We prevailed at work today with the help of Icee!! How awesome is that when the neighbor of the place you are working at just happens to own an Icee truck and calls you over for free drinks!
Speaking of overcomers...it is an interesting discovery to find out that the Greek word most often translated “overcomer” stems from the word ‘nike’ that means to carry out the victory! We see the word overcomer often used in Revelation as a message to the church to endure, to fight the good fight so to speak, to not give in to weakness and temptation. Paul also referenced being an overcomer in Romans 8 and the power we have through the indwelling Holy Spirit to experience the victory personally!
At Church at the Manor, we have been pressing on through the themes of each book of the Bible and we just completed Nehemiah. When I look at the life of Nehemiah and how he led the remnant from exile to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in 52 days, that deserves a nike swoosh for overcoming!!
Here are three things that I see from his life that are so worth emulating.
Overcomers start with a battle cry! Nehemiah 1:1-11
It is a battle cry of desperation for change, a battle cry of confession. For Nehemiah it included a time of weeping and fasting. The situation that he faced was dire. There was no concern for the welfare of the city, no focus on the bigger picture of rebuilding the nation, no awe of the LORD.
He readied himself and absolutely came out of this time knowing who his God was!
“O, LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keep his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands.” Nehemiah 1:5
I know there are defining moments in my life personally that I have come through and are a result of intense time of prayer and getting on my knees with the LORD. I look back on my journal and recognize the powerful hand of God over the whole situation and how my resilience and awareness was solidified in those moments. Often when we get into difficult times and situations, it is so easy to bail. However, when we have gone through a time when our calling was clarified and crystallized, we have the impetus to press on!
Overcomers aren’t sidelined by negativity. Nehemiah 4:2-7
You don’t have to look far to find realists in your life. These are the people who like to bring you “back to reality” They often mean well, but it is not well for you. They are quick to remind you of your past failures and mistakes. The like to say things like ‘past performance determines future behavior’ and the like. They are often condemning voices from others and those voices are also planted by the enemy in your own thought process.
Here is what those voices shouted to Nehemiah and the children of Israel.
Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building—even a fox climbing up on it would break down their wall of stones!” Nehemiah 4:3
As Neil Anderson says every time you are faced with temptation to give up or give in you are on the threshold of a decision. There is that moment when the negative thought enters your mind, that you have a choice to either dwell on it or refuse it and throw it into the trash can so to speak. Romans 12:2 “be transformed by the renewing of your mind!” When the enemy tries to derail you, you are in the moment to overcome, to follow through, to persevere on your God-given focus, dream or plan.
Overcomers know how to celebrate victories!
So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God. Nehemiah 6:15,16
There was a huge victory celebration following the improbable success of the Israelites under the leadership of Nehemiah. Ezra read the law, they confessed their sins and a time of praise and blessing to God followed.
Where are the places that you are seeing growth in your life? What are the changes that you are encountering? Take time to celebrate, to give thanks to God and celebrate what He is doing NOW!!
Last week we had a FLASH hot dog BBQ in the Willow and Dawson area of Guelph inspired by Sharon. We know that there is a lot of subsidized apartments as well as new immigrants that live here. One of the things that I celebrated was how our Manor peeps were involved in giving and being part of the volunteer team doing the BBQ and handing out over 200 hot dogs, playing with children, making conversations and face-painting. The event was a success, but what struck me was the joy I saw on the faces of those who served! It was also a great time to also join arms with other churches and ministries including Move In Ministry and Kingdom Life Church. It was a fantastic evening of love, joy and serving!!