What Does "Overcoming" Look Like?

The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will permit him to eat from the tree of life that is in the paradise of God.’ Rev 2.7 NET

Frustration. That’s what I wrestle with most. I want things I don’t have – I want things I can’t have – I want still more things that I shouldn’t even want. It is just maddening to see other people filled with what they want, while I’m frustrated and empty.

I’m so frustrated right now, I don’t even have any idea what not being frustrated would look like, what it would feel like. I’m so tangled up, backwards-and-inside-out, that I could just scream!

Maybe looking at the book full of blessings for those who overcome – those who conquer – will give me an idea of what ‘overcoming’ really looks like. Because I know right now, I have no idea.

Does overcoming look like a huge rally in Washington, D.C., where a bloviating demagogue summons me to water down what little Christianity I’ve got a handle on, use it to spike the punch of the civil religion? “In God We Trust – as long as He gives us a reasonable rate of return?”

Does overcoming look like an old man rallying his followers to set off a worldwide conflagration of hatred, instead of living such a marvelous and beautiful life that people burn their own scrolls?

Does overcoming look like saying inflammatory things to boost your popularity?

Does it look like a cluelessly fumbling wanna-be writer telling people what to do and how to live, pretending he’s got a CLUE what he’s talking about?

I dunno – but whatever overcoming looks like, I know this much: once you get there, you need to eat from the tree of life. God’s blessings in Revelation seem to come to heal the wounds we take in this life. So what kind of life does overcoming look like, that I would need to eat that fruit? Is that the kind of life I want to follow?

Anyone else fighting with frustration?

in HIS love,

nick

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About Nick Gill

orphan-poet-adoptee-soldier-prodigal-servant-husband- counselor-desperate seeker after my Father's face "I feel my body weakened by the years as people turn to gods of cruel design. Is it that they fear the pain of death, or is it that they fear the joy of life?" - Toad the Wet Sprocket

Posted on 7 September, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I think many can relate to this level of frustration these days. “Overcome” must be the word of the week. I was hiking on Mt Peak (here in Enumclaw, WA) this last weekend spending time talking with God. I asked him how I can overcome and immediately had the thought of “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” So this week I’ve been doing whatever good I can think of to see what overcoming looks like. BTW, as soon as that verse came to mind, the sun came through an opening in the clouds (doesn’t happen that much around here). I’ll pray you get some answers on this one.
    By His grace,
    Tom

    • Thank you, Tom – and welcome to our family here at Fumbling Towards Eternity. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us – you don’t know how encouraging it is to know that someone else is wrestling with the same questions. Seeing Abba’s faithfulness to you lends me strength to endure.

  2. I feel your pain!

    Maybe overcoming is admitting our powerlessness and resting in God’s promises. He’ll sort them out. Because we are so earthy, we focus on people. The truth is our battles are not with people but with spiritual foes and we can only deal with them in the power of His might and not our own.

    I really appreciate your transparency and willingness to try to help others know Christ. Keep up doing what you do best, being Nick for God!

    Royce

    • Thanks, Royce – your encouragement always strengthens me.

      I’m sick of being powerless – I want to sock Glenn Beck and Terry Jones right in the KISSER! Didn’t Paul tell Timothy that we were not given a spirit of fear, but of love, and power, and self-con…

      Oh wait. Yeah. Heh. That love-power-selfcontrol synergy is gonna look AWESOME if I ever really submit to it. I’d say balance rather than synergy, but balance in my mind looks too much like 33% of each, and I want 100% of each in a living give-and-take relationship where it is their distinctness-and-yet-combination that is so lovely and awesome!

  3. Nick,
    Revelation 12:11 says, “But they overcame him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.”

    I am not sure that if a Saint doesn’t feel some measure of frustration between who they are currently in practice (and not just legally or positionally in Christ) and who they CAN be by covenant promise… I’m not sure they are really following Jesus. Following Him by definition is a war over my will and we, as our big Brother did, learn obedience through the things we suffer in that war. (Heb. 5:8) But make no mistake… He does mean us to OVERCOME in real and tangible ways… to taste the powers of the coming age (Heb. 6:5). I don’t mean to cop out and give you links, but these have been been IMMENSELY helpful to me. I PROMISE you that they are worth your time.

    Short answer
    http://letters.jesuslifetogether.com/For-Deliverance

    Longer answer (but very worth it!)
    http://books.jesuslifetogether.com/Foundations-Series/Sickle/You-Can-Overcome

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