1 John 5:3-4
This is what loving God means: it means keeping his commandments. His commandments, what’s more, are no trouble, because everything that is fathered by God conquers the world.
This is the victory that conquers the world: our faith.
To the person born only of the world, God’s commands are intolerably burdensome, even ridiculous-sounding.
But for those who have been born of God (born from above, born again, regenerated) the commands are an easy yoke.
Because, as we said the other day, we have been given a new nature upon the abandoning surrender of our lives to God through Jesus. And with this new nature and faith, the attractions of the world that would be obstacles to obedience, are conquered.
“The new birth is a supernatural event which takes us out of the sphere of the world, where Satan rules, into the family of God….The spell of the old life has been broken. The fascination of the world has lost its appeal,” says John Stott in his commentary on these verses.
The Christian can enjoy continuous victory over the world because obstacles have all been conquered by Jesus Christ, and the power that raised Him from the dead is now available for our use against temptation and spiritual harm.
Now please note that the word victory implies that there is a battle. It does not mean that everyday is cuddly kittens and bright flowers.
But everyday can be victory over the evil one, IF we use our divine weapons instead of our worldly ones.
Some of our main divine weapons are prayer, Scripture meditation, partnership with other Spirit-filled believers, and of course, faith—which we might say better as trust or reliance.
When we use these weapons in total dependence upon the work and person of Jesus Christ, we will walk in the light and victory promised us.
But we must remember that our ways are not God’s ways, and that the road may not look how we think it will look, or even at times, how we want it to look. But if we trust in the goodness and power of God over our own, we will win the daily battles.
I think it’s easy to pray, but then go away thinking and feeling it is still up to me to do most of the work on my own. That’s a recipe for frustrating failure. It is when I confess my weakness and inability to do what needs to be done, and trust that God will do for me what I cannot do myself, that I receive supernatural help and victory.
One example of many I could share is this: Years ago my wife was out of town for over a week, and I woke up one morning so exhausted from daily helping our daughters get ready for school, dropping them off, going to work, getting them, making dinner, etc—I was single-parenting for a week. Lying in bed, I calmly prayed, “Lord please help me this morning to be patient, give me the strength I need to help the girls out. I trust you to do this, I just don’t have it in me this morning.” I arose from bed to go downstairs and wake them up, and before I took a step away from my bed, I hear Gabriela at the bottom of the stairs, “Hey daddy, guess what?” I opened my bedroom door to the most wonderful sight. “We got up early and got dressed ourselves!” Thank you, Jesus! They had never woken up before me nor completely dressed themselves until this moment. Praise God.
Confidence in the divine human person of Jesus is the one weapon against which neither the error, nor the evil, nor the force of the world can prevail. ~John Stott