Overcome - Song Devotional

Overcome - Song Devotional

Jon Egan

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“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” (Revelation 12:10, 11, NIV)

When we think of “overcoming” we usually picture an underdog fighting against the odds - a hard-fought triumph that comes from positive thinking, superhuman effort and clever strategy. We see it over and over in football, movies and paperbacks.

But that’s not the picture of overcoming we see here in Revelation 12 - the passage on which the song ‘Overcome’ (by Jon Egan) is based.

How did “the salvation and the power and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ” overcome the accuser? It was done in a most unlikely way. Consider what Paul says in Philippians:

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5-8, NIV)

There are significant parallels between Revelation 12 and Philippians 2. Jesus overcame because even though He was God, He didn’t grasp, but rather laid aside, His rights. He made Himself nothing, was poured out in humility in obedience to the Father and suffered in becoming human and enduring death on a cross. In fact, Hebrews 5:8 says that Jesus learned obedience by what He suffered.

Therefore, God gave Him all authority and His life, death and resurrection were followed by His ascension to the Father’s right hand. It is from there that He calls to us:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20, NIV)

The song puts it this way:

Seated above, enthroned in the Father's love
Destined to die, poured out for all mankind
God's only Son, perfect and spotless One
He never sinned, but suffered as if He did…

Power in hand, speaking the Father's plan
Sending us out, light in this broken land

Jesus offers us His power, lays out the Father’s plan, and calls us to go. We’re not just to bask in His overwhelming victory; we are called to take part in it, to go out ourselves.

Jesus calls us to lay aside our rights and be poured out, to empty ourselves in obedience and to possibly suffer for His sake…by His authority. The Greek word translated “authority” in both passages is exousia, which means both authority and power to act. He sends us out and assures us His presence and power will go with us.

Jesus looked as though He was defeated, but was not. We will overcome in the same way: being humble, getting involved and going by His strength.

That’s the story of the saints in Revelation 12:11: They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. “The blood of the Lamb” - the finished work of Christ, defeating death and the power of hell. “The word of their testimony” - the Greek word translated “testimony” is martyria. It’s the word from which we get martyr - those witnesses to the victory of God who refused to shrink from death.

We are called to be those who overcome the accuser by humility, obedience and action. We are called to be the light of the world as we follow the One who is that light. We are called to step out of our comfort zones as He did, trusting in the authority He gives us to reach beyond and serve in His love. This is costly, incarnate love.

He overcame and so will we - by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. If we go with “power in hand, speaking the Father’s plan” - we will see the salvation, power and the Kingdom of God.

For thought…
• What is your call to go, your mission field? Overseas? Across the street, across town, in the next seat or in the next office? Or, just stepping out of your comfort zone?
• What are you grasping hold of that you need to be emptied of? What do you need to lay aside? Where are you loving your life too much?
• What other songs do you have in your repertoire that describe or encourage this kind of obedience, radical action in Jesus name and uncommon acts of compassion?

By Fred J. Heumann

Copyright 2014 Integrity Music, part of the David C Cook family

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