The Company of Overcoming Believers
By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London
Scripture Reading: Genesis 41: 54- 55 (NKJV)
12th February - 18th February, 2018
…And the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said. The famine was in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Then Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, do.”
In our Scripture reading, Pharaoh told the famished Egyptians to go to Joseph and instructed them to do whatever Joseph told them. We see a similar instruction in the wedding in Cana of Galilee where Mary the mother of Jesus told the servants to do whatever Jesus told them to do (John 2: 5). In Biblical typology, Joseph was a foreshadow of Jesus. Joseph was known as a preserver of life (Genesis 45: 5- 7), and his role was a minute foretelling of the amazing salvation that Jesus came to bring humankind (John 3: 16).
The hungry Egyptians in our Scripture reading were instructed to do whatever Joseph told them to do; similarly, it is important for believers to have the right approach to the Word of God. This attitude is depicted in the New Wine Church logo for 2018, which shows that being rooted in the Word of God is what causes us to shine brightly in the earth and exert divine influence.
The body of believers is the instrument by which the Lord reveals His manifold wisdom and power in the world. We are the representation of God's kingdom here on earth. However, in present times, society seems to approve of different kinds of perverse ideas and un-Biblical behaviour, yet God seeks people who will rise and shine forth His glory (Isaiah 60:1-2), like stars in a crooked and perverse generation (Philippians 2: 15b).
The Scriptures speak of the days of Noah when the perversion on the earth was overwhelming (Genesis 6: 1- 6). However, Noah found Grace in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6: 8). The word "however" represents hope for humanity, and it speaks of those who listen to the Voice of the Lord and receive His redeeming grace. Noah represents an overcoming believer. Everybody else in Noah's generation died, but Noah and his family were not consumed.
Overcoming believers are typified by the following characteristics:
(a) They live in the reality of God's redemption. In Gen 6: 14, God told Noah to build the ark and cover the entire structure inside and out with pitch. Reading this text in the original Hebrew, we see that the pitch that was to be used as a covering is a wordplay that depicts atonement - a foretelling of the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus, which He accomplished for humankind. When we focus on God's redemption, we find grace, mercy, strength and protection (Hebrews 4: 16). Indeed, as we focus on Jesus, we overcome by the Blood of the Lamb! (Revelation 12: 11a).
(b) They walk consistently with God, as Noah did (Gen 6: 9).
(c) They maintain their testimony of the Gospel, and they overcome through their testimony (Revelation 12: 11b). Indeed, the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy (Revelations 19: 10). As we declare God’s glory and goodness, we see more of it manifesting!
(d) Overcoming believers are selfless (Revelations12: 11c). As overcoming believers, we should not be obsessed with fleshy comforts and convenience; rather, our focus should be on the Lord.
Overcoming believers listen to the Voice of the Lord, and live in the reality of His redeeming grace…!
For further study:
John 2:15, Revelation 12:11
Genesis 6:8, Genesis 45:5-7
John 3:16, Isaiah 60:1-2
Romans 8:28, Philippians 2:15b
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, thank You for Your Word, which strengthens me and gives me hope. Thank You for Your saving grace that causes me to triumph and to walk in victory. I ask Lord that You help me to focus on Your Word and to pay attention to Your counsel. I receive Your grace to depend totally on You Lord, in Jesus’ Name. Amen!
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