by Lawrence Powell
Nestled in the ancient text of 1 John 4 is a powerful principle for contemporary kingdom living. By this principle, we should live our lives, conduct our affairs and minister in the name of Jesus. It is found in verse 4: You are of God, little children, and have overcome them because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
This powerful verse begins with, You are of God, little children… That is emphatic: You are a child of God! It is very important that as a believer you know who you are. If you dont, then you will live far beneath your potential. Youll live like youre somebody else! When you do not know who you are in God, in Christ, Satan will try to keep you from accepting this kingdom principle. Hell work to convince you that youre weak, that youre a loser. Hell have you convinced theres no way out, that your situation is not redeemable. Hell tell you that the sickness attacking your body will be the end of you. But youre not powerless, friend — youre more than a conqueror. Youre a winner! Youre undefeatable!
The scripture goes on to say, You have overcome them. Who is them? This term actually refers to the Antichrist and the spirit of Antichrist, which is in the world. We know from words like antiperspirant that the prefix anti means that which is against, or that which is opposed to. So, antichrist means that which opposes Christ, that which is against Christ. So this spirit of Antichrist is Satan himself, the demonic realm, the demonic agenda, not just the Antichrist personified in End Times teachings.
The spirit of Antichrist will try to deceive you and lead you astray. It will invite you to accept human reason over godly reason, temporal evidence as the facts, but-Good News!-the real fact is you are an overcomer! You may have a treasure in an earthen vessel. Your outward man may be perishing, according to the Scriptures, but your inward man is being renewed day by day. Your body is not perfect: It ages (dont we know it!). But whats most important is who we are in the spirit. While you may stand bent over in pain before a mirror and shake your head at your frailty, God may look upon you as a powerhouse of prayer and faith in the midst of your storm!
John, in his epistle, makes it very clear why we are overcomers: Because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. Without Jesus in us, there is no overcoming. Theres nothing we can do to save ourselves. We cannot redeem the time or make things new. Theres simply no reason for us to be self-focused or think of ourselves as self-sufficient! No, wisdom declares that we need to be God-focused. God is mighty. He is the One who can save. And He is greater than anything we will ever come against.
It is important to know who you are. Its also extremely important that you know who God is. How big is your God? How great is He? If you see Him as distant or distracted, how will His greatness reach you? If you see Him as too big for your problems, how will you cry out to Him for help? Likewise, if you see Him as a spiritual shadow, how will you have confidence that He can do anything for you? If Hes just a religious figure like Buddha or Muhammad, how can He do for you what you need to be done?
The Scriptures tell us many things about God: He is a Self-revealing God. From the opening statement in the book of Genesis, He reveals His nature to man: In the beginning, God… The Hebrew word is Elohim, the Creator God, the self-existent, eternal and righteous God. If we saw God for who He is, we wouldnt get so discouraged by the evil and godlessness of our culture. If we could keep the greatness of God before our eyes, wed be gripped by His awesome reality. Like the Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 3:18, if we saw the greatness of God, we would be changed from one degree of glory to the next.
God is omnipotent (all-powerful, almighty); He is omnipresent (everywhere present); He is omniscient (all-knowing). He is eternal, self-existent. God is self-sufficient. He doesnt need anybody else. He can actually do it all on His own!
God is transcendent, beyond our ability to describe or fully comprehend. But although He is transcendent, He is also imminent. He is God with us. God is sovereign. God is salvation. God is love. He is holy and just. He is righteous. Everything He does is pure and right. Everything He says is truth.
God is good, and His mercy endures forever. God is faithful even when we are unfaithful. God is our Helper, a very real and present help in times of trouble. He is Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals us. He is a deliverer, a miracle-worker. And He is immutable (He never changes).
God is still on the throne, my friend! The only way Satan can ever defeat you is if you become ignorant of who you are in Christ. When you know really knowthat the Greater One resides inside you, then defeat is not an option. You will laugh without fear of the future.
We are seated together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, and everything that is under His feet is under our feet as well. When we stand in this truth, we will see victory in our battles. When we stand unified with our other brothers and sisters in the faith, well see the kingdom of darkness pushed back and the glory of God released into our communities, our businesses, our schools, our nation, and our world!
I hope you will evict the lies of the enemy from your life today: discouragement, unbelief, poverty, sicknessyouve got to go in Jesus name! Be of good courage, believer. Lift up your head and get back to doing what God has called you to do. Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world!
BY JESSICA DANG
Your answer to this question is crucial.
It can determine whether or not your life’s work is contributing to you living to your full potential. In his book Springboard, Wharton School Professor G. Richard Shell argues that this question is essential to finding personal meaning and satisfaction. And that’s not as simple as most people think.
To illustrate, imagine three people who have been working hard for several years — Alex, Ben, and Catherine.
- Alex has a job he does for the paycheck. He clocks in for the hours he’s supposed to, and he puts in the minimum effort to get the job done. Sure, he might perform relatively well in his role, or he might go through the motions of socializing with the people he works with, but he can’t help feeling like a cog in a machine. He puts up with it though, as he’s motivated by the security that comes with having a stable job and a steady paycheck. He doesn’t view his job as much more than a chore. ‘Life’ is what happens when he gets home after work and picks up his guitar, or on weekends when he can spend time with his partner. He is always wishing that it’s Friday already, and he dreads Monday mornings.
- Ben feels dedication and loyalty towards his career, and to an extent, his employer too. He sees himself progressing in his defined role, towards more status and responsibility. His pride in his job is apparent in how he introduces himself to others at parties: he says his name and what he does. He has spent countless hours building up his skills and knowledge within his field. He envisions himself in his manager’s position on a daily basis, and then progressing to his manager’s manager’s position, and so on. He works hard because he wants to be better, and sometimes he does things he doesn’t want to do, like work long hours, so that he can reach the ‘ideal’ future he envisions for himself.
- Catherine wouldn’t call what she does ‘work.’ She feels lucky to have found her calling, and to get paid for it too. She’s keen to get out of bed every morning, excited about what the day will bring. She genuinely feels that she is making a difference. There’s hardly such a thing as a holiday, because she just works whatever hours she feels like to get the job done, motivated by the knowledge that what she’s doing is worthwhile. She is able to express herself though her work — using that creative spark she’s had since she was a child. She spends every day in alignment with her values, which include serving the community, even in her own little way. Instead of a cog in a machine, she feels like she is the machine.
Who do you identify most with?
Notice that there isn’t any mention of each person’s pay or profession. Research conducted by Yale University Professor Amy Wrzesniewski showed that most randomly selected groups divide themselves up almost exactly into thirds, no matter what they do, or how much they are paid. Indeed, some people from exactly the same workplace felt differently about the same job. It’s not always so clear-cut.
For example, Ben could be a trainee lawyer who feels like he has his whole career ahead of him. He’s only worked for two years, and has shown promise. Maybe he’ll make partner one day, if he just works hard enough. He’s proud of his profession, even though the hours exhaust him. He would say that his career is his priority right now. His best friend in the next cubicle feels differently. He finds the work tedious and pointless.
Catherine could be a doctor working in a ward that is always full of sick children. She works long hours, sometimes with only a few hours of sleep, but it’s worth it if she gets to save lives. She can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s her calling. Yes, she earns a fair amount, but it’s not the money that’s most important to her. Last night, she was bonding with her best friend Karen about how much they love their jobs. Karen is an administrator for the local government.
You might imagine that most people on lower incomes would consider themselves as just having a ‘job,’ but down the hallway from Catherine the doctor, the janitor finishes up cleaning the floor. Nobody really pays attention to him, but if they did, they would hear him humming away happily. Even though his job can be tiring at times, he loves it because the ward needs to stay clean so that the doctors can properly do their jobs, and the janitor gets to do his part in saving lives. It’s his calling too.
In fact, people can feel differently about their work at different times in their lives, and their perceptions can shift over time as their personal lives change and they seek different goals than when they first started in a job. Ben could focus on his law career for 10 years, and then realize that he has sacrificed a lot for the sake of it. He loses sight of why he wanted to be a lawyer in the first place, and over the years his career has become just a job to him. Now he’s just doing it because he doesn’t know anything else, and the money is good, but perhaps there are more important things in life than living hard and fast. He’ll be looking for his calling soon.
It’s not easy to work out whether you have a job, a career, or a calling. Things that matter to you now might not matter as much later, and vice-versa. In the long run, only you will know what is right for you. If you’re lucky enough to find your calling — work that you enjoy and that can support you financially — then you are better than two-thirds of the people in the workforce. And you’re well on your way to finding success and happiness.