“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
Many times in difficult situations we look to passages like this one to find hope, rest, and maybe even comfort in our trials. It is comforting to know that NOTHING shall separate us us from His love. That pure, unconditional love that served as the catalyst for Calvary; the love that caused the God of all eternity to robe Himself in flesh and to present Himself as a spotless lamb to redeem the souls of man, that love is inescapable! Deny it if you will, but He still loves you! Run from it if you must, but He still loves you! You may very well spend an eternity in Hell for rejecting His love, but rest assured the worst part of Hell will not be the fire, the spirits or Satan himself; it will be an understanding that God still loves you and you can never love Him back! That perfect love, the one that casts out fear, that love is available for you and for me! And there is nothing you or I can do to stop God from loving us!
As much as we acknowledge and accept God’s unconditional love, there is a cold reality that we are equated to sheep being led to a slaughter. The Apostle Paul captures our attention by proclaiming that nothing shall separate us from God’s eternal love; then he proceeds to define life… tribulation… distress… persecution… famine… nakedness (wanting)… peril… Life is tough! Yet this great Apostle doesn’t leave us with a vulnerable and defeated spirit, but he energizes our faith by emphatically declaring, “Nay, in ALL these things we are more than conquerors…”!
I have long and oft quoted this verse with little or no understanding of what it really implies. But last night as I was praying I felt the question began to stir in my spirit, “How am I MORE than a conqueror”? As I began to dig into this mystery I began to look into the word conqueror; it simply means to defeat or to subdue by force. It implies that the defeated adversary was weaker than you. History is filled with men who have wore the label of conqueror. Whether it was the Biblical accounts of Kings like Nebuchadnezzar, or Historical figures like Alexander the Great, we have plenty of examples of conquerors.
I have, as I’m sure many of you have, found myself in trials and struggles that I was able to conquer on my own! I have faced temptations that my will power was able to control and conquer. And that is the way it should be! Every Christian should develop spiritual muscles to be able to conquer things that try and trip us up. But in reality God doesn’t get much glory from that. There is a reason Moses wasn’t able to just stay in Egypt until he took his rightful place as Pharaoh and then simply pass a law to let Israel leave! God didn’t want the books to say “And Moses let the people go” he wanted it to read, “And God let the people go”! God doesn’t get much glory from the things we can do on our own.
There is a word in scripture, however, that implies dependance on God; overcomer. This word indicates that the defeated adversary was in fact stronger than you! You didn’t walk off of this battle field a conqueror, you found yourself on the other side of a trial that should’ve killed you as an overcomer! You’ve walked through cancer that the doctors said was incurable! You’ve walked through ugly divorces that should’ve wiped out your faith in God! You’ve walked through tragedy, pain and heartbreak; yet when the world expected to see another casualty of life they saw an overcomer! And you know, and they know God did this!
I realized what made me more than a conqueror, being an overcomer! Conquerors know the tactics and the skill they used to win their battles; yet when people look at us they understand, “And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb…” I don’t have to depend on my talent, my strength or my abilities to be successful! God is fighting for me! You may feel overwhelmed and like your fighting to stay above water, but rest assured you are more than a conqueror through Him that loved us! It’s not your power that will deliver you, it’s His power!
We are more than conquerors!