To him who overcomes
Another pattern the Lord established when speaking to the churches was leaving promises for the overcomers in each church. Not all were overcomers, but His ultimate call was to those individuals. So, becoming an overcomer should be a basic devotion.
Who are the overcomers? They are the ones who overcome. However, we cannot be an overcomer unless we have something to overcome. In the seven churches, we can be sure that they were the ones who overcame the issues the Lord had against their particular church. However, it is more than that. The ones who overcome the big issues of their times are almost always those with established patterns of overcoming all things. That includes the little things, the big things, and their carnal nature.
While looking down on a river from an airplane, you can see it make so many twists and turns that it travels many times the distance to get from beginning to end. That’s because water follows the path of least resistance. Many Christian’s lives look like this because they are prone to following the path of least resistance. This is the opposite of an overcomer’s nature.
The demeanor and resolve of an overcomer is basic to the Christian discipline, keeping us on the path of life. By nature, an overcomer does not quit or allow themselves to be diverted by obstacles—they face them and they overcome.
Contrary to this, many Christians often testify that something is obviously from the Lord because of how easy it was. This is only true for the immature and spiritual infants. The biblical testimony is that anything that comes too easy or too fast is usually insignificant. Look at the lives in Scripture that were truly significant.
If we read our Bibles, we know this—but not many Christians read their Bibles because it’s hard. Something rare or hard to get to makes it a treasure. The treasures of God’s Word are hard to get to, seemingly acting as a filter designed to keep out those not truly serious about knowing the Lord and His will.
We are coming to times that will filter out all without the essential devotion to the Lord and His will. This will be evidenced by their resolve to overcome any obstacle to know His will and do it. If the Lord wanted things to be easy for us, He could have bound the devil immediately after His resurrection. He could have prohibited the birth or maturity of all of the evil ones. He could have kept the enemy from sowing tares in the midst of His wheat. He did not do these things because He does not want it to be easy for those He is preparing to rule and reign with Him.
It is no accident that the Lord begins the revelation given to John by speaking to the overcomers. Only those with the heart of an overcomer will understand the rest of the revelation. Those prone to looking for the easy way out and only listening to things that “tickle their ears” will not be able to understand much of what follows in this revelation.
In Christ, our greatest weaknesses can become our greatest strengths when we have overcome them. One biblical testimony about this is the story of King David’s victory over the Jebusites. The Jebusites mocked David, saying that even the blind and cripple among them could defeat him (see II Samuel 5). David not only conquered the Jebusites, but made their capital, Jerusalem, his capital. He also made it his stronghold, naming the high point Zion, meaning “fortress.” The message is this: the thing mocking us can turn into our fortress of strength when we have overcome it.