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Who Is an Overcomer?

“He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” —Revelation 3:21-22

The word translated as “overcome” in the passage above (and all similar passages in Revelation) is the Greek verb “nikao,” which means to conquer, to prevail, to gain the victory.

The word implies battle.

Perhaps it’s better to say the word assumes there is a battle, and that you and I are in it. Likewise, the English word “overcome” connotes a sustained and difficult struggle against some kind of resistance—be it an obstacle or direct opposition—until it is fully conquered.

Whether we describe it in terms of battle or struggle, we all know what it’s like to come up against resistance in our lives. Resistance is that wall you slam into on your way to your dreams coming true. We’ve all been knocked flat by it at one point or another, most likely on multiple occasions.

One of the basic questions we ask in coaching is this: What does it really take to win your dreams? In my experience, it takes more than wishing it were so, consciously “attracting” it, or passively praying God will hand it to you all wrapped up in a nice pretty bow. It takes rolling up your sleeves, mustering your courage, and jumping into the fray.

There are many things that contribute to being (or becoming) an Overcomer, but as I watch my clients overcome obstacle after obstacle in their lives, I’ve noticed these seven qualities showing up again and again. How are you at practicing these “overcoming” skills?

  1. Overcomers believe. They are clear on exactly what victory looks like, and actively practice believing that victory is not only possible for them; it’s inevitable.
  2. Overcomers deal in reality. From a position of faith, they look at their world and their circumstance with frank honesty, understanding that if they don’t accept where they are, they’ll never know how to get where they’re going. (For an example of this, check out Abraham in Romans 4:19-21.)
  3. Overcomers fight smart. They understand victory requires a thoughtful approach. Rather than charge ahead in a fit of passion (soon spent), they try one thing at a time, measuring the impact, and adapting their strategy based on the results.
  4. Overcomers engage failure as part of the process. Rather than letting failures tank them, they practice curiosity in the face of failure, learning from their missteps, and improving their strategies for next time.
  5. Overcomers celebrate every success—no matter how small. They understand that to “win the long war,” they need to take heart and courage from every inch of ground they gain. They know that progress, no matter how small, is fuel for the soul.
  6. Overcomers don’t try to go it alone. Perhaps the quickest way to lose a battle in your life is to believe you don’t need any help. Overcomers understand nobody wins alone. They surround themselves with brothers and sisters in arms who know their battle, and are committed to help them win it.
  7. Overcomers never give up. No matter how many times they fall, or how dire the circumstances appear to be, they are relentless in their refusal to quit. Like great warriors and leaders before them, they understand that the refusal to give up is perhaps the most powerful weapon for victory they have.

What do you think of my list? What would you add? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.