Monday, September 23, 2013

Surviving is Good. Overcoming is Better. ~ by @ShelleyHendrix


Put on all the armor that God supplies. In this way you can take a stand against the devil’s strategies. 

(Ephesians 6:11 GWT)

In one of our Church 4 Chicks series, "No Backing Down," we look at the reasons why we, as children of the Most High, can and should adopt a "no backing down" mindset in our lives. We all serve the same Commander and we all battle against the same enemy. Our enemy's strategies are powerful because he is powerful. He is smart. He has been around the block a few times. He is clever. He is tricky. He plays dirty. He doesn't respect the rules of warfare. He doesn't wait until we are spiritually mature or even physically mature to launch his assault. He hates you because he hates the Creator in whose image we were made.

Have you ever disliked a name because it reminded you of someone you didn't like? Can you imagine constantly running into someone who looked like the person you didn't like? We call this "transference," meaning you transfer onto one person or object the emotional response you actually have for someone or something else. For example, when I was pregnant and joyfully picking out names, I was absolutely opposed to naming any child of mine "Grant," because to me, Grant was a curly-haired boy who ate crayons and bit me. HARD! I still remember being 3 or 4 years old with crayon colored bite marks on my arms.

Your enemy and my enemy is on transference overload. When he sees you or me, He sees the object of his immeasurable hatred and envy. He hates God and therefore anything that resembles God. He hates God and therefore hates who God loves. He hates God, and therefore hates you. I wonder how Dr. Phil would handle a counseling session with THIS client! "How's that working for ya?"

Overcoming > Surviving

If you were at the live C4C session and heard the teaching or watched the video, you heard me say that you have an enemy, but it isn't God. You also heard me teach that, as believers, it is important to realize that Surviving is Good, but that Overcoming is Better! (You can watch the video from Week 4 at Church 4 Chicks on this topic at Go to the Media Page and when you launch it, simply scroll down to No Backing Down, Part 4.) When we realize who our true enemy is, and that his attacks against us are never without a major strategy involved, it behooves us to recognize how much more powerful Christ in us is and just how necessary it is that we begin to wear the right uniform to do battle--not to merely survive, but to overcome!!

In Ephesians 6:10-18, The Apostle Paul gives us an incredible strategy to take with us into each day's battles, and if we choose to cooperate with the Spirit living within us by "putting on" these pieces of armor each day, we'll be equipped to experience and enjoy the victory dance that follows.

You are more than a conqueror, not because of what you have done, but because of Christ who now lives in you! Let that sink in for a minute. Most of the time, we believe we are more than conquerors because of how well we wage war against our enemy and against temptation. We believe our ability to conquer has to do with something we DO, when the reality is that our being more than conquerors is something we BECAME when we accepted Christ as our personal savior.

We can choose to live as an overcomer or as a victim; we can choose to settle for being "survivors", but our identity is based on our birth, not upon our beliefs or our behavior. 

Simply Put:

Understanding WHO you are as a member of God's family helps us to live with purpose (overcome) without the pressure (to make ourselves overcomers by what we do). So when we read the passage in Ephesians 6, on the Full Armor, we see that these are pieces made available to us by our Heavenly Father that simply work in sync with what He has already done in us and what He does through us as we HUMBLY allow Him to do so. All of the pieces are held together by the belt of TRUTH. Humility* is like the "chain mail" worn underneath it all. It's the "underwear!" It's that item that is (supposed to remain) unseen by others, but worn regularly. As we "put" on humility first (recognize who God is and accept who He says we are as His children), we are equipped to put on the rest of the armor that offers us protection from the enemy and ensures us victory as we realize that we walk into every battle as OVERCOMERS because we belong to the One to whom victory is a done deal.

I'd say it's time to get dressed, wouldn't you?

*More on this idea can be found in the "Field Guide" which can be purchased at online store. Original post from Fall 2012.

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