This morning, I feel a little bit like the demoniac after his healing, in Mark 5:15, in my right mind once again. You see, I let satan get to me yesterday. He always seems to use technology. First, my newsletter broadcast program that I use in my business took over 50 minutes to send out a three line email. Every time I would try to send, it would either give an error message that the request was taking too long to complete and I had to try again, or it would say it didn’t recognize my log in credentials and make me log in again. After logging in at least three times in over half an hour, I started getting frustrated. Finally, however, the broadcast sent, and all was right in the world, right? Wrong. The broadcast program’s help desk told me I should switch to Firebox from Explorer, so we did it on both computers in the office. Cathy’s worked just fine. Mine didn’t. We did the exact same thing. But satan had his eye on me. I finally decided to save that for another day. Now all was right in the world, right? Wrong. Satan was being persistent. He then managed to have an attempted phone repair in the neighborhood wipe out our rollover phone line in the office, so if line one was busy, line two wouldn’t ring. Instead, our customer’s got directed to the phone company’s voice mail answering system, but we can’t even retrieve their messages until after a repairman comes later today. By now, I was fuming. Totally lost it. Words completely unbefitting a Christian were coming out of my mouth, loudly and often. Yikes…
Those of you who read my column know that I have a morning prayer routine that includes confessing my sins of the day before. And then I really did something brave. I asked God to challenge me again today so I could have a chance to beat satan at his own game. For my morning Bible study, I decided to give myself a lesson on overcoming, so I would be prepared when the lesson comes. I got out my Strong’s Concordance and looked up all the verses that talk about overcoming. For good measure, I checked which Greek word it was and used my Lexicon so I could pick up the verses that used the same word translated into different English words, like “prevailed” and “got victory”.
Let me backtrack just a bit. I usually start my Bible study reading a Psalm aloud as another prayer. Usually random – open and pick one that is in front of me. God arranged a wonderful one for me this morning, because it had a recipe for overcoming. Psalm 105:1-5 tells us to give thanks, call upon God, make his deeds known, sing unto him, talk of his wondrous works, glory in his holy name, rejoice, seek him and his strength, and remember his marvelous works. Nothing that I didn’t already know, but something of which God knew I needed to be reminded.
Then I sat forth to really look at everything I could about overcoming. Revelation 21:7 tells us that “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” Clearly, we should all strive to overcome the sin in our lives based on this text. 1 John 5:4-5 remind us that we overcome by our faith, and by belief that Jesus is the Son of God. 1 John 2:14 links having the word of God abiding in us to overcoming. In fact, First John is a lot about overcoming. In Chapter 4, verse 4, it talks about overcoming because “greater is he that is in you (Christ), than he that is in the world (satan).” Another important verse about overcoming is Revelation 12:11, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
So I came away from my Bible study singing praises, and being washed afresh in the blood of the Lamb, ready for satan to try to repeat his victory over me so I could be an overcomer. And the good news is that, even with my challenge, satan is afraid to even try to mess with me thus far today. It reminded me of a quote my dear friend Dora sent in an email recently, which I didn’t save, so I don’t recall to whom I should attribute it, but it was something like “Pray each morning in such a way that when you get out of bed, satan will tremble and say to himself ‘oh, no, she’s awake!’”