Introduction: He Who Overcomes

Rev 2:7
To the one overcoming, I will give him authority to eat from the tree of life which is in the paradise of God.

Rev 2:11
The one overcoming will never be harmed by the second death.

Rev 2:17
To the one overcoming I will give him some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white pebble. And having been written upon the pebble is a new name which no one knows except the one receiving it.

Rev 2:26-28
And the one overcoming and the one keeping my works until the end–I will give him authority over the nations.  And he will shepherd them with an iron rod like clay vessels are broken to pieces, as I also have received from My Father. And I will give him the morning star.

Rev 3:5
The one overcoming will in this manner clothe himself in white garments, and I will never wipe out his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

Rev 3:12
The one overcoming, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will never go outside again, and I will write upon him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem–the one coming down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.

Rev 3:21
The one overcoming–I will given him authority to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

If you’ve been going to any kind of decent church or been part of a loving, committed fellowship for any length of time, you’ve heard talk about overcoming sins and rising up to the call of God on your life.  Along those lines, a lot has been written and said in this area of sexual purity.  Many people have put out great material that has helped lots of men and women cleanse their hearts and draw closer to God.  In other words, by no means is this the only insight out there.

What you are about to read, however, became known to me as I progressed toward my own victory, and there are some truths I discovered along the way that no one else told me.  God used other people to teach me a lot, but some of this came by His Spirit directly to my heart as I started to put my faith into action, as James encourages us all to do in the course of living as a Christian, not just talking like one.

Some of what you are about to read, then, may surprise you, and you may not hear it anywhere else.  Some of it, most definitely, others have also taught, and probably better than I will.  With that said, let’s dive in.

Freedom is fought for.  It is not handed to us.  As I said earlier, God gives us the seeds of freedom when we receive salvation from His work on the cross.  He initiates it.  But we have to respond, and cultivate our faith, and pursue and hunger for righteousness and truth.  Otherwise the seed that was planted withers on the rocks, and gets choked by the thorns.

Overcoming sin is your eternal destiny.  Those verses from Revelation inspire awe and wonder in me.  When we set our minds on eternal things, those are the things that await us.  I’m not going to pretend I know what all of that means, but just reading it gives me a sense of how important I am to God.  And not just how important I am, but my holiness.  God called me to a great and eternal purpose that is so far above the stupid, worthless pleasures too many get distracted by in this world.  How do our hearts fail to be captivated by this?

To overcome the enslavement to sin, you must make a series of decisions.  These are not steps; they are not choices; they are not suggestions.  They must be faith-based decisions that you decide to believe and accept as the truth from God.  And quality decisions such as these must be put into practice.  I’m talking about a fundamental shift in lifestyle.  Your routine must change.  Your perspective must alter.  Your image of God must conform to what is revealed about Him in the Bible.  You must make Him Lord of your entire life, and this is not done with the TV on, music playing in the background, and your cell phone on waiting to receive a reply to your last text.  Turn off all the crap, and get serious about your future.  Your spiritual future (and those of all the people you have influence over) is the only future that matters.  Remember what we read at the beginning: Set your mind and heart on things above, not on earthly things.  We have died to ourselves, and our lives are now hidden with Christ.  Therefore, we put to death whatever belongs to our earthly nature.

So here are six Decisions you must reorganize your life around if you desire freedom from sin and to fully inherit all that God has made available to you.  These are meant to be taken in order, and they cannot be made in five minutes.

To fully engage with each Decision requires you to reflect, study, and wrestle with the ideas.  It requires you to pray about them, to apply them to your own life, your own struggles.  I only know my own experiences and the snippets from people I know or have read about.  Only you know all your details.

I’m saying all this so you don’t make the mistake of mentally agreeing with each Decision and then getting discouraged when your life doesn’t change.  This is a shift in your entire way of thinking, of what it means to be a Christian, to follow Christ, to make Him Lord, and to walk with Him.  You must examine yourself, expose your soul, and leave nothing hidden.  This is spiritual disembowelment.

So if you have been fighting this battle and have known nothing but failure, take heart, take courage, and don’t avoid any of the details.  When David was near death, his final words to Solomon, who would succeed him as king, were this:

I Kings 2:2,3
Be strong, therefore, and show yourself a man. Keep the charge of the Lord your God. (NAS)

You are about to embark on a new path, a new way to live.  You are passing from a way of slavery and bondage that doesn’t give life to a way of freedom and good fruit.  This is what it means to be a man of God.