Conqueror. A victor, champion, overcomer. An overwhelming force. I am hupernikos. I am more than a conqueror.But I don’t always feel like it.
I love spring. After the coldness of winter, the beauty of the season renews my spirit. But then summer comes much too quickly, and I long for fall. With the first crisp morning, or the arrival of that first blue northern, my entire being comes alive. Thanksgiving approaches and I can’t wait for the holiday season.
At least that’s normally how it goes.
A few months ago, I went into what I call a funk. Spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. Thanksgiving came and went. I attended my little town’s Parade of Lights, happily watching with 6 of my 7 grandchildren. My usual desire to haul out Christmas decorations wasn’t there. I eventually put everything up, but it wasn’t the same. Normally, the season makes me smile. Through the holiday season, I found moments of joy, but where was the awe and joy? Cindy Lou Who had nothing on me. I couldn’t find Christmas. And then it was over, without my finding it. Cheated. Anything but a conqueror.
Where did this all come from? No matter how hard I tried, how much I prayed for an answer to why I felt so down, understanding eluded me. Was it my job? Too much work and not enough play? Loneliness? Maybe a mix of everything?
Interestingly, I wasn’t alone. Several of my friends expressed the same feelings. Hmmmm. Something was going on. What, I didn’t know. But I sensed something unseen. A force wreaking havoc with my world—and that of others I love dearly.
In the early days of 2014 I committed to read my Bible through and accomplished that goal. For 2015 I determined to go deeper—spend time not just reading, but getting back to a habit of digging deep into Scripture. As a beginning step I started using Sparkling Gems by Rick Renner during my morning devotional/journal writing time. Day after day, the writing spoke to my aching heart, soothing a troubled soul. The Holy Spirit washed over me, healing those spots of discouragement, loneliness and other things I didn’t even see in myself. I headed in the direction of reclaiming my place as more than a conqueror.
Finally, with January almost finished, I came across Rick’s thoughts on Romans 8:37 and the Greek word hupernikos. What a great word. More than a conqueror. Not just a conqueror—but more than one. Oh if I can fully grasp that truth. Reading those words did something to slough off those last traces of defeat I’d been feeling since before my favorite time of the year.
So much missed at the end of 2014. Stolen from me. But I am hupernikos, and I’m taking back what God gave me—peace, joy, and the ability to win.
As I talked with a writing friend Tuesday night, an aha moment of revelation slammed into my brain. 2015—In the Jewish calendar 5775, a sabbatical year, and that makes it an amazing year. What better reason for an unseen spiritual enemy to hit so many Christians with depression, discouragement, funk? What’s the significance of the year of Shabbat? I’m not an expert at this stuff, but fortunately have others who pour into me spiritually. I won’t go into lots of detail, but there are 5 purposes of a sabbatical year. (Thank you Isaac Duke for your input.)
- A year to let the land rest, or enter into His rest
- A year to provide for the poor
- A year for debts to be cancelled
- A year to observe the Feast of Tabernacles in a special way
- A year for bondservants to be set free
No comments. I’ll let the Holy Spirit take you where He wants.
I’ll leave you with one thought. I do not have to succumb to this mindset of defeat. To do so leaves my heart without a home. That is not who the Lord created me to be. The days of being in a slump not wanting to do anything, go anywhere, think, feel—those days are done. And when they try to sneak up on me again I’ll remember what I learned from Rick.
I am more than a match for any adversary or foe that would come against me today. I AM hupernikos.