We live in a world that is fallen and under the rulership of the evil one, Lucifer. Evil is ever-present. It always has been. It is all around us. It influences us. And at times evil is within us because we live in a human body and a fallen world.
The word evil is found almost 500 times in the Bible. There are stories of evil men, evil actions, evil places, cities full of evil, days of evil, evil being done in the sight of God, evil words, evil minds, and more.
Paul the Apostle wrote in Romans 12, “Be not overcome by evil.” The meaning is clear: “Stop being conquered by the evil (thing or man)…but overcome evil with good.” This last phrase is progressive. “But keep on conquering the evil with the good.” As the philosopher Seneca said, “Drown the evil in the good.”
Clearly, evil in this world is not going away any time soon. Don’t be misled by it. Don’t excuse it. Have a firm plan of action on how you will confront evil in your life.
Paul also said, “Leave room for God’s wrath.” Revenge is not ours. Leave it to God. Stoic philosophers believed that fate would catch up with those who did evil, much like we describe “karma” today. But that’s not what Paul meant here. When we refuse revenge or for that matter any evil reaction, we give way to God’s judgment in God’s time. We forfeit our right to revenge and express our faith in God’s justice.
If you want to overcome evil in and around your life, these things are necessary:
Renew your mind. It is humanly impossible to act differently than we think. If the mind is allowed to think evil, then evil ways and words will follow. Fill your mind with the pure word of God.
Submit to God’s will. This is a choice—it’s not automatic. The Word of God clearly teaches that we must submit to the Holy One rather than the evil one. As our hearts yield to him, we are victorious over this fallen world we live in.
Live purposefully. Do you have a personal code of ethics? Have you ever made up your mind what your standards are? The things you are not going to do? Paul teaches us to live “decently, orderly lives” that represent Christ. Be good. Do good.
Watch your words. What you believe in your heart must be openly confessed with your own mouth until your mind actually thinks the words of your heart. I’m amazed by the number of believers that use foul language. It’s impossible for words to come out of our mouth that we do not think. Remember evil actions/words are a sign of an evil heart. That means our belief system is defective.
Evil is here to stay until Jesus returns, but so are we, the holy and righteous people of God. We must choose to resist evil and replace it with good by the power of the Holy Spirit. We walk in this world as people filled to overflowing with the opposite of evil—God’s absolute goodness!
Do you need to renew your mind by filling yourself with God’s word? Are you choosing to submit to God’s will every day? Are you living a decent, orderly life that represents Christ? Are your words what you believe in your heart to be good and true?
Romans 12:19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
Reading Plan: Judges 13-19
Heavenly Father, help me to overcome evil by doing good. May my heart, mind, words, and deeds be aligned to the goodness that comes with a life changed by the Holy Spirit, through surrendering my life to your Son, Jesus.
Resist evil, and replace it with good by the power of the Holy Spirit! Do good to others, even if they are not good towards you. Be a channel of blessing. Overcome evil by doing good! #Goodness #Evil #Overcomer