Exposing and Overcoming Our Enemies: The World, the Flesh and the Devil

Moving from Wounded Survivors to Holy Overcomers

How do healing and overcoming relate? If we don’t understand our enemies, and learn to overcome them, they can keep us from receiving the healing God has for us and experiencing the abundant life God has for us now.

What is “Overcoming”

Overcoming our enemies is not necessarily removal of them. While in this life, we will have tribulation. Even though Jesus overcame temptation in the wilderness, He continued to face and overcome it on a daily basis. This is why we must shift our view of our life here on earth. We are not here just to hang on until we are rescued, but we are here to embrace this opportunity to learn to live as overcomers. Overcoming is not accepting the mountain in front of us, but learning how to traverse, conquer, go around, through, under or over it, or even removing it altogether. It is through overcoming that our most valuable changes are made.

Overcoming Confirms that Our Identity has Changed from Wounded to Overcomer

The first part of the overcoming process is to uncover our wounds so we can be healed. As this process unfolds, it can become consuming, taking up all of our time, energy, and focus. But just as we are not forgiven sinners but are saints, we are also not wounded victims, but overcoming sons. Being healed of our wounds is a process we must learn and move on from, not make our home there. Healing is not a goal in and of itself, but a freeing experience to prepare us for something else.

As Overcomers We Learn to Live, Move and Have Our Being (Not Our “Doing”) in the Spirit

Learning to walk in the spirit is not as hard as it is sometimes made out to be. As we go through the healing process, God is faithful to provide each of us with exactly what we need to learn to depend on Him. Our focus needs to remain on living out of our new identity as spirit beings, not on getting healed.

Overcoming Reveals Healing

Learning to live as Overcomers reveals our healing. Often God heals us without our knowledge until after the fact. As we change our focus from getting healed to living whole lives, God will deliberately put us into situations which would previously have been painful, in order to reveal our healed wounds. Our willingness to be wounded again gives God the opportunity to reveal His work in our lives. We also learn to depend on His acceptance, as we learn to accept failure without taking it personally, and be willing to try again. We learn we can survive losing, etc., so we can see how far we’ve come, which in turn provides encouragement that God will continue to provide healing as we continue to depend.

Overcomers Learn to Prevent Unnecessary Future Wounds

As we learn to walk in dependence, we overcome the enemies that made us vulnerable to unnecessary wounding. Though we will be rejected and wounded in this life, much of the injury that is inflicted is not necessary, but permitted by the Lord in order to give us the opportunity to overcome. As we daily join Him in what He is doing in our lives, He reveals how we, as individuals, get wounded in the first place. Most wounds come from believing lies, so the Lord reveals Truth. Remember, though, that God loves us and has everything under control, and is working out every circumstance in our lives to bring us into the fulfillment of His purposes. As we overcome, we learn to see things from His perspective, and move from believing He loves us to knowing He loves us.

Overcomers Learn Dependence

Overcoming is the part of the healing process of struggle and warfare in which we learn to depend on Jesus for training, strategy, strength, and leadership. God will not let us overcome our enemies (He has already overcome His enemies) in our own strength. As we are wounded, part of God’s purpose for us now is to learn how to go to Him to get healed. We learn to hear His voice, learn to be led and directed by Him. We learn to recognize and submit to the sovereignty, authority and control of God over our lives.

Overcomers Learn to Live as Whole Beings

Most of the time when we think of getting healed we understandably think about getting relief from our pain. But getting healed also involves learning to live as healed, healthy, whole beings. As we learn to cooperate with Him, giving Him the time and attention necessary, we begin to believe the truth—what He says about us—and begin to truly walk and live in the freely dependent relationship He desires for us.

Overcomer’s Behavior Begins to Line Up with God’s Behavior

With freedom comes responsibility. As we are healed, and we are changed more and more into His likeness, His expectations of our involvement and commitment increase. As a child grows, his skill and judgment improves, and he takes on greater and riskier responsibilities within the family. Likewise in our relationship with God, the more we are dependent on Him, the more like Him we become in our soul and body. And the more He desires our involvement in His plans for this time.

Overcomers Know the Truth, Not Just Believe the Right Things

Our healing will not depend on believing the right things, but by knowing the Truth. In order to be healed we must be willing to change our beliefs. Remember that most of what we believe we inherited or received from someone else, not necessarily from the Lord. That which is from Him will stand up to scrutiny. He wants us to challenge our beliefs and to test them to see if they stand up to questioning. If they don’t, we must release them, regardless of the consequences. As we do this, we may find that much of what we believe is due to our temperament, our friends, our history and what satisfies our flesh. So as we change our beliefs, our perceptions about all of these will likely be affected. But if we want to be overcomers, if we want to win the battles we are going to be engaged in anyway, we have to use the right weapons on the real battlefields.

Overcomers Count the Cost and Pay the Price

Becoming healed, free and dependent on God costs a lot. But it costs far more to remain in bondage, especially once we have been faced with an opportunity to come out of our prison. As we become more and more free to grow up into His likeness—His character that is already within us—we become more and more willing to give up that which He requires, and take on the responsibilities He delegates. Overcomers also learn to redeem the time, not only learning how to effectively go to the Lord to get healed, but realizing that when we are healed, we can engage in His activities; we embrace His purpose for us now with the realization that the more we can get done now, during this time period here on earth, the better it is for us.

Overcomers Experience the Satisfaction, Contentment and Rest of a Job Well Done

Especially in the times we live in, more and more Christians are awakening to the realization that what they’ve been valuing is transitory after all. Very often God’s values are not our values. The more we learn to walk by the spirit, the more we begin to value what He values—His Son living His life in and through us. Our victory is tied to His Love, not our behavior, productivity or perfect beliefs.

Exposing Our Enemies

The first step in overcoming our enemies is to learn to expose, or uncover them. Many Christians find this one of the hardest aspects of the healing process because it takes a level of self-objectivity that we’re not used to embracing on our own. Neither do most of us have those around us that we can trust to provide that objectivity. We can proceed with confidence, however, realizing that He who has begun this work in us IS trustworthy and objective, sometimes relentlessly so. You have already agreed with Him that you want your enemies brought into the light so they can be dealt with.

Remember also that as we learn to depend on His life within us, He will tune our spiritual and soulical senses in order to be able to distinguish between the various kinds of enemies we face. Each of our enemies requires a somewhat different approach, so we want to be especially sensitive to His leading in this. In all these areas, recognize and SUBMIT to the sovereignty and total control of God, constantly reminding yourself that He loves you, accepts you and values you NOW!

Our Enemies

For our purposes, an enemy is anything that opposes God’s will in our life. As we’ve discussed before, these enemies fall into three main categories: the world, the flesh and the devil. Each of us has unique wounds, and therefore have unique needs for healing. Likewise, we are each affected by our enemies in unique ways, so though our individual weapons will have elements in common, our warfare is not “one size fits all.”

Jesus has Overcome All His Enemies; We Must, Through Dependence, Overcome Ours

As stated before, when Jesus was here on this earth he overcame the world and the devil. Because He didn’t have any unhealed wounds, and always knew where to go to get His needs met (His Father) He never formed any flesh. So though He is the Pattern Son in all other areas, He is not the pattern for how to overcome the flesh, only prevent it (so we know it can be done!).

Adapted from Getting Healed by Dianne Thomas