12/20 1 John 5:4

4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith.

John described the world as consisting of the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). In our verse for today he is telling us that those who have been born again have overcome the world. That does not mean that these temptations do not affect us, but rather that they do not dominate us (1 John 1:8-9; 2:1). We have the power from God to be victorious over the control of what John calls "the world."

Our faith in Jesus and His work for us on the cross is the source of our victory. When we know we are forgiven, we don't accept condemnation (Romans 8:1). Instead, we look to the power of the Holy Spirit to strengthen us and help us resist temptation in our own areas of weakness. We find someone to hold us accountable. Our increasing knowledge of God causes us to love Him more and weakens the power of temptation. When we allow Him to fill our hearts, the power of temptation is weakened and our faith in Him is strengthened.

John saw that the world was not just a setting in which we live out our lives, but a battleground for the souls of men. The world, under the power of Satan, entices us to destruction, while God is constantly working in the hearts and minds of each one of us to draw us to His love. The only way to overcome is to surrender to the love of God and grow in faith.

Consider: Do you see the war raging in your own life and the lives of those around you? Has your faith made you an overcomer?