“But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV).
Friend To Friend
My brother was about four years old when he decided to grab a box of matches and a handful of sparklers to see how they worked. He had heard that sparklers worked best in the dark, so he went into the darkest place at Grandma’s house he could find … her wardrobe closet.
Grandma didn’t have any closets in her house, so she kept all of her hang up clothes in the large wooden stand alone closet. My brother snuck into the darkness, crouched amongst the dresses and coats, and lit the first match. The sparklers immediately began shooting fiery pops in all directions. Within moments, Stewart noticed more than just the sparklers were on fire. Grandma’s clothes were up in flames.
I’m happy to say that Stewart wasn’t harmed, unless you count the spanking he got from Grandma on his behind.
Friends, we don’t have to go into a closet to find the darkness. It is waiting for us the moment we step out the front door, turn on the television, or listen to the 6:00 o’clock news. The world is full of darkness at every turn.
What exactly is the world? In the Bible, there are several definitions. One definition refers to all the people on the earth: “For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son (John 3:16). In some instances, the word “world” refers to planet earth itself.
Other times “world” refers to the world systems, values, and morals. Paul refers to these world systems when he says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world,” (Romans 12:2). Jesus said that the “world” hated him and we shouldn’t be surprised if it hates us as well (John 15:18, 19). Both refer to the world systems, values, or ways of thinking.
The Bible also tells us “that the whole world is under the control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). It seems like we are “splitting hairs” here. But when we consider the power of the enemy and the pull of the world systems, they are almost one in the same. Right now, the world systems are being heavily influenced by the evil one.
But here’s the hope! Jesus said, “But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). As long as we live in the world, we will feel its pull, but God assures us that we have what it takes to “overcome the world” (1 John 5:4, 5). We have the power of the Holy Spirit living in us and faith in the Victor who works through us.
Dear Heavenly Father, all around me I see the world trying to pull me away from You. Through movies, television shows, magazines and billboards, the world tries to pull me into a self-centered existence concerned with fulfilling my own selfish desires. But praise God! You have given me the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome the world! I don’t have to be drawn in and seduced by the temporary trappings of this world. I am more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus and I can keep my mind focused on things of eternal worth! Thank You, Lord.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
What are some ways “the world” tries to pull you away from God?
Are there any areas of your life that you need to change to keep that from happening? Are there any movies or television programs that leave you feeling distant from God? Books that you read that leave you feeling yucky inside? Any activities or relationships that need to come to a halt?
You can do it! If God calls you to it, He will see you through it! But He does require participation on your part.
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The Bible says our struggle is against the world, the flesh, and the devil. If you would like to learn more about how to live a life of victory and be an over comer in all three areas, then you’ll want to see Sharon’s book, I’m Not Good Enough …and Other Lies Women Tell Themselves.