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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Victory over Conflict

"For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith" (1 John 5:4 NIV).

When he described the "world" John used the word "kosmos." The "kosmos" depicts a system that is warped by sin and opposed to God. We live in perpetual conflict with that system. The good news is believers are not subject to its power and influence because we are born of God.

The life we receive from Him enables us to live in victory over all the corruption around us. Some of us have interpreted this to mean our victory is up to us. Now that we are born of God, we presume we are to sweat, struggle, and resist the influence of the world with all our might. We feel certain our victory depends on us and our efforts. It doesn't. We resist the world and the devil, but that is because we are empowered by our faith in Jesus.

It is easy to couple faith with other things. I saw a picture of a cat hanging onto a bowl with a caption: "Faith isn't faith until it's all you're holding onto." Our faith means we can place our confidence entirely in Jesus and what He's done for us.

John makes the point that our faith is the sole reason for our triumph over the world, the flesh, and the devil. The next verse helps define that faith. "Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." (1 John 5:5 NIV). Our victory is due to our faith in Jesus as the Son of God. When we trust who He is and what He did for us we simply can't lose.

My wife, Gwen, did the premarital counseling and I performed the wedding for a Navy Seal and his fiancée. He lived a life of violence and was constantly in danger of death. Twice he was wounded so badly his heart stopped beating and both times medics brought him back.

He told us the most painful moment in his life: he held his friend in his arms while his friend died. They had been laying landmines in a South American country to hinder the movement of Communist guerillas. After they laid the land mines, they saw a young girl wandering aimlessly toward the minefield. They raced to her and saved her, but his friend was blown up by a landmine.

We were wandering helplessly in a minefield and Jesus took the full effect of danger so we could live. We have all lived in danger, but Jesus came to our rescue. He died so we can live. Our victory is assured because Jesus died to save us and give us the gift of life.

Copyright © Wally Odum 2014, used with permission.

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