example. When God called him to lead the people of Israel, he had reservations – a completely human reaction. Today in professional life people often speak of “sceptics” or “objectors” – people who have to voice their objections and reservations about everything. The Lord would not hear of Moses’ objections at the time. Scripture even relates that He became angry at Moses. Moses simply had to overcome his reservations and objections.

When God calls there is no room for objections or reservations. Let us simply do what He asks of us.

Let us look at ourselves for a moment when we are asked to help with something in the congregation, maybe with a particular project. Don’t we often think: “Why me? Others would be much better suited to this job!”

Take the parable in which Jesus told of the man who sent out servants to invite his friends to a great supper. How did the invited guests react? “We would gladly come, but we still have this and that to do. Perhaps later, but not now … It just doesn’t fit into my schedule at the moment.”

What about today? Is this not a highly relevant topic? The Lord lets us know in very clear terms what does not please Him: lukewarmness, indecision, hesitation and procrastination, objections … But when He calls us, all of these things must be overcome unconditionally. One more thought: overcoming is like a door—perhaps we have to make an effort in order to open it. But once we have managed to get through it we will experience God in very special fashion: He will grant us an abundance of blessing!          

(From a divine service by the Chief Apostle)

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