“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14 NKJV).
Sheep among wolves! This is Jesus’ exact description of His disciples among the children of this world.
The Lord Jesus warns His disciples, saying, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” (Matt. 10:16 NKJV).
Should Christ’s disciples (the sheep) then live in constant fear of the world (the wolves)? Certainly not!
Christ has overcome the world for the believers (His sheep) by defeating Satan (the god of this world) through the Cross.
Should the sheep of God then become careless in their dealing or interaction with the wolves of this world? Certainly not!
We should be cheerful that Christ has overcome the world, but also be watchful while living among the wolves in this world.
The Lord Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NKJV).
“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matt. 26:41 NKJV).
The believers have overcome the world by their faith in the person and redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the Cross.
The Scripture states: “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5 NKJV).
By virtue of your spiritual union with Christ through spiritual birth, all the feats, exploits or achievements of Christ through His death and resurrection are now credited to your account, for you are now a joint heir with Him (Rom. 8:17, 1 Cor. 6:17). So, the victory of Christ over the world and the god of this world is now your personal victory.
While it is absolutely true that all the believers in Christ have overcome the world through faith in Jesus Christ, yet many believers today are not experiencing the victory or walking in the victory in their day to day interaction with the world.
What could be responsible for this? Ignorance!
Your daily victory over the world and its lusts, cares, and trials depends primarily on your spiritual understanding or revelation knowledge of the victory that Christ has already won for you and given to you through His death on the Cross.
It is the revelation knowledge of Christ and what He did for you on the Cross that produces the faith that overcomes the world (1 John 5:4).
The Scripture states: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17 NKJV).
Conversely, ignorance or lack of spiritual understanding of what Christ has done for you through His death on the Cross and His resurrection from the dead generates or produces fear, doubt or unbelief leading to defeat, depression, discouragement and death in life.
The only way or means to experience a daily victory over the world and all its temptations, distractions, pollutions, tribulations or persecutions is through the Cross of Jesus Christ.
Apostle Paul revealed to us that he overcame the world through the Cross of Jesus Christ.
Paul said, “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Gal. 6:14 NKJV).
If you don’t bear your cross daily or allow the cross to work daily in your life, you will never get to experience a daily victory over the world and its lusts, cares, or pressures.
Apostle Paul was able to overcome the world and all its lusts, cares, and trials because he considered the world dead to him and him also dead to the world through the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The world cannot tempt, hurt, wound, disturb, or distract a dead man!
Unfortunately, many believers today are too alive or sensitive to the world. This is why the world and its lusts, trials, cares or pressures are overcoming, overwhelming and dominating them on a daily basis.
The believers’ victory over the world came by the means of the Cross – through Christ’s death. And it can only be sustained or retained by the same means – through the Cross (death).
You can only continue to experience and enjoy true victory over the world and all its lusts, cares, trials or tribulations by bearing and applying the Cross daily.
This is why Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23 NKJV).
Daily victory over the world is tied to taking up or bearing your cross daily. It is not a one-time deal, but an ongoing commitment to live, walk, or conduct yourself daily as one who is indeed dead to the world, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
The day you stop taking up your cross is the day you will cease to overcome the world and follow Christ. Why will this happen?
Because it is only through the Cross that you can neutralize all the evil influences of the world and insulate your heart from all its enticements!
Many people today carry or wear the cross as an ornament, but in the ancient time bearing the cross was no fun or pleasure to anyone; it was a sign of damnation or death. In those days anyone bearing the cross was already under the sentence of death, unfit to live among the people, and on his way to be crucified. Therefore, the cross is symbolic of rejection, humiliation, and death.
How then can you bear or apply the cross in your day to day dealings with the world?
It is simply by seeing or reckoning yourself dead to the world and the world dead to you!
It is by setting your mind to love, please, serve and follow Christ wholeheartedly regardless of what the world says or does to you!
You must always bear it in mind as you relate with the world that you were already dead to the world through Christ’s death on the Cross. With that mindset, you will always relate or deal with, respond to, or treat the world and all that is in the world as a dead man will do! This is the secret to experiencing daily victory over the world (Gal. 2:20, 6:14, Col. 3:1-5).
Naturally, the dead man has no more desire, taste, affection or passion for the ephemeral or worldly things. When a man dies, his mind or mindset is automatically shifted away from earthly things to heavenly things. Nothing of this world matters to the dead anymore. The dead man has no more selfish ambitions, carnal desires or pursuits.
The dead are only concerned or preoccupied with things that transcend this material world. This is what bearing or applying the Cross daily will do to you! It will naturally shift away your mindset, focus, goal, purpose, pursuit, attention or affection from the earthly to the heavenly. It will enable you to see and deal with issues of this life from the perspective of heaven and eternity.
To bear or apply the Cross daily is to daily “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Col. 3:2 NJKJV). It is to count all things which are gains to you in this world as loss for the sake of Christ. This is what Paul meant when he said he was dead to the world.
Paul states: “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” (Philip. 3:8 NKJV).
Nothing of this world meant anything to Paul. He regarded all his earthly possessions, positions, qualifications, successes, exploits, attainments or achievements as mere rubbish, refuse or nothing. That was why he was able to seek first and above all things the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33, 2 Tim. 4:6-8).
Beloved, your mindset or perspective is so crucial to your daily experience of victory over the world. You will always overcome the world if you will always view and deal with the world and all that you may encounter in the world through the Cross – as one who was crucified and buried with Christ, as one who was raised from the dead with Christ, as one who ascended with Christ into the heavens, and as one who is presently seated together with Christ in the heavenly places.
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, I embrace today the victory over the world that Christ has won for me through His Cross. From this day henceforth, help me Holy Spirit to always view and deal with issues of this life through the Cross – as one crucified, resurrected and ascended with Jesus Christ, in Jesus’ name. Amen.