Bible Devotions

Overcome the World

What does this saying “overcome the world” mean?  Why should believers understand it?

First John 2:15-17 NKJV says “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.  And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”  If we love the world, the love of God is not in us.  The world is full of things not of God; therefore, we believers must overcome the world.

What does overcome mean?  From here are a few definitions using “overcome” in the verb tense:

1. to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; conquer; defeat: to overcome the enemy.


2. to prevail over (opposition, a debility, temptations, etc.); surmount: to overcome one’s weaknesses.


3. to overpower or overwhelm in body or mind, as does liquor, a drug, exertion, or emotion: I was overcome with grief.


4. Archaic. to overspread or overrun.

–verb (used without object)

5. to gain the victory; win; conquer: a plan to overcome by any means possible.

It seems that overcome is to defeat our enemy or our weakness and conquer.  Who wouldn’t want to conquer their enemies and weaknesses?

Okay, so how do we overcome? 1 John 5:5 says “Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”   How simple it is!  Believe in Jesus the Son of God.  That’s it.  For Jesus even said “Be of good cheer I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).   When we believe in Jesus, His spirit takes of residence within us.  First John 4:4 says “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world”.

First John 3 is all about abiding in God.  When we abide in Him, He abides in us.  We demonstrate we abide in Him by practicing righteousness.  “Let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7).  We overcome evil with good, by loving one another as Christ loved us.

The born again believer of Jesus Christ is delivered from sin and abides in Him and the wicked one can’t touch him (1 John 5:18).  Praise God!   Are you ready to overcome the world?  Believe and you receive was you ask for.

Lord, thank you for your victory.  We have overcome the world when we believe in You.  Thank you for your spirit to guide us in your truth and love.  In Jesus’ name Amen. 

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God’s Victory

Read Judges 7:1-8

Previously enemies were coming against Gideon.  Many of the tribes had come to Gideon to help fight the enemy.  But the Lord said there are too many people with you.  Israel may claim glory for itself against Me saying “my own hand has saved me.”

So Gideon says to the troups “anyone fearful and afraid can go home now.” Twenty-two thousand people left and only ten thousand remained.  But the Lord says there are still too many.  Bring them down to the water and I will test them.  I will tell you who will go and who will not go says the Lord.

All the people went down to the water to get a drink.  Gideon watched.  The Lord says those who lap the water like a dog will go with you. Those who cup the water and drink from their hands may go home.  Strange little test, don’t you think? Only three hundred mean lapped the water like a dog.  Everyone else went home.

This is an important point to remember.  If Gideon had too much resource to fight, the people would believe they conquered the enemy by their own strength rather than rely on God.  With only 300 men, how could they say “we did this on our own”?

God gets the victory.  God does the delivering.  To make sure the people can’t claim it was their own doing, God strips them down to a few hundred. We don’t know how many people the enemy had on their side, except for the statement in verse 12 saying they were as numerous as the lucusts and their camels as the sand by the seashore in multitude. So there were too many to count.

Even with thirty thousand mean it would not have been an evenly matched battle.  But God wants them to know victory comes from Him alone.  God pares down the number to ten thousand men.  Yet that’s still too many.  Rather than let the people pick their strongest, bravest men, God tests them with an unrelated activity – how they get a drink of water.

Now, they’re down to only three hundred men against an enemy as numerous as the locusts.  In human terms, there is no way they could overcome the enemy in hand to hand combat.  But that’s not what God has planned.

What have you been trying to accomplish on your own power?  Stop, listen. God is with you.  He will provide the victory when you allow Him to do it His way.

God Almighty, your ways are higher than our ways.  You have a plan you will carry it out.  You even invite us to be part of the plan if we trust you to carry it out. Thank you for your faithfulness.  Thank you for the victory.  In Jesus’ name Amen.

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©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade.  Author of and websites she has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.