Mar 5, 2014

We Will Overcome

This is our Story

We all wrestle at some point, or what feels like constantly, with a daemon—our self, another person, a messenger from Satan, maybe even an angel of God. There are so many questions, so many uncertainties—so many frustrations. Life is full of struggle: disappointment, heartache, more confusion.

Each thorn in my side is a distraction that I do not want. It hurts. It steals my resolve, sometimes even suffocates my courage. Fear preys upon the soul persistently, tearing off bits of flesh while I gasp for air under the weight of its heavy talons. Life is suffering.

And yet the self is not as strong as I think; the other person just as insecure, the demon less cunning, the angel more benevolent. There are so many answers, so many certainties. Life is full of hope: Love, the Spirit of God that is joy—confidence born from the faith of courage. Life is warfare, suffering translated to passion.

“The war that we’re fighting has already been won.”[1]

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.”[2] The prince of this world, the Enemy, “the accuser”, Lucifer, has been overcome. Human frailty has been overcome. That wound—that broken identity, that lust, that distraction, that thorn, that fear—everything has been overcome.

How? How is this possible?

Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God. The “I am.” YHWH.

God knows exactly what our suffering is. He knows it because he lived it. He knows physical suffering. He knows the questions, the hatred, the rejection, the abandonment that devastates us. He knows all of it. He knows it better. And he overcame it. Death is crushed under the feet of Jesus, feet that were pierced by a nail on a cross. With a heart burning with the purpose of the Kingdom of Heaven, he rose from the dead, and gazed at the injustice of the world as a conqueror. Nature groans. It is overcome. The echo of God’s coming cracks the enemy’s spiritual strongholds—gravestones, a stone blocking the tomb. They crumble. The enemy is overcome. The defenses of our hearts shudder at the song of Jesus’ love. We are overcome. Everything is overcome.

Therefore, we who answer the call of Jesus to follow him, who surrender control of our concerns at the foot of his lordship: the stable, the river, the mountain, the cross, the empty tomb; before the Throne of God, we can find hope. I can embrace it in intimacy, cherish it, let it rise within me to overflow from a heart saturated with the love of Jesus’ vision; until it is ignited with the passion of God’s victory. That through His call for me to live in faith and obedience, the Holy Spirit thus quenches the thirst of others and warms the cold of cultural conventionality.

I will overcome by the blood of Jesus and the word of my testimony. You will overcome. We will overcome.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is our Song

For me, “Overcome” is one of the most inspiring worship stories that I have ever participated in.

I heartily encourage you to take twelve minutes to listen to it completely through, uninterrupted, reflectively, prayerfully. Turn the volume up to eleven. Listen to the words. But before you do . . .

I realize that on the surface, at first, the song may sound like any other U2-influenced, Hillsong-esque worship song. At a glance, it may seem like another pretentious example of charismatic emotional mongering. It may seem like many things, or nothing. And without a story, you would be absolutely right.

But there is a story.

Below the surface, there is the story of a church called New Life in Colorado Springs, Colorado that was racked by a scandal concerning its founder and lead pastor. There is a story of a church that, having just found some healing, lost two of its young members on campus to a gunman. This church knows hardship. It knows uncertainty, painful change. It knows what it means to stand united, arms locked together, backs to the fire, and face the night. They know what it means to overcome. In this life, in its chapters, in its days. “Overcome” is its anthem.

“Overcome” is its anthem because, still further beneath the surface, churns another current—another story. More expansive and mysterious than the Church, it is the Kingdom of God. It is the story of God’s love for humanity, for each of us. It is Jesus. Nothing can overcome that love. Nothing. Therefore, we will not be defeated. We will rise. We will stand. We will overcome. To God be all glory, now and forever. Amen.

Now listen . . .

[1] Sleeping at Last, “Dreamlife”, Keep No Score (2006).
[2] Revelation 12:11a (The Bible, King James Version)

1 comment:

Ramona said...

Wow! Beautifully written. Full of encouragement. Full of power. Makes me feel like I am part of a great battle with the knowledge of victory. Swords raised, shields united. Standing for what is right. Standing for His kingdom.