Overcomers: Declaring Future Victory as a Past-Tense Fact

by | Jul 9, 2021 | Spiritual Growth

Discover Your Spiritual Identity: The Revelation of the Names and Titles God Has Given His People

In his ancient treatise on military strategy titled The Art of War, famed Chinese general Sun Tzu taught that no army should ever attack an enemy on higher ground. Prior to our salvation, unfortunately, the archenemy of the human race—the prince of darkness—actually was on higher ground, spiritually speaking—and for one primary reason. Adam had relinquished the authority of this realm to the wicked one when the fall took place.

Thank God, this shifted dramatically when Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven. At that glorious moment, He was exalted “far above” all things, so that “all things” are now “under his feet” (Eph. 1:21-22). When we submit to His Lordship and align with His will, we are immediately escorted to this same place of supremacy—an ascended status—seated with Christ in heavenly places (see Eph. 2:6).

Now, all things are under our feet as well, but to live in this amazing portion of our inheritance, we must seize it by faith. If we overcome the doubts and fears that are so rampant in this realm, we obtain an unspeakable gift—sharing the throne of Jesus Christ: the position of power, authority, dominion, victory and rest. There is no place of greater triumph to be found in this vast universe. The following promise from the resurrected Messiah reveals this insight:

“And I shall grant the overcomer to sit with me on my throne, just as I have overcome and I sit with my Father on his throne” (Rev. 3:21, ABPE).

Such a lofty pledge is not just poetical hyperbole; it is powerful, prophetic truth.

Our Multifaceted Source of Overcoming Power

The first step toward living in this portion of our inheritance is developing the mindset of an overcomer. There is no better example than Caleb’s attitude as compared to the 10 spies who brought back a negative report concerning the promised land. With fear-filled hearts and trembling voices, they spoke about the troubling prospect of fighting giants and the impossibility of managing such a large land mass. But Caleb’s words penetrated the atmosphere in the meeting, like polished arrows shot from a spiritual bow:

“Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it” (Num. 13:30).

Do you realize how absurd that statement was in the natural? The Israelites had been slaves their entire lives, so they were used to cowering in fear. They had no military training and no experience on the battlefield. As far as we know—and this is a big one—they had no weaponry. The old saying is, “Three strikes and you’re out!” Naturally speaking, defeat seemed inevitable. But Caleb knew a secret: Their ability to overcome rested solely on God’s ordained purpose, His supernatural intervention, and His intention to finish the work He started.

In like manner, Jesus prophesied victory in the face of overwhelming opposition. Before He even went to the cross, before He was laid in the tomb, confidently, He spoke of “overcoming” in past tense terms. Because He knew resurrection was the predetermined purpose of the Father, instead of saying, “I will overcome the world,” He boldly declared, “I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Are you ready for this? Those who walk with the resurrected Savior can speak with the same level of blessed assurance. The following declarations clearly indicate that we can claim victory, one way or the other, before we even face the battles that are yet to unfold. Our “overcoming” is spoken of in past-tense terms:

“I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one” (1 John 2:14).

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God … You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:1, 4).

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4).

These three passages of Scripture have one primary thing in common. They declare that we already have overcome—even before we wrestle with any negative circumstances or demonic attacks yet to manifest. An English teacher once told me that technically these passages are not in the past tense but the present perfect tense. I quickly reminded him that I had been out of high school long enough to conveniently forget that quirky grammatical concept. He explained, “Present perfect tense refers to something that has happened in the past but continues into the present (and the implication is that it will continue on into the future as well). In other words, this victory is a ‘done deal.’ We can believe that because of four ‘abiding’ truths revealed in the Scriptures we just read”:

— The written Word of God abides in us—Having been “begotten … with the Word of truth,” God’s Word is inseparably a part of our nature now (James 1:18, JUB). Moreover, the truth inside of us is far more powerful than any evil and deceptive maneuverings of Satan outside of us. So, no matter what the enemy does in the future, we’ve already conquered him.

— The living Word also abides in us and “greater is He”—so all the demonic strategies yet to be wrought against us are doomed to failure in the end because none of them can withstand the power and authority of the Son of God.

— We have been born of God (born of the Spirit), and the Holy Spirit abides in us—so in union with Him, we are in a position of spiritual authority over every other spirit and all their diabolical attempts to subvert our cause will fail in the end (see Rom. 8:28).

— Faith abides in us—and our God is “the author and finisher” of that faith (Heb. 12:2).

By these four “indwellings,” we have been firmly placed in a position of spiritual supremacy—and that will always be the case. So our “overcoming” status is assured, and we can boldly declare it in advance. If he lived today—and if he understood spiritual matters—Sun Tzu would smile and nod his head in agreement.

Listen to this episode of Discover Your Spiritual Identity with Mike Shreve on Charisma Podcast Network to learn more about overcoming through Christ. {eoa}

Mike Shreve has taught on the spiritual identity of believers for over 30 years. This powerful revelation is featured on his weekly podcast on cpnshows.com and a weekly TV program on “It’s Supernatural Network” (ISN)—both titled Discover Your Spiritual Identity (also posted weekly on YouTube here). It is also the theme of his Charisma House book titled WHO AM I? Dynamic Declarations of Who You Are in Christ. A product of the Jesus movement era, Mike has traveled evangelistically in the United States and overseas since 1970 with an added emphasis on healing and the prophetic.

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