Focus: Renewing your commitment to be an overcomer
Ephesians 4:22-24 (NKJV) …Put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
True overcoming never ends. It’s an ongoing process that continues every day of your life. Overcoming starts on your day of decision. It begins at the point when you say, ‘I surrender all’.
What was ‘all’ for you the first day, will seem like nothing as time goes by. What is ‘all’ for you today, will not be ‘all’ for you tomorrow. If you are an overcomer today—you won’t be tomorrow, unless you continue to make the decision day by day, to overcome.
The Bible refers to your former conduct, or the person you were in the past, as your ‘old man’—in other words, your ‘old man’ is who you were before you came to know Christ. Of course the term ‘man’ means ‘mankind’, including men and women.
The person you became and are constantly becoming is a ‘new man’. According to God, at the point of surrender, you are recreated in true righteousness and holiness.
It’s not that all of a sudden you become this person who is altogether righteous and holy in your own strength—as much as you might like to be—but that the Blood of Jesus Christ covers all your wrongdoing and makes you into a brand new person with a whole new life. The past is forgotten to God.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.
It’s a beautiful thing, when you get to the point where you can say, ‘it’s been a year’. Even better, when it’s been five years or ten. But no matter how the time passes, it is accomplished ‘one day at a time’, as you make the daily decision to continue surrendering your ways to God.
Jesus said in Luke 9:23, …”If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” It’s clear that what Jesus was saying is that following Him involves a ‘daily decision’. ‘Taking up his cross’ means the willingness to ‘die’ to ourselves. Having to take up the cross ‘daily’, implies that the willingness to be an overcomer and leave our former ways, is an ongoing decision.
Following Jesus is the best way to become a true overcomer, according to the next three verses in Luke chapter 9.
‘For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My Words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels (Luke 9:24-26).’
You might think you’re not ashamed of Jesus or His teachings, or the Word of God—but if you are more concerned with pleasing people than pleasing God, and if you’re more interested in worldly pleasures than the pleasure of friendship with God—the verses above say that Jesus will be ashamed of you, in return.
Continuing to live in worldly ways gives no guarantee that you will ‘gain the whole world’ at all. For most people, it’s just the opposite. When you put Christ last on your list, you will be more likely to fail—if not on earth—then for sure in eternity.
Hopefully, your love for the Lord would give you the strength to be faithful in your commitment to be an overcomer. It’s one thing to surrender out of fear and obligation—but another to surrender out of love and gratitude. Love and gratitude are what we should have in our hearts, if we keep in mind the sacrifices Jesus made in our behalf.
He didn’t do all that He did just to purchase a ticket to heaven for you. He gave His life as a ransom for your soul so that He could share eternity with you.
Declaration: I will find new strength by continuing to renew my commitment as an overcomer. I will make the decision to follow Christ daily because of my love and gratitude—not out of fear and obligation.
All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee as of the date they were written and posted. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog. This material will be published as a book at the end of 2012, by the grace of God.To subscribe to New Strength, select ‘follow’ in the upper left corner of this page.
For music selections that will help bring hope and encouragement during your recovery from depression and addiction, browse: http://www.youtube.com/user/NewStrengthMusic/videos?view=1