We think of love as a feeling.
God says that love is more than a feeling. It’s a feeling followed up by action. When we love God, our actions will align with his will. It becomes not a burden, but a joy to follow God’s commands.
Being obedient to God is no longer a “have to.” It’s a “get to” for the one who loves God.
This is all because spiritually, we’ve been reborn. This rebirth gives us a changed heart, a new state of mind, and a will to no longer be a victim of the world.
We have victory over the world through faith in Christ. Instead of victims, we are overcomers.
As people of our culture, we relate well to putting an end to the victim mentality, taking responsibility and being on a heroic quest to overcome. This is a cultural narrative that we live with, and most of us simply assume it to be the truest and best way to live.
Be aware, however, there’s a huge twist. In our culture, victory over the world is achieved when we vigorously go after and subsequently accomplish our own individual hopes and desires. In this narrative, we are heroes on a quest to actualize our dreams. We are only overcomers if we make an outstanding effort, find our true selves, and in this way fulfill our heroic quest.
John the apostle teaches a completely different way to overcome. It begins with understanding that Jesus is the true hero. And the quest is actually his. He made the outstanding effort to overcome the world by first allowing the world to seemingly overcome him. His quest was to seek us, and save us: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10, NIV).
It’s really quite beautiful. We don’t have to be victims anymore. We can be overcomers from now on!
And it’s really quite simple. We overcome the world when we are attached, by faith, to the One Who Overcame the World.
“In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 5:3-5, NIV).
Lord Jesus, thank you for overcoming the world on my behalf. Grant me your Spirit so that I can trust you, stop being a victim and overcome with you. I know you love me, and with your help, I want to obey your commands so that I can thank you for all you’ve done for me.
Our Bible reading for Saturday, December 5, is Daniel 11:36 – 12:13, 1 John 5:1-21 and Psalm 139:1-10.
Header image based on "Me rappeling." by Mike Petrucci, CC By-SA 2.0