You are three hundred feet in the air. The roof of the building you are standing on is level with the one directly across the street stretching below. There is a steel beam; not a rope or a wire, but a steel beam 24″ wide that stretches between the buildings. All you need to do is walk the one hundred and fifty feet from one side to the other. No safety net, no harness, just you, the beam, a slight breeze and the cool blue sky. Could you?
I have never been a big fan of heights. There were times when I worked certain jobs that dealing with heights was necessary. I didn’t like it, but I did it anyway. Does that mean I conquered my fear? No, it just means I managed it for that situation. I still get nervous climbing my extension ladder more than ten feet off the ground.
To conquer something means you have done more than convince yourself, “I can do this!” There is a deeper sense where your entire being is committed to such a degree that “failure is not an option.” It is similar to what Jesus said regarding putting our hand to the plow and not looking back.
Conquering is never easy. For those who think it is, they are mistaking the term conceding as being equal. It is not.
In the letters to the seven churches in Revelation, each one ends with the exhortation to “conquer”. Whatever their unique situation was – whatever they were struggling with, individually or corporately, Christ is exhorting them to be conquerors!
To conquer, subdue, or prevail over something, someone, or a particular situation involves a process over time. If not, Jesus would have exhorted us to be “all-of-a-suddeners”.
Conquering requires the three D’s:
- Dedication to the task
- Desire to see it to completion
- Discipline necessary to reach the goal
Hence the letters to the churches. Christ was encouraging them to remember their dedication, rekindle their desire, and renew themselves to the discipline necessary to fulfill their calling.
I struggle with the three D’s. More often with “desire” than the other two, because that one is more emotional – And I am sometimes driven by emotion. However, my intention is to keep the big picture in view and know that today is just today. Nevertheless, whether it is a day or a thousand days…
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13)