1 John 2:14 ~ "I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one."
I remember the days when I could run through fields, make mad dashes over rocks and logs, climb exquisite trees, and hike upon mountainous terrain. I was young and strong. But that is the delightful nature of being young--there is strength to overcome the daunting barriers that stand in the way.
As we grow beyond the childhood nature of our Christian life, there comes that time when it seems that we would willingly "take hell with a water pistol." We hear the words of Jesus and believe that there is no stopping the advancement of the army of the Lord when He says, "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18).
Emphasized in both verse 13 and 14 is the idea that the "young men" have "overcome the evil one." It hearkens us back to the statement of the Apostle Paul when he declared in Romans 8:37, "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." To be "more than conquerors" and to have "overcome" derives its meaning from the same root word--to be victorious.
There are reasons why armies are filled with young, strong soldiers--for they are capable of taking the fight to the enemy and winning. And there is a strength of vitality that is in the growing Christian's life. A strength that stands against the ever-present temptations of this world and stands for the Lord Jesus in the face of the enemy.
But, before you begin to think that the strength of the young man in Christ is derived solely from his own personal abilities, remember what our text says: "the word of God abides in you."
Paul told the Ephesians, "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might" (Ephesians 6:10). There is no strength outside of the Lord. There is no power beyond faith in Him. And there is no source of strength for any believer who does not have the word of God abiding in them. We cannot know where to go but by the word of God. We don't have the understanding of how to stand except that God's word teaches us. And those who do not have the word of God abiding in them, will discover they have no means of being strong an overcoming the evil one.
God spoke through the prophet Zechariah a message to the king that we must take as an absolute if we are to stand against the enemy. "Then he said to me, 'This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts'" (Zechariah 4:6). The Psalmist teaches us that there is no one saved by their own great strength, but that God alone is the deliverer of all (see Psalm 33:16-19).
Do you want to be strong? Do you want to stand victorious over the enemy of God? You must do what the strong, young men mentioned in our text would do--let the word of God abide in you, that you should live it out in faithfulness and discover the strength of Christ and the power of His Spirit to keep you strong.
Let there be a well-worn Bible in the hands of the faithful, for therein lies the strength of the Christian life.
In His Grace,
From the Mountains to the Sea
Every step we take on this journey called life ought to be used for greater understanding. I've lived from the mountains to the sea, and this blog is my personal thoughts and observations with a desire for Biblical understanding. Welcome.