A Call to Arms: This Won't be Easy

Day 40 - May 7 / Elder John Tanner

Romans 12:21

"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

Talk about some marching orders.  You could almost view this as Paul giving us “the how” to Jesus’ “what.”

The What (from Jesus): Make disciples.

The How (from Paul): Overcome evil with good.

Both are directives, for sure.  The first reads like marching orders; the next like the beginnings of a more specific battle plan.  

In the word, “overcome,” you have the image of a struggle.  You know this isn’t going to be easy.  There are two very real forces at work, and we’re called to act consistently on the side of good.  

It sounds daunting, doesn’t it?  Who wants to go to war with evil?  Probably no one, unless of course their eyes are focused on one essential truth:

The outcome has already been decided.  

Jesus has already been made victorious over sin and death.  He’s reigning now and coming soon.  He’s the very essence of good, and He’s given us His Spirit and His people to equip us for the battles that will rage between now and His return.

So Paul gets even more granular with the battle plan here in Romans 12.  And this is where we need to slow down and ask ourselves some questions:

To what degree am I…...

abhorring what is evil (we can’t overcome evil, if we also love it)?
holding fast to what is good (yep, that means clinging to with all our strength)?
outdoing others in showing honor?
contributing to the needs of the saints?
never being wise in my own sight?

Don’t rush through this list (and note that this is just a sampling of what’s included in the passage).

These are the actions involved with overcoming evil with good, the good things to put on (and a few bad ones to put off).  This is work.  It will go on until glory.  Nothing exempts us from this call, from continuing on at all costs: not our age, not our position, not our circumstances.  We have our orders, and the battle plan is clear.  

Evil loses, but it’s not done yet.  Fight the good fight. Stand strong.  Overcome.  When you fall down, pray for grace; repent, if necessary; beg for grace to get back up and into the fight.  Bloody lips and broken noses and all.  Hey, no one said it was going to be easy.  It’s a battle, Church.

Do not grow weary.  Do not turn back.  Persevere.
Prayer Points:
  • Pray for strength to keep fighting until the end.
  • Repent over where you don't hate evil or cling to good.
  • Rejoice! The eternal battle has been won; Jesus is reigning.
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