What God revealed to me on my mission trip added a whole new dimension of hope and excitement to my ministry!
Most of what my wife, Ruthie, and I do in ministry is to help people to become overcomers—conquerors—in life. But I never quite understood what the apostle Paul meant, in Romans 8:37, when he said that believers are “MORE than conquerors.” I’ve heard multitudes of opinions on it in my day—even some good thoughts, and legitimate interpretations, but it still didn’t make much sense to me.
Think about it: MORE than a conqueror? What does that mean?
Conquering in the Caribbean
My wife, Ruthie, and I were on our second trip to the tiny, gorgeous island of Mayreau, one of the Caribbean islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We were scheduled to teach to Youth With A Mission’s staff and students the biblical keys to becoming totally free from the things in life that don’t align with God’s covenant.
Many, if not most, believers carry various forms of bondage that hinder their ability to clearly serve God wholeheartedly. I started the week with an overview of what I callagreements. Agreements are the essence of our deepest inner beliefs structure. They are what we really believe—what we REALLY agree with. They reside way beneath our surface beliefs.
To summarize several days of teaching: I explained that the journey of the believer is a supernatural process of renewing the mind. I call renewing the mind make and break. We BREAK all agreements with the natural mind: The kingdom of darkness, sin, lies of Satan, and all forms of self-righteousness. We then, MAKE agreements with God’s covenant promises, God’s nature, and His commandments. We BREAK agreements with thought processes that keep us from experiencing God’s love for us, and we MAKE our agreements with the principles that support us as sons and daughters of God. In so doing, we break every chain, break every chain, break every chain. The truth sets us free (John 8:32)!
The Light Bulbs
My focus was on helping the participants break agreements with lies that would keep them from living loved and from walking in the fullness of their God-identity. We targeted fear, shame, rejection, trauma, bitterness, low self-worth, and much more.
By far, more than my expectation, the students and staff got it. Light bulbs of revelation were clicking on in their heads, like Christmas tree lights. They, actually, messed up my teaching agenda! One-by-one, for hours, they renounced the lies, fears, and other unacceptable agreements they had accepted as truth. Some wept, as they placed deep wounds from severe abuse at the cross— wounds that they had carried all of their lives. Others had long lists of bondages they decided they didn’t need or want anymore.
The Light Bulb
This particular morning, as I prayed for different people to experience release from bondage and God’s power, I quoted the “more than” verse (Romans 8:37) a time or two. I am not sure when it happened, but as I was praying over someone the light bulb clicked on in my own head about what it actually means to be MORE than a conqueror. In that moment, I saw something greater than just breaking the power of a lie and making an agreement with God’s promises. There was, yet, another level! That level wasestablishing something glorious on top of what was conquered! From then on, the rest of the course, I had them pray, not only for the release, but for the “more than” that was going to come from aligning with God’s promises.
Since my revelation of this powerful verse in Romans, I pray it over almost every one I pray for.
"More Than" in Practical Application
The following are examples of becoming more than a conqueror from my YWAM week, and some others. The names were changed to protect the participants’ privacy.
Cory was a conqueror by renouncing the anger, bitterness, torment, and fear that came from being sexually abused by an older relative. The more than for Cory is that he will now have greater sensitivity toward others who have been sexually abused. He will also exercise his authority in the Spirit to set others free in this area.
Janine was a conqueror when she broke her agreement with her fear of rejection, which included people-pleasing and remaining in a safe mode around others. Janine becamemore than a conqueror as she, intentionally, reaches out to others to build bridges, and speak the truth boldly, in the spirit of love.
David renounced his addiction to alcohol and the root issues that drove him there. He became more than a conqueror when he established a support group for men who struggled in the same way—a group who, through the years, has helped many men break their addiction to alcohol.
At a prayer meeting I attended for a struggling business, we prayed not to just survive, but to thrive!
Two Powerful More Than Passages
Romans 3 says, “Where sin does abound, grace does MUCH MORE abound.” This verse is a close brother to the more than conqueror verse. Grace doesn’t just bring things back into alignment with God’s Word, it compensates for the effects of sin OVERABUNDANTLY!
Isaiah 61 says that Jesus came to give “beauty for ashes”—not just victory over the ashes, but beautiful-ness! Not just victory over “mourning,” but OVERABUNDANT joy. He doesn’t just calm the “spirit of heaviness,” but replaces it with “the spirit of praise.”
The Incredible Verse 7
Continuing in Isaiah 61, let’s jump to verse 7, which is one of the best more than conqueror verses I know: “Instead of your shame you shall have DOUBLE HONOR.” Not just honor, but a double portion, proving Where sin abounds, grace does much more abound!
Emily and Stephen struggled for years in their marriage. Stephen had a one-night stand and their marriage was never able to recover from the violation—until they broke their agreement with bitterness and shame. God didn’t just “fix” their marriage—they have become a light, and an example, to marriages everywhere, and a testimony of the healing power of God—more than conquerors!
A Biblical Example
There are many examples in the Bible of those who were more than conquerors, but I’ll just mention one: Joseph, son of Israel (Jacob). He was sold as a slave, ended up in prison, separated from his family for over a decade. God didn’t just bring Joseph out of prison and restore him to his family, but God designed a plan that exalted Joseph to second in command in the same land he had lived as a prisoner for so many years.
Joseph was more than a conqueror!
The power is in the truth that God will use everything the Enemy concocts to destroy us, to make us better people. Hardships can either make us bitter or better. To elaborate, God doesn’t just get us through the hardships, but He uses them to make us stronger, wiser, and better. That’s more than!
Your faith, your tenacity, your trust—in His power, His faithfulness, and His promises will not only get you through this difficult season, but will get you through as a champion. Don’t just believe God to get you through, believe that He will create something magnificent out of your challenge!
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39).
So my closing thought is this: Don’t just conquer your problem—become a champion because of it!
Many of you may be struggling in different areas. For some of you, the struggle may be a sexual addiction. Take some time to read the first chapter of my book To Kill a Lion: Destroying the Power of Lust from the Root at www.BruceLengeman.com. You’ll also find some helpful resources on my site.