Several passages in Scripture stress the importance of being overcomers, but exactly what does that mean? At first glance, it seems a fairly simple thing to be an overcomer. For example, we read in 1 John 5:4,5: For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus [Yeshua] is the Son of God?
It might seem that all we need is faith that Yeshua is the Son of God. Ephesians 2:8 tells us that we have been delivered by grace through faith and that even our faith is a gift. This is all true (for Scripture does not lie). However, it is not the complete picture. Faith is more than a sentiment or a creed. Our faith must lead to action. Faith is a gift, but it matters greatly what we do with that gift.
Consider Yeshua’s words in Matthew 25:14-30. We believe that one of the “talents” we have been given is faith. We have also been given other gifts or “talents” corresponding with the purpose YHVH has for each of us in building His kingdom. It is not acceptable for us to bury our gift of faith or let it lay sleeping on a pew. Our faith must spur us into action.
Our faith begins inside, but it should at some point manifest outside as well. Are we becoming more like Yeshua in our attitudes and actions? 2 Corinthians 5:10 shows us that we are accountable: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ [Messiah], so that each one may be recompensed for their deeds in the body, according to what they have done, whether good or bad.”
So how do we become more like Yeshua? One clear statement is in Romans 12:1-2: “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind [soul]…”. The concept of renewing our minds seems abstract and difficult to accomplish. Several Scriptures help clarify this process: Ezra 10:11 – Honor the LORD [YHVH]…and do His will. Separate yourselves from the [worldly] people around you…; Ephesians 5:17 – Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is; I Peter 1:14 – As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance; and I John 2:15 – Do not love the world or anything in the world…
Psalm 103:5 tells us that: [YHVH] contents you with good as long as you live, so that your youth is renewed like an eagle’s.
What does it mean that our youth will be renewed like an eagle’s? An eagle can live up to 70 years, but only if at age 40 the eagle makes a very difficult decision. The eagle has to subject itself to a painful transformation. By age 40, the eagles talons are overgrown and inflexible, the feathers weigh down its wings, and its beak is too bent to be useful. So, over a period of 150 days, the eagle must pluck out beak, talons, and feathers and wait for replacement parts to grow in. He cannot eat and he is completely defenseless. If at any time, the eagle decides that this process is too troublesome, it can give up, but it will die. However, if the eagle persists and “overcomes,” it can regain its youth and live for another 30 years.
What about us? We also must make tough decisions and endure sometimes painful transformations. We must turn our backs on much that might seem desirable in this world and focus on our future with Yeshua. We may be asked to give up everything, even our lives. “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death” (Rev 12:11). However, if we overcome, we will have more than just an extra 30 years of life. We will have eternal life with YHVH. However, we will have much more than that, more than we can imagine.
He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels (Rev 3:5).
He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS; (Rev 2:26)