“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
Too many times we live like we’ve forgotten that we have a great God.
The canaanites living in the land, when the Israelites were led by God to possess it, worshipped a variety of different gods. Some of them were believed to be great and powerful and others were not.
Gods like Baal or Ashteroth were considered to be some of the more powerful gods. Because of this they were national gods and they possessed a nation as their territory. But there were also gods, whose names were often unknown, that were much smaller and whose territory was much smaller. They might possess only a hill, or a house, or a tree.
The canaanites would frequently honor several gods. Their national god receiving their primary worship and their household gods receiving secondary tokens of worship.
The Israelites, on the other hand, were commanded by God to worship only God. And by the time John wrote his epistle the Jews had learned to stop turning to other gods and the Christians were following this practice. But too often, when their life of allegiance was challenged by persecutions or other pressures brought by idolatrous unbelievers, their faith would crumble and they’d find themselves giving in to the pressures from the world.
John, in our focus text, is praising the church for the victories they’ve gained and reminding them what their source of strength for those victories was. The presence of God in their lives.
“He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world!”
Scripture teaches us, and experience has proven to us, that there is a power working in the world. We know that that power is Satan and his minions executing their strategies in their warfare against God. The sinful heart’s tuned to respond to the influence of the devil and because of this it’s easy to live as if we believed that Satan was stronger than God.
But our God is greater. Jesus’ sinless life stands as a monument to the power of God over sin. Added to this is all the smaller achievements, every single day, as Christians of all ages live lives of victory over the sins that so frequently besiege us.
Weak though you may be, you’ve overcome because God is greater. And you’ll continue to overcome even bigger challenges because, while you may still be weak, God is still greater.