But You Are Not the Conqueror
You edit your words and proofread your conversations. You fear not being enough or not being able to fill a space.
If that's you, me too.
It's okay to be a total mess and not have it all figured out. It's okay to show up with an empty brokenness.
Thank you for showing up even when the score board is more of your losses and less of your wins. You aren't defined by your circumstances. You aren't your struggles. You aren't less, because of what you are going through.
You are more than a conqueror.
I don't know your story, but I know that we all struggle through things -- eating disorders, anxiety, depression, a slow season, and stressful season, grief, abuse, and loss. Just because your problems don't seem visible doesn't mean that you aren't valuable. Declare who God is even when the hurt is trying to define who you are.
You are more than a conqueror.
Romans 8:31-39 //
"What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
I love how this verse starts with the question "how do we respond to these things?". "Things" is referring to our daily battles, our victories, any encounters. Respond with the same grace that Christ gives us.
You are more than a conqueror because no longer does sin rule you. No longer can struggles cage us in. No longer are we imprisoned by our guilt or shame. You are more than a conqueror, but you aren't the Conqueror.
I feel like I have heard a lot of sermons where the speaker is amping up the crowd by yelling "YOU ARE MORE THAN A CONQUEROR. YOU ARE MORE THAN CONQUEROR!" in an Oprah sounding manner. Yeah, that speech definitely makes us walk out of that building with puffed up chests, but Romans 8 is not giving glory to us.
I got this verse permanently penned on my skin to remind me of the fact that I am not conquered by my circumstances.
This verse is in invitation to place your confidence in our Conqueror and Peacemaker.
This verse is not giving glory to us for being above our sin and completely forgiven. This verse is giving glory to the God who did that for us. This verse is less about our victory and more about our Victor. We are given a new found grace when we fully place our confidence and love in Him. Our story doesn't stop there. It doesn't stop at "oh, I was in a low valley and then accepted God into my heart and then everything mellowed out there". It continues after that.
We are overwhelmingly victorious over our struggles.
Yes, we are going to face struggles even when we say yes to loving God and loving on people, but we will have a certainty that His goodness is constant. We can now approach every new season with the confidence that our God has got this.
I love that God included in the Bible little pep talks to us. Imagine God saying to you "hey, sweet child. You aren't your struggle, because I now name you more than a conqueror, because I conqueror that for you". I don't know about you, but that gives my heart a little lift.
So here are your reminders
1. You are not the Conqueror, God is.
1 John 5:4 // "For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
Remember to give that glory to our wonderful God. He OVERCAME it all, and I am just in awe of that. Never lose your wonder for His amazing grace.
2. Your pain is conquered.
I get it, pain. It hurts. It feels like it never ends, but I promise you that nothing in the world is eternal. Don't take it from me, take it from the Word.
2 Corinthians 4:18 // "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
It's okay to hurt and cry out to God. Don't feel like your pain doesn't matter, because God hurts with you.
3. Your story still has pages to be turned. This is only a chapter.
Testimonies don't just end at "I got saved and now everything is A-Okay". Your story isn't just your story. Its the story of how our Creator saves and continues to save. As Christians, we are going to be drawn into deep waters and encounter so much brokenness. Over and over again, God is going to reveal to you why all of this life is worth it. He's going to reveal His grace and His love through difficult seasons. He's going to show you rest in slow seasons. He is going to continue to write of how He redeems.
4. Your anxieties, fears, and self doubts don't rule you.
I have a fear of not being enough or filling a space. I have a fear of people not liking me or thinking poorly of me, but guess what. Those fears and self doubts don't have power over me unless I give them power. His perfect love drives out the power of anxiety and fear.
1 John 4:18 // “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
5. You aren't loved more or less because of your talents or abilities.
You are loved, because you are more than enough and are more than a conqueror. You are loved, because Jesus fills that space for us.
As more than conquerors, let's give the glory whose perfect love made us that.