More Than Conquerors

By: A.B. Simpson

In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us
(Romans 8:37).

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IT IS A GREAT THING TO BE A CONQUEROR in Christian life and conflict. It is
a much greater thing to be a conqueror “in all these things” the apostle
names-a great host of trials, troubles and woes. But what does it mean to be
“more than conqueror”?

It means a person will have a decisive victory. There are some victories
that cost nearly as much as defeats, and for us to endure more than a few of
such victories would surely destroy us. There are some battles that have to
be fought again and again, and we become exhausted with ceaseless strife.
Many Christians are kept in constant warfare, because they lack the courage
to venture into a bold and final contest to end the strife by a decisive
victory. It is a blessing to so die that we are dead indeed to sin. Real joy
comes when we completely sever that last strand of our reluctance to obey
God. True peace will never come until we say such an absolute no to the
enemy that he will never repeat the solicitation.

There are, in this world’s history, battles that are so decisive that they
settle the future of an empire or of a world. We have such battles too. But
God is able to give us the grace to so win in a few encounters that there
will be no doubt about the side on which the victory falls, and there is no
danger of the contest ever being renewed. Other battles we may have and will
have. But surely it is possible for us to settle the questions that meet us,
one by one, and settle them forever.

Have you been weakened by your indecisiveness in your views of truth, in
your steps of faith, in your refusals of temptation, in your surrender to
God, in your consecration to His service and obedience to His special call?
Perhaps you have been uncertain enough to keep the question open and tempt
the adversary to continue to press the conflict. We read in God’s Word after
Joshua’s bold triumphs or David’s well-fought battles: “Then the land had
rest from war” (Joshua 14:15), “The Lord had given him rest from all his
enemies” (2 Samuel 7:1). In the same way, we will have rest by becoming
“more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

Breaking the enemy’s power

To be more than conqueror means that we may have such complete victory that
it will eventually break the adversary’s power. It will not only defend us
from his attacks but effectively weaken and destroy his strength. This is
one of the purposes of temptation. We can work together with God in
destroying evil. Of Joshua’s battles we read that “It was the Lord himself
who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that he might
destroy them totally” (Joshua 11:20). It was not enough for Israel to beat
them off and be saved from their attacks. God wanted them exterminated.

In like manner, when God allows the enemy to appear in our lives, it is that
we may do him irreparable and eternal injury, thus glorifying God! For this
purpose, God frequently brings to light in our own lives evils that were
concealed, not that they might crush us, but that we might put them out of
the way. If not for their discovery and resistance, they might continue to
be hidden and some day break out with fatal effectiveness. God allows them
to be provoked into action in order to challenge our resistance and lead us
into an aggressive and victorious advance against them.

When we find anything in our hearts and lives that seems to threaten our
triumph or His work, let us remember this: God has allowed it to confront us
so that in His name, we might forever put it aside and render it powerless
to injure and oppose us again.

Are we thus fighting the good fight of faith? Are we resisting the devil and
rising up for God against those who oppose God? Do we look upon our
adversaries and obstacles as things that have come to crush us? Or do we see
them as things to be put aside, things that will become tributary to our
successes and our Master’s glory? If so, we will be “more than conquerors
through him who loved us.” Then, as Isaiah expressed it, “All who rage
against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will
be as nothing and perish. Though you search for your enemies, you will not
find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all” (Isaiah
41:11-12).

To be more than conqueror means also that we will have such a victory that
the battle will bring us benefits and contribute to our own and the Master’s
cause. It is possible, in a certain sense, to take our enemies as prisoners
and make them fight in our ranks, or at least to do the menial work of our
camp. Similarly, it is possible to get such good out of Satan’s assaults
that he will actually, though unintentionally, become our ally. Then, to his
eternal chagrin, he will find that he has actually been doing us some real
service.

Doubtless, he thought that when he stirred up Pharaoh to murder the little
Hebrew children, he was exterminating the race he so feared. But that act
brought Moses into Pharaoh’s house and raised up a deliverer for Israel who
would destroy Pharaoh. Surely that was being “more than conqueror!” Again,
Satan overmatched himself when he instigated Haman to build his lofty
gallows and then send forth the decree for Israel’s extermination. He had
the misery of seeing Haman hang on those same gallows and Israel utterly
delivered.

No doubt he put the Hebrew children into the blazing furnace and Daniel into
the den of lions thinking he had destroyed the last remnant of godliness on
the earth. But no, these heroes were “more than conquerors!” Not only did
they escape their destroyer, but their deliverance led to Nebuchadnezzar’s
proclamation that magnified the truth of God through the entire Babylonian
empire. In a similar way, Darius was prompted to recognize God throughout
all the regions of the still greater Persian empire.

Satan’s most audacious attempt was in the crucifixion of our Lord, and all
hell, no doubt, held high jubilee on that dark afternoon when Jesus sank
into death. But wait! The cross became the weapon by which Satan’s head was
bruised and by which his kingdom will yet be exterminated. God makes him
forge the very weapons of his own destruction and hurl thunderbolts that
will fall back upon his own head. In like manner, we may thus turn his
fiercest assaults to our own advantage and to the glory of our King!

Two things the Christian needs most are the power to believe and the power
to suffer, and these two things can be taught to us by the enemy. Not until
we are ready to sink beneath the pressure do we often learn the secret of
triumph. The Lord lets the devil act as drill sergeant in His army, teaching
His children the use of His spiritual weapons. You should, therefore,
“consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance”
(James 1:2-3).

This indeed is to be “more than conqueror”-learning lessons from the enemy
that will fit us for his next assaults. Then we can meet them without fear
of defeat. There are some things, though, that cannot be easily learned. Our
spiritual senses seem to require the pressure of difficulty and suffering to
awaken all their capacities and to constrain us to prove the full resources
of heavenly grace. God’s school of faith is always trial, and His school of
love is provocation and wrong.

Instead of murmuring against our lot and wondering why we are permitted to
be so tried, let us glorify God and put our adversary to shame. This will
wring a blessing from Satan’s hateful and hellish hostility, and we shall
find after a while that the enemy will be glad to let us alone for his own
sake, if not for ours.

The spoils are ours

To be “more than conqueror” means that we not only receive the victory but
the spoils of the victory as well. When Jehoshaphat’s army won their great
deliverance from the hordes of Moab and Ammon, it took them three days to
gather all the spoils from their enemies’ camps. When David captured the
camp of Ziklag’s destroyers, he won so vast a booty that he was able to send
rich presents to the elders of Judah. When the lepers found their way to the
deserted camp of the Syrians, they found such abundance that in a single
hour the famine of Samaria was turned into a time of abundance.

So it is that our spiritual conflicts and conquests have their rich reward
in the treasures recovered from the hand of the enemy. How many things there
are, which Satan possesses, that we might and should enjoy! Think of the
rich delight that fills the heart when we expel the giants of ill temper,
irritation, haste, hatred, malice and envy. These have long ravaged and
preyed upon all the sweetness of our life. What a luxuriant land we enter
into when we overcome these foes! Delightfully, the spoils of peace and love
and sweetness and heavenly joy enrich us in the things where once they
reigned.

How rich are the spoils recovered from Satan when, through the name of
Jesus, he is driven from the body. The suffering frame that had groaned and
trembled under his oppression springs into health and freedom, yielding all
its strength to the service of God with the joy of a victorious life. What a
rich reward comes to the home that has been rescued from the dominancy of
the devil! That place once full of turmoil because of a drunken husband,
shameful lusting, vanity, empty frivolity, heartless worldliness, bitter
strife, evil speaking or anger, now is become a happy Eden, with love and
peace enthroned on the hearth and altar of a Christian home.

Think of the rich treasures that are to come from a world rescued from the
hand of its cruel usurper. How it will bloom again in beauty, fruitfulness
and blessedness! Watch as it yields riches to its new and rightful King and
to those who dare to conquer it for Him, sharing His happy millennial sway.
God takes special delight in making that which has been recovered from
Satan’s power a blessing to us. The two mightiest strongholds of ancient
Canaan were Hebron and Zion. The former was the seat of the Anakim-the giant
chieftains of Canaan-but the brave and heroic Caleb dared to challenge them
in their lair. In the strength of God, he was “more than conqueror” over
their terrific strength, and he won the heights of Hebron as his special
inheritance.

Not only did he receive the dear old city of Abraham as his portion and
spoil, but God took peculiar delight in subsequently blessing and honoring
this place, it seems, just because it had been snatched from the jaws of the
enemy. Hebron became the chosen seat where David’s throne was subsequently
established, and where God began the kingdom of Israel, which He Himself
will rule in the coming age.

Still more defiant was the citadel of Zion-the last stronghold that the
Canaanites relinquished. All through the days of Joshua and his successors,
the Canaanites succeeded in holding it. Throughout the centuries of the
judges, all through the days of Saul and all through the early days of
David’s kingdom, they held it.

The fortress was so impregnable that the haughty Canaanites bragged to their
enemies that they would only need to garrison it with the blind and the
lame. They even challenged their enemies to capture it from such handicapped
defenders. David met that challenge, and Joab executed it by a glorious
assault, taking by storm the heights of Zion from the last chieftains of
Canaan. Then it was that Israel found its true metropolis. The rescued
stronghold was set apart by God Himself to be the seat of the sacred kingdom
and the monument of the glorious victory that had been achieved. There it
was that David reigned. There Solomon swayed his glorious sceptre. It was
there that the temple rose from the adjoining heights of Moriah, in full
view of all Zion. And it is to that city that Jesus will soon come to reign
once more. Oh, how rich and glorious is the recompense of a single victory!
How different would be the world’s history if the old Canaanites had been
permitted to hold the heights of Jesus!

The richest treasure of your life is held by Satan. He is too shrewd to
waste his strength on things that are worthless. He has put his hand upon
the sweetest, dearest and most precious things. Whether in your heart or
home or circle of acquaintance, you may be sure that there is a Hebron or a
Zion that God wants you to overcome. And in overcoming it, you shall find
the richest inheritance of your life and your eternity. Then forever will
you say with rejoicing, “In all these things we are more than conquerors
through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

Still larger conquests

“More than conquerors” means not only the spoils of war and triumph, but it
also means that you will have new territory, aggressive warfare and still
larger conquests for the glory of the Lord and the salvation of others.
Merely to beat back your foes is but a small part of the great commission
for the Christian soldier. You are called not only to wield the shield of
faith but also the sword of the Spirit. By this, you move against the
conquered foe and claim new territory with each advance.

You have the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left. The
armor on the left is for defense, but the armor on the right is for
aggression. You are called not only to “stand your ground” (Ephesians 6:13)
when the evil day comes, but to go out and reclaim the world for Christ.
Such conflicts meet us in our Christian work at every step: in the people we
seek to win for Jesus, in the progress of truth and in the spread of the
gospel. These conflicts will appear in the awakening and reviving of the
church of God, in the elevation of Christian life and holiness, in the
suppression of evil in all its myriad and gigantic forms. We will find these
conflicts in the evangelization of the world and the hastening of our
Master’s kingdom and of His coming. Surely we should not be ever occupied in
merely holding our own salvation. Indeed we will hold it best by leaving it
with God and pressing on to claim the salvation of others.

The best way to keep the devil off our territory is to keep him busy on his
own, defending his kingdom from our bold attacks. Have we settled the
question of our own salvation and Christian life? And in the battles for the
Lord, are we “more than conquerors through him who loved us”?

“More than conquerors” likewise means not only to win our battle and save
our territory but to bring honor to our Captain and God. Thus we may be a
credit to our cause and so conduct ourselves in the campaign that God shall
be glorified. Many of our battles are fought in view of heaven alone. Have
you not felt, in some quiet hour of fellowship with God, that you were going
through a decisive battle that no mortal saw? Within the silent walls of
your room, an issue was being decided that would affect all eternity. The
question was, should you be true to God, trusting and obeying Him, or should
you compromise?

It was a great thing for you that you gained the victory, but it was a
greater thing for your Lord. How intently He watches these contests. How the
ranks of hell and heaven look on as some David and Goliath fight alone
amidst the gaze of other worlds! Consider how our Savior’s brow flushes with
shame if you betray Him or shrink away. How the ranks of hell shout with
satisfaction when you betray Him by the slightest weakness. But think of how
the Master smiles when He sees you, like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego,
daring to answer, “The God we serve is able to save us from [the fire], and
he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want
you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image
of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18).

Do you know that Christ’s greatest victories were accomplished alone with
God and the devil? No human eye saw that victory in the wilderness, but God
saw it and was glorified. Will we stand for Him, and so stand that He can
count on us, as He did His ancient prophet? Can He count on us to become His
towers and fortresses behind which He can entrench Himself and His cause and
say to us, “Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a
bronze wall to stand against the whole land. They will fight against you but
will not overcome you” (Jeremiah 1:19-19)? “I will make you as unyielding
and hardened as they are. I will make your forehead like the hardest stone,
harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though
they are a rebellious house” (Ezekiel 3:8-9).

God wants men and women today on whom He can depend to stand as bulwarks and
battlements against the shocks of hell’s artillery. He wants men and women
of whom He can say, “On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of
hell will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18). Will we then not only be
conquerors but trusted soldiers whom God can use as His weapons of war? Will
we be His mighty battleships to carry the fight to the vessels of the enemy,
not fearing their hardest blows but hurling against them the thunderbolts of
His victorious power?

Final triumph and eternal reward

“More than conquerors” means not only victory but final triumph and eternal
reward. It is hard to imagine how heaven will recompense her victors some
glorious day. Someday earthly victories will seem exceedingly small in the
light of the triumphs of a Stephen, a Paul, a David Livingston or of some
woman or man who stood faithful to God on a lonely battlefield.

Paul expected a crown because he had fought the good fight of faith. Among
the special recompenses of Jesus’ Second Coming, there is a crown not only
for the martyr or the faithful minister or those who love His appearing, but
for “the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test,
he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love
him” (James 1:12). There is a chance for all of us!

This is an opportunity for your coronation. You may not only triumph but so
triumph that you shall wear a crown of life in which these tears that you
shed today will flash like diamonds. Let these scars of battle be
transformed into marks of eternal beauty and everlasting honor.

But mere enthusiasm or even high and glorious purpose will not accomplish
this great result. It is “through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37) that we
must overcome. Thank God that it is possible for us all. He whom Joshua saw
as Captain of the Lord’s host and whom Joshua took as his great
Commander-in-Chief waits to lead your battle and claim your victory. It is
as though Jesus stands at your side exclaiming, “I have overcome for you”
(John 16:33; 1 John 2:14).

Commit your conflict into His hands; take Him as your strength. “Be strong
in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that
you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:10-11).
“The battle is not yours but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15). “The Lord will
fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14). The day is coming
when all will be accomplished. The banner will wave in triumph and the Lord
shall be crowned. We will drape our battle flags around His throne, lay our
diadems at His feet and cry out “Thanks be to God, who always leads us in
triumphal procession in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:14). “In all these things
we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

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One Response to More Than Conquerors

  1. Pingback: More Than Conquerors | Christians Anonymous

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