Every day around the world, we are each confronted by the presence and power of evil. Evil comes in various forms – some forces of evil from outside, and some from within ourselves. In most of the civilized world, evil has become more visible then it has ever been in my lifetime. Evil is out in the open for all to see. So how do we deal effectively with evil in order to defeat it?
I think if most of us were completely transparent, we’d admit that many of us don’t always succeed at overcoming evil – not because we don’t want to, but because we don’t know how.
I’m going to share from Scripture about the all-important “how.” How you can actually overcome evil. First it’s important that we focus on the full truth. As believers in Jesus and students of God’s Word we have two – and only two – options.
- We either overcome evil; or
- We are overcome by it.
It is not possible to harmlessly co-exist with evil. There is no room for neutrality on this subject. The apostle Paul presents these alternatives concisely in Romans 12:21 where he says “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21 (NKJV).
To overcome, one must be an overcomer – think like an overcomer, act like an overcomer. If evil is not resisted and overcome… then by default evil will overcome. Evil has authority in this world. And much like a weed that grows without cultivation, evil will take over without resistance that is from outside of this fallen kingdom. Only by overwhelming evil with good, does evil not prevail. It has to be one or the other.
These two forces are diametrically opposed and only one of them can dominate at a time. Just as light and darkness cannot coexist in the same space, evil and good cannot coexist. This has proven to be true in my own life. I must either overcome, or eventually I will be overcome.
There is a well-known phrase often quoted among airline accident investigators and professional pilot instructors. and having spent the majority of my adult life in both of these roles, it has special meaning to me. This phrase could easily be applied to understanding the ways of God. It goes like this, “Wise men learn from experience. But wiser men learn from the experience of others.”
If you want my opinion from more than 50 years of experience, it’s important to know that Scripture is true – even if we don’t presently understand something. “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock,” Matthew 7:24
The Bible is consistent that there are good and evil forces at work all around us continually. Just as we overcome fear with faith, bitterness with forgiveness, and hate with love – we see that there’s only one power in the universe strong enough to overcome evil. It is the power of good.
When an enemy attacks, we cannot attack back with equal or lessor force and expect to win. We must overwhelm our enemy with a greater force. Every force we will ever need to overcome has been made available to God’s people in sufficient supply. When we confront evil, it is necessary to overwhelm it with good that is more powerful than the evil that confronts us.
Where does that power come from? The only source of that goodness is God Himself. We must align ourselves with God so that we have access to His resources. We need connection to God’s wisdom and power. This means that God has placed at our disposal – in the here and now – the goodness of God.
It’s imperative to understand that everything that goes with God’s power and all the resources that flow from His goodness, are revealed to us and made available to us through God’s written Word – the Holy Bible. This understanding is revealed only in an accurate translation of the Bible. No other book will do.
When we know and understand what the Bible teaches about accessing God’s power, we can become proficient in overcoming our enemy and resistant to any weapon he might use against us. The prophet Isaiah describes this scenario and the people for whom it is designed to work. It is a clear depiction of this superior power that is available to God’s faithful people. “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,’ Says the Lord.” Isaiah 54:17.
In the cockpit of a jet airliner, or military aircraft, warning lights are a standard feature. When something isn’t working properly, we see and sometimes hear, the warning “light” or warning “horn” that let’s us know there is a problem to address. Let me flash one at you right now. Caution: Bible translations are being hijacked now more than ever. This is a strategic plan from the enemy. Make sure the Bible you are reading is not a paraphrase or one that is a modern edition. Find a Bible that is as old as possible and study it well. God’s infallible word is full of power and truth and Satan is fighting fiercely to compromise the words inside God’s Holy Word.
When evil confronts us… and we look to the Bible for guidance and wisdom, we will find that there is one revelation from God’s Word which is a key to our entire conflict. If we don’t take hold of this key and use it; we will be continually frustrated and eventually defeated.
Now take careful note… the next few sentences contain this key from Scripture. This short and simple key is so vital and so very essential that you do well to memorize it. Are you ready? Here it is:
This evil that you are facing is not something – it is someone! Satan and his evil forces are beings that represent evil from start to finish. Deception and temptation are the tools of their trade. You are their target. They function from a spiritual dimension, so they are not usually visible. However, they are very real and effective in using people, circumstances and thoughts to attempt to control you. It is your choice whether you allow them access or resist in the authority of Jesus.
This truth is so simple that most people don’t recognize it or accept it. But God’s word is always true. Here it is again… Evil is not something – it is someone.
The name Satan means “one who resists or opposes” – that is, the one who resists and opposes God. He opposes God’s purposes and God’s people. As a believer and child of God, the one who opposes us is Satan. He is our adversary.
So whatever weapon Satan brings against you, the root of it is evil. How do we overcome evil? With good. Everything from God is good. He has given us all we need to overcome – but we must walk in it. 1 John 4:4 tells us, “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.”
You remain in our hearts and prayers. Remember, with God nothing is impossible!
Dale & Paula
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